Dock of the Bay

Volume VII Number 37
September 16-22,1999

Friends and Neighbors: Marion Warren Captures 110

Mary Johnson Fields, member of United Methodist Church, right, and Moe Hanson, a Maryland Hall artist, sat for two of Marion Warren's 110 portraits displayed in a Maryland Hall exhibit.

A quarter century ago, the president of Annapolis Bank and Trust asked Chesapeake Bay signature photographer, Marion Warren, to take a picture of the bank's board of directors.

Warren said no. He no longer wanted to make portraits. But Warren changed his mind when the bank president said that the board had taken a vote: He was the only photographer they would allow to take their picture.

"How could I refuse after he told me that?" recalls Warren.

As he set up the portrait around the board room table, Warren asked when was the last time anyone had a portrait taken. No one could remember.

With that, an idea struck.

"I had photographed the buildings and streets of Annapolis but never the people," Warren says. "I knew then that I wanted to do a project focusing on the people of the city."

At the time, Warren had other commitments. He applied for a grant, and when it was denied he had to shelve the project. But he never let the idea go.

With "Friends and Neighbors," opening on Friday, September 17 at Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts, Warren's 25-year-old dream comes true.

Over the past two years, spanning the health crisis of his lifetime in 1997-'98, Warren has collected a cross-section of the people in Annapolis, compiling a show and book of 110 portraits. Included are current mayor Dean Johnson and two former mayors. But politicians are not the focus. The focus is the people in Warren's life.

"A few people asked me to be in the collection, but most were of my choosing," Warren explains. "A young man came in to put in a new garbage disposal, and I asked him to sit for a portrait. I have portraits of my paperboy and the postman. It's people I knew professionally or personally, but many of the people just happened along."

Using his 4x5 camera, Warren gets lifelike detail in his portraits. Even in portraits, traditionally a posed setting, Warren tried to capture each subject in their natural environment, with a realistic expression of life and emotion.

At the opening on Friday, Warren will be joined by many of the 110 people whose portraits he took. All have been invited, but two have passed away.

"That's why I did this project," Warren says. "To give these people a place in history."

Meet the artist and many of his friends and neighbors from 6-8pm Fri. Sept. 17 at Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts.

-Christopher Heagy

Bits & Pieces

Bingo, Beanies & Abby

Beanie Baby Bingo is the latest idea in the campaign for Abby Orr, the Deale toddler fighting neurofibromatosis, a genetic disorder of bones, skin and nerves.

You play Beanie Bingo with markers, not Beanies, but winners will walk away with such popular Beanie Babies as the Butterfly, Fish, Princess or Halo. Those and many more are donated by Sentimental Fools and friends. Cash prizes, door prizes and a 50/50 raffle sweeten your afternoon.

Proceeds will buy Abby a walker and other needed equipment not covered by the family's insurance.

"The main reason for the Beanie Baby Bingo is for the community to meet Abby and see how cute the baby they're helping is," said her grandmother, Linda Dawson.

Join Abby and the Orr family on Sun. Sept. 19 2-5pm @ Deale Elks Lodge. $5 children; $11 adults: 410/867-7522.

-Mary Catherine Ball


No More Shopping -- or Working -- at Hechinger's

Who in Chesapeake Country hasn't bought shovel, broom or rake at Hechinger Company? Now, after 88 years in business, the venerable local hardware chain announced last Thursday that it's closing its doors for good come Christmas.

As recently as June, the chain hoped to survive by declaring Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The plan then was to close 89 underperforming stores.

"Unfortunately, it is clear that continued losses and stiff competition have made it highly unlikely that a traditional reorganization would be possible," said Hechinger Company chief executive Richard J. Lynch Jr. in a statement September 9.

Now, as the remaining 117 stores prepare for the end, thousands of employees will be out of jobs as soon as this week or no later than Christmas. "I've got 22 years packed in my car," said one teary-eyed woman to reporters last week. "A lot of people are very disgruntled and very upset," says another 12-year employee.

Doug Gillam Jr., graphic design contractor and former employee at Hechinger headquarters, in Landover, wasn't surprised. "In the past they've had problems with other contracting companies. They had a massive turnover upon my arrival in the advertising and marketing department," says Gillam who, because of downsizing, departed in June.

All Hechinger Company properties, including the couple of dozen in our region, will be auctioned off. The shut-down will dump hundreds of Marylanders into the job market.

-Darcey Dodd


$6,200 from The Nines

Celebrating a birthday is fun. It's even better on 9-9-99.

For Bil Shockley's 40th on 9-9-99, he threw a big party at Vic's Italia by the Bay in Chesapeake Beach, where he's an owner. He ordered roasted leg of lamb, salmon, steamed shrimp and rounded up high-class live music, including Deanna Bogart.

Shockley wanted more than one big night. He dedicated the day to the American Brain Tumor Association, a charity he chose because his six-year-old nephew had a brain tumor now in remission.

