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Volume 13, Issue 52 ~ December 29, 2005 - January 4, 2006

The Year That Was 2005: June - December

The Older Boys of Summer

Finding happiness is simple on this field of dreams

This is a well-maintained little stadium with a concession stand, press box and an electronic scoreboard. Filled to capacity, it holds 1,500 fans. But for tonight’s game between the Indians and the White Sox, the official attendance is four. As in four people. Welcome to the world of adult amateur baseball.

Scott Sowers • No. 22: June 2

The Lost Boys of Sudan

Four orphans of war find themselves home in Annapolis

Reserved and thoughtful, a broad-shouldered, handsome, young man with ebony skin listens attentively. He appears at ease in the student union of Anne Arundel Community College. Suddenly, a metal chair clatters to the terrazzo floor; someone hoots with laughter. He winces and jerks his head aside. He has heard such sounds in the past, when they have brought death. What memories must flood the mind and heart of someone with Amal Athieu’s experiences, a survivor of both Sudan’s brutal civil war and over 13 years as a hunted refugee?

Safe now from death squads and wild animals, with enough to eat and a clean, well-lighted place to study, he has life’s necessities. Amal’s calm confidence results in part from a life that has taken him through hell and brought intense experiences and opportunities. He is one of the 26,000 children of southern Sudan who were driven from their families and homes in 1987. He is one of the Lost Boys of Sudan.

Janice F. Booth • No. 23: June 9

Heart, Sea Legs

That’s what it takes to join the historic sailing race from Annapolis to Newport

On June 15, 1947, as 36 entries assembled for the Annapolis to Newport Race, N. T. Kenney described them in The Baltimore Sun as “$1,000,000 worth of the country’s best seagoing sailing yachts.”

On June 10, 2005, $24 million worth of the country’s best seagoing sailing yachts will cross a starting line — near the outer end of the Annapolis Harbor channel — at noon to begin the 28th sailing of this race.

This historic East Coast blue water race links two seaports that date from our nation’s birth.

Maureen Miller • No. 23: June 9

A Second Helping of Free Food for Thought on Living Waters

The water giveth and the water taketh away

Beer and wine flowed and hors d’oeuvres and desserts didn’t run out on the 150 people who turned out at Historic London Town and Garden June 1 for a perfect evening beneath high cirrus clouds amid gardens of flowers on green lawns overlooking the South River.

Nor did food for thought, the other entree promised at Bay Weekly’s book forum on living waters.

For your summer reading, turn to them.

• Lambrecht’s Big Muddy Blues, for a journey up Lewis and Clark’s river west, the Missouri, to see where 200 years have gotten us — and what we must to do to set out on our own historic mission of reconciliation.

• Howard Ernst’s Chesapeake Bay Blues. If you don’t know why we haven’t yet cleaned up the Bay but you know you’re outraged, this take-no-prisoners account should move to the top of your reading list.

• Tom Horton could fill your whole summer with his half-dozen books: Water’s Way: Life Along the Chesapeake; The Great Marsh: An Intimate Journey into a Chesapeake Watershed; An Island Out of Time: A Memoir of Smith Island in the Chesapeake; Swanfall: Journey of the Tundra Swan; Saving the Chesapeake Bay; Bay Country.

Sandra Olivetti Martin • No. 23: June 9

Home is What the Heart Is

Having learned that an architect must look beyond mere walls, Richard Crenshaw has built a home that lives in nature

Richard Crenshaw drew a blueprint of his heart to build his home. This architect and devout environmentalist longed to transform his fascination with saving energy and concern for the Bay into a way of life. So he built a green home.

This patriarch of environmental living intends that his passage on Earth do no harm, so he wove his home into the watershed.

Carrie Steele • No. 24: June 16

Gaelic Storm Blows Into Annapolis

It’s been a long road with stops around the world, but somehow band leader Patrick Murphy found home

Gaelic Storm toured relentlessly throughout their first decade as a chart-topping, Irish band fusing the traditional, original and world-music sounds that have made their reputation. Finally, the six musicians have a bit of time for home lives.

“It’s changed over the past two years,” says Patrick Murphy.

After nearly a month off, Murphy, Gaelic Storm’s front man and singer, was upbeat and cheery, despite going on the road the next day. “It’s a lot easier than when we started,” he says. “Youth is certainly an advantage.”

Paula Anne Delve Phillips • No. 24: June 16

Trailing the Ancient Mariner

Horseshoe crabs link us to another era, which may be why we’re rooting for their survival

Over his millions of years on Earth, the horseshoe crab has been misunderstood. Consider his moniker. In Greek mythology, Polyphemus was a giant one-eyed monster, a Cyclops. While the horseshoe crab’s alien appearance may initially be fearsome, he is a harmless creature who pays little attention to humans. The cluster of light-sensing organs on the forefront of his shell is certainly Cyclops-like, yet the horseshoe crab actually has 10 eyes, including the largest photoreceptors in the animal kingdom.

