Chesapeake Country's Living Treasures --
Know Somebody We Need to Know? Let Us Know
As people meet in county-sponsored panels to plan how we should grow in the future, they talk about change and what it means to the quality of life in Chesapeake Country. They talk about all that is new and about what is old and needs to be kept.
Many times, those conversations turn from abstractions like smart-growth and population density to something easier to get your teeth into: the character of communities. When we talk about the character of communities, the subject always gets back to people - whether old-timers born here of older-timers born here or newcomers who think they've found paradise in Chesapeake Country.
Thus the words of Andy Garte continue to echo in our minds: "Our real genuine collection of people of diverse backgrounds and experiences all meeting on equal footing."
You read those words in these pages last week. M.L. Faunce quoted Garte in her commentary on the people she'd met and visions she'd shared as one of a couple hundred citizen planners helping Anne Arundel County chart its future.
I heard Garte's words a week earlier, as the Shady Side environmental consultant explained to eight of us sharing a round table what he likes about the place he lives. "Our real genuine collection of people of diverse backgrounds and experiences all meeting on equal footing."
Japan has a term for such people. They're its living treasures, counted as part of the nation's collective wealth. But by Japan's reckoning, only a few people deserve that status.
In Chesapeake Country, we're a lot richer. Each stop we make, we like to say, we see another great view and meet another amazing person.
In Chesapeake Country, we have riches to share. And share we are. This week, as Southern Anne Arundel County takes stock of its resources and contemplates its future, we introduce three of the "real genuine collection of people" who make the region rich: 93-year old Capt. Ed Crandell; Barbara Sturgell, the force behind Happy Harbor; and John Osborne, the man who finds no cactus too prickly to love.
We'd like to make such community profiles a tradition. But we need your help. Introduce us to the people we ought to know throughout Chesapeake Country. Fax (410/867-0307), write (P.O. Box 358, Deale, MD 20751) or e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org) names and brief profile to editor Sandra Martin.