The charitable take came to a little over $6,200.

"I got a lot of support from the community and local businesses," 40-year-old Shockley says. "And I had a great time."

-Darcey Dodd


Mosquitoes Are with Us

First the drought created conditions for good mosquito breeding. Then showers came down hard and fast, causing rapid hatching of their larvae. Now, the big, fat suckers are everywhere.

Biting hardest are two of the nation's 150 species: Asian tiger, day-biting Hawaiian emigrants that favor ankles legs, and saltmarsh mosquitos, natives that fly up to 25 miles to find a meal.

In Southern Maryland, as on the lower Eastern Shore, mosquitoes are landing one hundred a minute on human bait, much more than a mere one to three before Dennis came crashing through. Bites are high, too, ranging as high as 20 in a minute.

"Our staff go out and sacrifice themselves to count the landings," said Don Vandrey, spokesman for Maryland Department of Agriculture.

It could, and possibly will, be worse.

"We have not experienced any outbreak of disease in Maryland due to this infestation of mosquitoes such as has occurred in New York," said Secretary of Agriculture Henry A. Virts, himself of Southern Maryland. "However, if we do not act now to reduce the population of adult mosquitoes, the chances for disease are increased."

Acting means spraying, as it has in New York, where mosquito-borne St. Louis encephalitis has taken three lives. By air, on the lower Eastern Shore, where mosquitoes are heaviest, the insecticide Naled has been sprayed by air. A Class I insecticide, Naled can be toxic to fish and bees as well as mosquitoes.

By land, much of Southern Maryland was sprayed last week with the less toxic chemical permethrin. That includes Anne Arundel communities that have requested spraying.

With Floyd's advance rains, spraying has stopped.

But the blood-hungry biters will be back. "We can anticipate another outbreak after the rains," said Vandrey.

-Darcey Dodd

Judy Blue Eyes Sings at Sotterley

Nestled on the Patuxent River in St. Mary's County, 90 acres of Southern Maryland takes you back in time. Sotterley Plantation is Maryland's only sole surviving Tidewater plantation open to us all.

Here you not only feel history but smell it as well. Walking along acorn-strewn paths, you can imagine the families who walked here over almost three centuries. The smell of musky wood from the smokehouse reminds you of a time when people ate from the land. The scents of historic gardens of flowers and herbs can be majestic as they catch a breeze off the river.

On Sunday, September 19, it'll be another class of living history that you hear coming from the grounds of Sotterley. Folk singer Judy Collins, a historic treasure in her own right, sings at Sotterley to kick off a multi-million dollar preservation project.

Now among a select group of historic resources chosen to represent America's treasures in need of support, Sotterley was named by the National Trust as one of the nation's 11 Most Endangered Historical Sites.

"We will be celebrating the whole move to this new time at Sotterley," says Carolyn Laray, executive director of Sotterley Foundation, Laray can't keep the pride out of her voice. "At one point we almost lost it, and now look where we have reached."

An original founder of the Waterside Concert Series at Calvert Marine Museum, Ellen Zanheiser, coordinator for the Sept. 19 celebration, is delighted too. "We think that not only is our Sotterley a national treasure, but so is Judy Collins. We wanted to have someone with national prominence, just like Sotterley. Collins is an active participant in historical preservation. On Christmas Eve, she performs at the historical Biltmore Estate in North Carolina. We couldn't be more pleased with our choice for performers."

Judy Collins began her musical career 40 years ago, as a '60s' folkie. Her greatest hits include "Suite Judy Blue Eyes" to "Chelsea Morning," "Someday Soon" and the memorable "Send In The Clowns." She's also known for taking audiences, by song, back to the rhythms and lyrics of such other folk artists as Bob Dylan, John Denver and Joni Mitchell. In July of this year, Collins was commissioned by the NASA Art Program to record "Beyond the Sky," in honor of the first woman commander of a Space Shuttle.

Collins has 30 albums to her credit both gold and platinum, hits in the top 10 and a string of Grammy nominations. She performs annually in a 60- to 80-city concert schedule. Her Christmas Eve concert at the Biltmore Estate will be covered live by A&E Television. She is also a big supporter of historical preservation.

Collins can be heard on Sing America, a benefit recording to raise funds for historic sites in America. True to her beliefs, she will donate most all of her proceeds back to The Sotterley Preservation fund.

The Celebration of an American Treasure is not just a fund-raiser but a true celebration. Gates are to open at 4:30pm and tours will be conducted. From 4:30 to 6:30 there will be musical entertainment performed in period costumes by David and Ginger Hilderbrand. The co-hosts for the evening are Robert Aubry Davis, WETA on-air host for both television and radio, and Richard Moe, president of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Moe, a Calvert County resident, works with the White House Millennium Council chair Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Judy Collins will delight all with her magical voice at 7pm sharp. "Once she begins, I am sure all will thoroughly enjoy her performance," said Zanheiser. Tickets are moving fast, with premium prices at $38, and lawn prices (bring a blanket or chair) at $28.