Edward Engel • No. 25: June 23

Reading Without Boundaries

Check out 174 libraries with Maryland’s new ‘lenticular’ library card

Joao Santa-Rita plans to hit the beach this summer in Ocean City, and he’s taking his Anne Arundel County library card with him. The card will flash ahead of him anywhere in Maryland.

The redesigned cards are part of a campaign to let library users in every county know they can borrow books (and more) from any library in Maryland, then return what they’ve borrowed to any library in Maryland.

Erica Naone • No. 26: June 30

Profile: Bill Cosby

Laugh with the master as Calvert Marine Museum gets funny

Funny. Entertaining. Lovable. Brilliant. Controversial. Elitist. Generous. Bill Cosby — the man — has been called all these things, and more. Whatever your opinion of the man, there is little doubt that Bill Cosby — the entertainer — is one heck of a funny guy.

Margaret Tearman • No. 26: June 30

Opening Creative Floodgates

For River of Words, young champions think green

Bay Weekly caught up with three teenage boys — two poets and one artist — who took the time to chronicle the watershed through their own eyes, each lending their unique vision and witness.

Spurring these students to voice their inner Bay poet and watershed artist was the International River of Words Poetry and Art Contest, where young minds from all over the world — even teenage boys — can put their Bay-thoughts to the test.

Carrie Steele • No. 27: July 7

Maryland Gives a Boost to State Art, Movies and Wineries

Amenity laws add to quality of life, promote state tourism

A wise person once said “A country that rejects art is on its way down.” This sage was no daVinci or Picasso; it was our very own comptroller, William Donald Schaefer.

During this spring’s legislative session, Schafer supported one of several bills to enhance Marylanders’ quality of life with an amenity he called vital to our survival. Financing for art in public buildings and support for state wineries and movie making all took center stage this year to help us live better — even in lean times.

“Some people don’t think [art] is important,” Schafer said. “But artistic things look good, and people remember that.”

Debra George Siedt • No. 27: July 7

Follow the Sun to an Out-of-This-World Trail

Planet Walk’s Pluto has risen

Now you can travel through space without sacrificing the comfort of gravity and without donning a bulky space suit.

Planet Walk, the newest public art project on the Baltimore-Annapolis Trail, lines up all our solar system’s planets with the sun. The sun sculpture went into place last fall. Just last week, a crane hoisted the 25-foot Pluto, the farthest planet from the sun, into orbit.

Carrie Steele • No. 28: July 14

Raising Flowers in the Fields Where Tobacco Once Thrived

Agro-pioneers have turned from tobacco to cut-flower farming

If you wander into the countryside today — the rolling hills and red fields of St. Mary’s, Calvert, Charles, Prince George’s and Anne Arundel counties — you may stumble upon farms with names like Suttler Post and Wise Acres, JazzBerry and Upakrik, Crispens’ and Trott’s Farm. These history-laden tracts once grew Maryland’s coveted Type 32 tobacco. As recently as the 1980s, some 50,000 Southern Maryland acres yielded 40 million pounds of tobacco.

Today, that same land produces almost no tobacco. The demise of tobacco farming has turned farmers’ into agro-pioneers raising a variety of crops, livestock and other products, including grains; fruits; wine grapes; vegetables, organic and traditional; livestock — cattle, hogs and poultry but also llamas and emus; herbs and — for at least 26 farms — flowers.

Janice F. Booth • No. 28: July 14

Mowing Down Pollution

Why I’m pushing my lawn mower — and loving it

Ah, the lazy sounds of summer, birds chirping, insects buzzing, breezes rustling through the trees — and the inevitable roar of lawn tending.

It wasn’t just noise pollution that sent me searching for a new lawnmower. It was ground pollution and air pollution, too.

Now I push.

Maureen Miller • No. 28: July 14

10 Tips to Getting Along on the Water

Bad manners roil the water and ruin perfectly good days

Surveys offer us the startling conclusion that society is becoming ever less polite.

You’re about to encounter 10 occasions of trouble: places, habits and situations sure to leave you debating whether to categorize your fellow boaters as rude people who own boats and do dumb things or stupid people who own boats and do what comes naturally.

Pat Piper • No. 29: July 21

Fishing in Therapeutic Waters

Veterans seek solace from war on Chesapeake Bay

She’s never been on a fishing boat before. She didn’t know that she’d like fishing. But Ernita Warfield, 35, signed up to cast her line because she’s trying to get out more. In December, she didn’t know if she’d be able to walk again. But on a muggy mid-July afternoon, Warfield joined 35 other wounded or injured veterans — recovering at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C. — and their families on a fishing trip out of Deale in Southern Anne Arundel County.

