Dock of the Bay

Volume VII Number 20
May 20-26,1999

NBT Birthday Bash Buys 8,000 Trees for Bay

photos by Margot Smyrnioudis

Revelers at NBT's Birthday Bash peruse silent auction items.

Chesapeake Country will be more than 8,000 trees richer thanks to hundreds of friends who celebrated New Bay Times' sixth birthday May 16 at Surfside 7 on the South River.

"It was a massive success on all counts," said New Bay Times' General Manager Alex Knoll. "There's no way to know how many people we had, but based on over $700 in $1 cash donations to this year's bash beneficiary, American Forests, I would estimate that we exceeded 1,000 people."

Bill, Bobby and Barbara Sturgell of Happy Harbor take a break from feeding hungry guests, left.

Nobody was counting the hundreds of friends, well-wishers and just plain party animals who joined us to celebrate six full years of the news you want to read. From land and by sea the crowd thronged at Jerry Osuna's Surfside 7 in Edgewater, many guided by placards made by Sunrise Sign Studio in Deale. They came despite the competing lure of the Bay Blues Festival, many after putting in a few morning miles at SPCA of Anne Arundel County's Walk for the Animals.

Nobody was counting because May 16 was a day devoted to a different kind of activity: grooving.

With eating and drinking, listening and talking, music and massage, body painting and auction bidding, volleyball on Surfside's sand court and dabbling in the waters of the South River, babies, grandparents and all the generations in between found plenty of ways to groove. In this non-election year, even politicians had nothing better to do than have a good time, as did Delegates Virginia Clagett and Dick D'Amato and Annapolis Mayor Dean Johnson.

On such a day as May 16, it was easy. The sky was blue and dappled with fluffy cumulus clouds - not the heavy, rain-laden sort. The air was fresh and perfumed with locust. Temperatures played in the soft 70s.

Eating came first - as well as last and in between.

Hamburgers and hot dogs flowed in a smoky, ceaseless stream from host Jerry Osuna's grill. "So everybody could eat two or three times, we cooked 800 hamburgers, 800 hot-dogs and 300 chicken breasts," said executive chef Jon Rudolph.

Sunny Daze the clown painted hands and faces, right.

Adding more was Scott Sorrell of Old South Catering, who served 100 pounds of saucy, savory barbecued pork cooked 16 hours on hickory fire. Adding still more was Edgewater's Adam's the Place for Ribs, which served up ribs in place of pig pickin' when the pig cooker failed. Adding more was Oliver's, with jerk chicken.

Vegetarians might have drowned in that sea of meat were it not for Happy Harbor and Herrington on the Bay, with day-long streams of bean, pasta and potato salads.

To top that off, crumb cake and over a hundred dozen cookies were devoured, compliments of pastry chef Tom McReynolds of Herrington on the Bay and Susan Marshall of The Chocolate Box. Not to be outdone, Sorrell danced about with a tray of chocolate-dipped strawberries so sweet that the chocolate was an afterthought.

Contributing to the music side of the groove were Bigger, Better, Faster, More; Detour; Downtown Venus; Rebel Amish Radio; 2nd Coming; Suspect and WitZend.

The hands-on groove was the gift of the clown Sunny Daze and a whole tent of holistic healers. Sunny Daze, whose duller life is spent as Virginia Casterline, painted trees, flowers, frogs and smiley faces on eager hands and faces.

In the holistic big top, massage therapists Margot Gerrity, Vicki Halper, Beth Lynch and Mary Ann Roesler worked out life's kinks with free seated massages, while Aurora Youngs of Chesapeake Healing Arts Center stretched people out for zero balancing. Reiki therapists Mary Rayner and Phyllis Ramsey used their hands like magnets to focus energy.massage therapist Aurora Youngs

photo by M.L. Faunce Stressed out from too much fun, a partygoer relaxes under the care of massage therapist Aurora Youngs.

Explaining the healing power of herbs were Joanne Herp of Herbal Acres and Theresa Girolami and Vicci O'Neill of Sage House Herbs.

Rosalie Evans explained how to better communicate with yourself through keeping a journal, while Janet Shepherd communicated with animals. Writer Carolyn Stearns signed her Bay book Where Has All the Water Gone? In NBT's birthday feature story, Stearns had reminded us where we'd be if all the trees were gone.

For this day was dedicated to the Bay's best neighbors: trees.

To shade our shores, freshen our air, strengthen our land and cool our waters, more friends had donated the makings of a lively auction. From lunch - at Harry Browne's no less - with Senate President Mike Miller and Delegates George Owings and Virginia Clagett to captaining lessons with Mickey Courtney, editor of Maryland Cruising Guide, to prickly cactuses and giant jade plants from John Osborne at Chesapeake Plants to picnics to art to days of beauty, we had just about anything your heart could desire.