Regional food and drink will be offered throughout the show with all of the proceeds going to the Preservation Fund.

To learn more, call 800/787-9475.

-Lori L. Sikorski

A Good Deale of Bluegrass

photo courtesy of Good Deale Bluegrass Pickers Tim Finch and John O'Dell, part of the Good Deale Bluegrass Band.

Bluegrass came to Deale six months ago. Since then, the now urbanized American mountain music has achieved a lively presence in the area with Friday jam sessions and impromptu get-togethers. Good Deale Bluegrass, a music store and performance center, is the heart of the action.

This Saturday, bluegrass tests its draw in its most ambitious offering to date, the First Annual Deale Bluegrass Festival.

"This festival is to keep those people in Deale happy but also to attract people here and show how nice it is," said Tim Finch, owner of Good Deale Bluegrass.

To kick off the afternoon, Gary Cooper and High Noon storm the stage. This is no horse opera, nor is the late, great Cooper booked for Deale. This bunch plays traditional bluegrass in the style of Flatt and Scruggs. Also starring is The Blue Daze. The 10-year-old, tight band that mixes originals with standards is a player in major festivals across the country.

Next comes homegrown bluegrass with Finch's own Good Deale Bluegrass Band. He sings and strums the mandolin while Pat Wright, of the Naval Academy's Country Currents Band, plays fiddle. Vocalist John O'Dell and banjoist Mark Delaney round out the band.

The festival ends with legendary Bill Harrell and the Virginians.

"All the bands will catch someone's attention. Every band's a little different. Everybody's case will be covered from old-time standards to newer progressive sounds of bluegrass," Finch says.

As well as music, festival lovers can admire a show of antique cars and rods, devour steamed crabs and chug beer.

Deale Bluegrass Festival plays Sept. 18 from noon -7pm @ Herrington Harbour Marina North, Tracey's Landing. $8 w/advance discounts and kids under 10 free: 301/261-5595.

-Mary Catherine Ball

Converging on the Trail: Dancers & Daffodils

"We get a little trail awareness, a little dance awareness. We get a lot of bang for our buck," says Friend of the B&A Trail Sandy Loepker on the timely confluence of two landmark events: the arrival of ballet star Jacques D'Amboise at Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts and the recent completion of a nearby bicycle trail.

D'Amboise makes a jog to Annapolis to teach all comers his Appalachian Trail dance, an exuberant and catchy jig which he promises is "easy to learn." Not only will you learn a new dance. You will also get to mark the new bicycle trail for posterity. How? With a daffodil bulb you'll be given to plant along the trail.

D'Amboise himself is no stranger to trails. The 65-year-old director of the National Dance Institute is walking all 2000 plus miles of the Appalachian Trail to promote quality arts education for children.

"I'm sort of Johnny Appleseed of dance," says D'Amboise. "I'm sowing the seeds of future arts programs everywhere I go." Maryland Hall coaxed him off his trail just long enough to kick off their 20th anniversary festivities as well as demonstrate his signature jig. This will be the latest of many stops the dancer's journey includes.

"So far, he's taught this dance to West Point cadets, senior citizens, whoever happens to be present where he appears," adds Loepker.

Holding to the trails theme, the Friends of the B&A trails, cosponsors of the event, saw an opportunity to expand the occasion of D'Amboise jig to celebrate the new bike path, which runs by Maryland Hall on its way from the old Bates school to Truxton Park.

Holes for the bulbs have already been dug, so you can leave your gardening tools at home.

The fun begins 10AM Thursday, September 23, and is free and open to the public, regardless of dancing or gardening ability. Also see D'Amboise perform his dance on a website dedicated to his hike that also includes stories from his travels as well as a Trail Song:

-Christy Grimes

Way Downstream ...

In New Hampshire, the state has agreed to acquire the first public access to Squam Lake, where On Golden Pond was filmed in 1980..

In Canada, the Jacques Cousteau Society has been ordered to get out of town after reports that its staff were buzzing and bumping whales in boats on the St. Lawrence River. A video showed a Cousteau boat "riding on the back of a whale," the Boston Globe reported. The Cousteau Society denies it all ...

In California, Real Goods Trading Corp. and will combine to build that state's first commercial solar plant. The project came about thanks to deregulation of the utility industry, which will soon will begin to happen in earnest in Maryland ...

Our Creature Feature comes from Texas, where Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt traveled last week to help bring back the rare prairie chicken. At the beginning of the century, there were one million of them scampering about the Atwater Prairie Chicken National Wildlife Refuge. By last spring, there were only 46.

A recent problem has been the hostility from property-rights advocates, who resented seeing the government come in to help. This trip, Babbitt reported, he found cooperative ranchers. "I went to the heart of Texas cattle country and there was no lynch mob to meet me," he said.

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Volume VII Number 37
September 16-22, 1999
New Bay Times

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