They arrived by army bus for a day on the water aboard the Old Bay and the Darleen II, casting their lines and hoping to reel in peace of mind — and a few fish.

Carrie Steele • No. 29: July 21

Lending a Hand to an Amphibian

Trekking through mud all in a day’s work for young biologists

When 13-year-old Michelle Denny’s shoe got sucked off in the mud, she didn’t mind. She knew that hungry ground came with the territory for amphibian hunters. Searching muddy creeks and trails for species of frogs and salamanders was a daily routine.

Denny was one of 25 gifted and talented middle school students who signed on to take part in the four-year-old Maryland Summer Center for Aquatic Research’s second amphibian study. Their job was to count amphibians on the grounds of the American Chestnut Land Trust in Port Republic.

Carol Mock with Carrie Steele • No. 30: July 28

Peering into the Secret Life of Bees

It was no letter Michele Danoff carried out of the Galesville Post Office.

Danoff was carrying out a box about 10 inches wide by four inches high with screened sides. Inside huddled 5,000 honeybees, sent by mail to her specification.

The day was hot, and the bees were buzzing to be on their way.

Vicki Marsh • No. 30: July 28

The Girl in the Band

For Deanna Bogart, music is a work in progress and a nice way to spend your life

Twenty-four years ago, Deanna Bogart bought a one-way ticket from Los Angeles to Baltimore to be a back-up singer in a Western swing band. She’s still singing, except now it’s her band. One more thing: You can call her music a lot of things, but Western swing isn’t one of them.

Scott Sowers • No. 30: July 28

Look Out Now, Mama’s Run Off To Sea!

Meet five women and the sailboats they captain

What do you mean Mama’s run off to sea?

Just that. And she’s only one of a growing number of women who are taking up the sea as a profession. Don’t conjure up images of a dining room server on a giant cruise ship. These women are not the marine equivalent of airline stewardess. Women captains on Chesapeake Bay in the 21st century are an intrepid group of sailors.

Alice Snively • No. 30: July 28

Now You See It, Now You Don’t

Even a magician can’t make clutter disappear

Such were the finds in the Riva backyard of Wayne Alan on a July Saturday. In one sense the gathering was unremarkable. Friends chatted over Shasta and cheese; Alan accepted a compliment for his intelligent logistics, having sorted the smaller items into boxes according to price points. But his Magician’s Yard Sale, touted as the world’s first, presented a most unusual menagerie: Magical cabinets, levitation devices, stage props, a sprawl of mannequin fragments and random illusionary knick-knackery set discreetly under tent for browsing.

Mark Burns • No. 30: July 28

Putting Heads in Beds and Rears on Seats

How Calvert Marine Museum puts the groove in Southern Maryland

Perhaps by accident, Calvert Marine Museum has become more than a place where modern visitors meet life on the water over the eons. With the success of its Waterside Concert Series, the 35-year-old Calvert County-owned museum has become an unexpected stop on the East Coast’s outdoor summer-concert circuit.

Margaret Tearman • No. 31: Aug. 4

A Long, Slow Sail from Annapolis to Solomons

With sometimes zero wind, the only records at this year’s Governor’s Cup were for the slowest race

Mother Nature can be fickle and weather reports wrong. No one knows this better than sailboat racers. But once out on the water, you’re committed. On August 5, 161 skippers made that commitment to the 32nd Governor’s Cup Race.

Maureen Miller • No. 32: Aug. 11

Rising from the Bay

As well as a million yards of muck, rebuilding Poplar Island takes people

Chesapeake Bay gnaws at shores and swallows whole islands: some 10,000 island acres disappeared in the last 150 years. By the end of the 20th century, Poplar Island had shrunk to just four acres of land, barely rising out of the Bay. The Poplar Island Restoration Project began in 1996, raising the island from oblivion with spoils dredged from the upper Chesapeake Bay approach channels to Baltimore.

Helena Mann-Melnitchenko with Katherine Mann • No. 32: August 11

A Labor of Sisterly Love

Demetrea Triantafillides and Maria Triandos make Annapolis a movie capital

To bring filmmaking to Annapolis, or Annapolis to filmmaking?

Sisters Demetrea Triantafillides and Maria Triandos are working to accomplish both.

Suzanna Brugler • No. 32: Aug. 11

Pickin’ through the Bluegrass

A prodigy follows in family footsteps

Jordan Tice’s slender fingers glided easily across the frets of his guitar as he chorded, then soloed, through a Latin jazz arrangement of the Gershwin classic “Summertime.” Tall and slender, the 18-year-old moved gracefully with the music as he played for a performance being taped for the Maryland Public Television show Artworks.

Alongside him were seasoned jazz saxophone player and band leader Jeff Antoniuk and bass player Stan Hamrick. Teacher, adult student and Tice were demonstrating the effects of a year’s study in Antoniuk’s Jazz Band Masterclass groups, and Tice was doing his teacher proud.

