Labors of Love

A teenage girl stands in a World War II cemetery in Europe, delivering a eulogy at the grave of a soldier she has never met.

A creative whiz in a boatshed works feverishly to design a rowboat of the future.

A cardiologist rips across the Chesapeake Bay on a kiteboard in mid-winter, looking for an adrenaline fix.

The three actions described above are vastly different from each other, but a common thread runs through them. The people who own these remarkable experiences are right here in our communities, and you probably didn’t even know it. The teenage historian, the innovative boatbuilder and the thrill-seeking cardiologist live and work in Anne Arundel and Calvert counties, and we can’t help but be impressed by their pursuits.

When Chesapeake Bay Media welcomed Bay Weekly into our Eastport home (literally—our offices are on the second floor of a converted residence), we asked readers what sets Bay Weekly apart from the rest. Among the wide range of answers we received, one person pointed out that this paper tells the stories of locals doing amazing things—stories that might not otherwise be heard.

Right off the bat, we pledged to continue telling those people’s stories. In our first eight weeks, we’ve introduced readers to an event planner who grants wedding wishes while battling cancer, a sailing group who provides singles a remedy for loneliness and a boat to crew on, and the diehard colonial reenactors who spend an entire January weekend living as Maryland colonists did in 1771.

We find inspiration from folks living around us–especially the ones who dedicate themselves fully to their passion. The teenager who got to deliver the eulogy for a U.S. soldier killed in 1944? She spent months researching the young soldier from Annapolis and was selected to travel overseas to memorialize him.

 The boatbuilder who usually focuses his attention on performance powerboats took on the challenge of redesigning the fleet of rowboats rented to the public at Washington, D.C.’s famed Fletchers Boathouse. He dug up the original plans and reshaped them into a modern and durable lookalike rowboat that can be easily replicated.

The kiteboarder is just one of the hardy locals who take on extreme winter sports on the Chesapeake, unfazed by cold and wind. Whether they’re hunting, frostbite sailing, or hanging onto a kiteboard clad in a head-to-toe drysuit, these people must love what they’re doing.

 As you dig into this Bay Weekly issue,we hope you’re as inspired as we are by the dreams our neighbors are fulfilling. And if you have a  labor of love that others might be surprised to hear about, let us know (by emailing [email protected]). We bet there are plenty more amazing stories just waiting to inspire.