Silent bidding earned $5,700. Then Judy Howard and Pam Parks - WhittMar Auctioneering's ladies with a gavel - made hay while the sun shone, coaxing $2,370 out of nearly 200 bidders. Among the highest money earners:

Add $216 from our 50/50 raffle, over $700 in dollar-by-dollar contributions, a portion of the proceeds of Get Guat-ed's sale of hot sauces and gifts from absent friends like nonagenarian Mildred Finlon of Chesapeake Beach, this Birthday Bash bought the Bay about 8,000 trees.

Dels. Virginia Clagett, right, and Dick D'Amato at the party.

Each dollar Knoll counted pushed American Forests one tree closer to keeping its promise to plant one million trees by the millennium in Chesapeake Country.

"We're nearly three quarters of the way there. This good day really helped us reach our million-tree goal," said American Forests' executive director Deborah Gangloff.

American Forests is now looking for a special New Bay Times project, something in Anne Arundel or Calvert County. Then, in September or October, when temperature and water are such that the trees can adapt, they'll plant native species as a buffer between field and stream to improve water quality.

From those 8,000 trees, Chesapeake Country and all its people will harvest the economic, environmental and social value of trees for many birthdays to come.


Every Animal Had Its Day, dogs in a strollerThanks to A.A. SPCA

photo by M.L. Faunce Too tired to walk.

It was a day for ducks, a white hedgehog named Clover and ferrets. For rabbits on leash for the first time. And, of course, for cats and dogs. Sunday's 8th Annual Walk for Animals sponsored by SPCA of Anne Arundel County was a celebration for pets of every kind, for people who love their pets and for people who care about helping needy animals.

When New Bay Times joined other early walkers, Quiet Waters Park was everything but. A barking chain had already sent out the word: 'Bring your humans to gather pledges and walk for the animals.'

photo by M.L. Faunce Donkeys Danny and Winston joined the parade.donkeys Danny and Winston

Thanks to that chain, countless sponsors and you, SPCA (which gets no government funding) had its best walk ever, raising $100,000 ($75,000 was their goal). Some 700 animals and 1,400 walkers and pets turned out for a romp in the park so that unwanted pets could get shelter and help finding a good home.

We weren't promised Noah's Ark, but some animals showed up in pairs. Andre and Prevost, alpacas from Ameripaca in Owensville, showed their sweet disposition, and like solid-colored Pied Pipers, drew a following wherever they went.

Angel and Tootsie used to be part of the Naval Academy Dairy Herd. Now the cows are privately owned and cared for by the 4H Dairy Leasing Club for Anne Arundel County. Nine-year-old Sarah O'Brien of Odenton kept them marching in step.

For the second year, Danny and Winston, miniature donkeys that live at the appropriately named Harness Creek in Annapolis, showed their faces. Owner Dennis Hollidayoke says they're also called burros or asses, but they certainly didn't act like it. At least not on Sunday.

First-time strollers Molly and Miranda, miniature dachshunds from Crofton, took the word literally and stayed in their stroller. "It's the thought that counts," explained owners Lisa and Missy. Maybe the tiny duo saw the cat that arrived in a crate on wheels.

But for sheer numbers, canines were top dog. From sleek greyhounds to furry chows, nearly every known breed seemed represented at May 16's charity walk. Lavished with hugs and praise, dogs as large as ponies and as small as teacups pranced and pawed their way along a choice of 1-, 2.5- and 5-mile courses, through both sun and shade, woods and field.

Thirteen-year old Kenai, a smooth standard dachshund, and her partner Sitka, 11, both of Churchton, were "cited" by SPCA officials during the walk for being "too long," and "too cute." Otherwise the event was peaceful, with the only mischief reported a handful of water-loving Labs that bounced in and out of baby pools at watering stations along the route.

photo by M.L. Faunce Steven Streeter says snakes are cool.Steven Streeter

While some animals romped, others styled. Passing a booth sponsored by Alexander's of Annapolis Day Spa, owners primped and dogs seemed to strut their stuff. They had to, to compete with partner Jeffrey xxx's washed, dried and styled four-month old English sheep dog, Maxwell. The fluffy pup doesn't, by the way, get his hair done at Alexander's.

Other animals had a statement to make. Former show dog Misty, an English setter neglected before rescue by Michele Brady of Severna Park, promoted Pets on Wheels. Misty shares her love (and thanks) by visiting nursing homes.

Missy, a five-year-old tortoise shell "regular, old cat," according to owner Christina Stevenson of Millersville, shunned all the fuss, preferring to eat. The orange and black stray Stevenson found on the side of the road hasn't missed a walk in four years.

Not all pets had such an appetite. Ginger, an eight-year-old ball python wrapped around the neck of nine-year-old Steven Streeter, hadn't eaten in six months. Streeter's mother, Bobbi Zarle, the 'Snake Lady' who performs with reptiles for kids birthday parties, says the North African snake has a habit of fasting. No birthday cake for Ginger, but still, Steven says she's "their nicest snake." Snakes in general, says he, "are cool. Besides, they don't drool."


Among the hundreds simply having a wonderful time was minpin Kiki. That's miniature pincher, we learned from owner Alexandra Fotos of Annapolis of her "SPCA dog." This was Fotos' second walk and Kiki's first.

All across Quiet Waters Park, the annual fund-raiser was a who's who and what's what of the animals kingdom. If tails didn't always wag - Pembrook Welsh corgi Penny couldn't because, like all corgis, she was born without a tail - walkers of all species were all heart for their favorite cause.

Prizes from sponsors were generous and walkers were rewarded with T-shirts, backpacks, hats, bandannas and snacks for dogs but not pythons. But the greatest prize for all at the Walk for Animals - a good home and a human - was already in paw for many and now a step closer for many others.

-M.L. Faunce

While Calvert Blesses Great and Small

photo by Mark Burns 'God loves all creatures,' said Rev. John Farrell, who anointed pets at Calvert Animal Welfare League's Second Annual Blessing of the Pets.Rev. Farrell anointing pets

"Thank you God for Mr. Copperhead, thank you for his love, thank you for our time together, keep him safe always, bless him now. Amen."

So spoke the Rev. John Farrell, standing 10 feet away from a small glass aquarium and dashing holy water toward the lethargic copperhead snake within.

The scene played out 15 times over with slight modifications in the wording at Calvert Animal Welfare League's second annual Blessing of the Pets, the main attraction of early May Spring Pet Day. The copperhead and a rat snake were the odd creatures out among a pack of over one dozen dogs waiting for the delivery of a divine dash of water.

Ironically, sprinkles of water were also partially to blame for keeping people and their pets away. Early morning rains, chilly temperatures and gusting breezes drastically shrank the potential pool of pets to show up this year at King's Landing Park. Plus, noted organizer Mary Baldwin, "there's a tremendous number of events to compete with this weekend." The League only saw 15 of an expected 50 this year after a showing of 36 last year.

Despite the much smaller than expected turnout, spirits refused to be dampened. The morning's fund-raising pet walk lured six hardy owner/pet teams and raised money toward funding a new animal shelter in Calvert County. A few more dogs and owners rolled in by the early afternoon. Nine teams competed on the Canine Obstacle Course which featured, among other things, tests in walking a plank, jumping through a tire, keeping noses out of kitty litter and avoiding a man holding a bacon, egg and cheese sandwich and sitting in a lawn chair.

Dogs of note were honored with plaques and induction to Calvert Animal Welfare League's new Animal Hall of Fame. A posthumous award went to Watch, a mixed Lab who had helped his new owner, Mary Sams, get conquer her fear of dogs. Heroic K-9 dogs Max, a six-year-old German short-haired pointer, and Prince, a six-year-old German shepherd, were honored in absentia as heros for numerous nabs and drug busts in Calvert County. Also on the list was Cody, a three-year-old cocker spaniel honored for his work as a lap dog, cheering up residents of area senior centers.

But everybody liked the blessing best. Dogs ranging from hyperactive miniature dachshunds to a large, mellow Great Dane paused before Farrell to be moistened with drops of holy water flung from dried and bundled palm leaves dipped in a silver bowl of holy water.

"I haven't blessed any really exotic pets," says Farrell. "I suppose the most unusual would have to be the copperhead. But it's really mostly cats and dogs." Farrell, an animal lover recently emigrated from Texas, intends to make this a yearly event. Though he balked slightly at the notion of blessing a snake and cast the holy water from afar, he claims no prejudices.

Said Farrell, "God loves all creatures."

-Mark Burns

Way Downstream ...

In Virginia, state officials are getting chewed for allowing increased harvesting of horseshoe crabs even as Maryland and Delaware have cracked down. Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt said that Virginia's policy - which means a 2000 percent increase in horseshoes taken this year - "simply undermines and erases" protections imposed by its neighbors ...

Pennsylvania legislators nearly tripled the amount of money that will be spent for preserving farmland next year. The $68 million places Pennsylvania second only to New Jersey in spending to save rural areas ...

A Kentucky man had either a good excuse or a bad one - depending on your taste in music - when caught recently with a federally protected species of hawk. James Bush told police he wanted to send it to members of the rock band Lynyrd Skynyrd so they could use the feathers on their hats ...

In Massachusetts, police in the town of Fall River are looking for a man and his pit bull in the killing of 30 trees. Witnesses say the man trained his fighting dog to hang on limbs as a way to sharpen his teeth ...

Our Creature Feature comes to us from Colorado, where last weekend they celebrated something that was probably even cooler than the New Bay Times birthday bash at Surfside 7: Sunday in Fruita, Colo. was "Mike the Headless Chicken Day."

You've heard the phrase about running around like a chicken with its head cut off. Well, Mike did, for about four years in the 1940s, after an ax-swinging farmer relieved him of his head. Mike even preened for hens, according to the Denver Post, until the sad day he met his demise choking on a kernel of corn.

In memory of Mike, Coloradans competed in a 5K Run Like a Headless Chicken race.

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Volume VII Number 20
May 20-26, 1999
New Bay Times

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