“Jordan is the best young guitar player I’ve heard in years,” the elder musician said after the taping. “He’s got a lot of depth. I can’t wait to see what the next couple years hold in store for him.”

Paula Anne Delve Phillips • No. 33: Aug. 18

Last Son of a Country-Western Dynasty

Gene Stoneman was part of a family music legacy spanning more than 100 years

Banjos strum and fiddle lines frolic in and out of a lively, thwacking bass. Glossy female and male vocal melodies intertwine in the fast-paced twangy rhythms of the Stoneman Family. That was when Country Music — long before Garth Brooks, Shania Twain, Dunn & Brooks and Montgomery Gentry came on the scene — was unmistakably country.

Chesapeake Country has just lost a relic of that old-style country music.

Gene Stoneman of Edgewater, who died at 75 on August 15, 2005, was one of the last of 15 sons and daughters in a family of musicians who played, in different combinations and names, all over Maryland and Virginia — even rising to the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville.

Carrie Steele with Dawn Kittrell • No. 33: Aug. 18

Are You Ready?

A deadly strain of avian flu may be winging our way

Rising in China is an influenza so deadly that it could sicken 80 million people and kill 16 million around the world, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Where the loss of these birds’ migratory routes has brought them into direct contact with humans in farms and parks, avian flus turn deadly.

The problem starts, according to University of Maryland virologist Daniel Perez, “when the virus jumps to other species.”

That’s why Maryland, where chickens are the biggest crop, is mounting front-line defenses on poultry farms and research labs.

Sandra Olivetti Martin and E-Magazine • No. 34: Aug. 25

Setting Septics Straight

Calvert Countians’ septic systems compete for prizes

Bright, daily life buzzes about on Earth’s surface. Underneath, systems of gurgling, writhing, flowing and churning waste descend through the bowels of septic and sewage systems. We prefer not to think about the necessary dark, putrid plumbing operating under the green lawns we mow, flowerbeds we tend to and houses where our families dwell. This underground maze of pipes and holding tanks is only remembered when smell and standing water reveal signs of trouble.

Carrie Steele • No. 34: Aug. 25

50 Ways to Leave Your Summer

True, the summer of 2005 has been as hot as the inside of a crab steamer. Yet we’re sorry to see it go.

Now school’s started and Labor Day is upon us. Cool breezes have blown our way, reminding us of autumn’s pleasures: balmy days, crisp nights, clear skies. Early leaves have colored and apples are ripening. With such blessings in store, who says we’ve got to forsake summer’s holiday mindset?

No. 35: Sept. 1

Understanding the Ups and Downs of the Chesapeake

You may have to do some head scratching to understand — but the knowledge you gain might be your safest haven

Hurricane Isabel took many of us by surprise on September 18, 2003, when flood waters surged through the Bay. Since the storm track lay south of the Bay, many people believed that the danger was minimal. Others concerned only about high tide stood vigil until that time, then went home. Less than an hour later, an eight-foot storm surge swept into marinas, houses and waterfront businesses.

Why were so many unprepared?

Kat Bennett • No. 36: Sept. 8

Passion and Pianissimo

Londontowne Symphony Orchestra is no amateur band

Londontowne Symphony Orchestra is primarily a Southern Anne Arundel County orchestra, they’ll tell you, seeking classical audiences among retired people and those who can’t afford high ticket prices of bigger orchestras, as well as classical music lovers from all walks of life.

Now that little orchestra is growing up.

Carrie Steele • No. 36: Sept. 8

Battling Alien Invaders

Making war on phragmites and other flora that take no prisoners

In Chesapeake wetlands, we battle phragmites austrais, the common reed. Armies of phragmites have invaded Maryland wetlands, forming thick stands that choke out native plants and starve out resident wildlife. The reed has conquered 50,000 acres in Maryland, according to U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service biologist Doug Forsell’s best guestimate. That’s nearly 50 times the acreage of pumpkins grown in Maryland last year.

Carrie Steele • No. 37: Sept. 15

Chesapeake Rodeo

Boat-docking shows who’s quickest on the Bay

The West has its cowboy.

The Bay has its watermen.

When these strong men gather after spending days on horseback or on the Bay, they boast of their prowess. Only a match will prove who is superior. Thus a cowboy has his rodeo, and a waterman has his boat-docking contest.

Alison G. Norville • No. 38: Sept. 22

Howard Dunlap Jr.

Just one of D.C.’s finest

Howard Dunlap Jr., of Owings, is not just any cop. You might have seen him on the front page of The Washington Post last January, or on one of the TV news networks as he cruised among a tight formation of motorcycles escorting President George W. Bush to his second inauguration. That historic occasion was one of Dunlap’s most memorable trips. But in many respects, it was just another day’s work for the 32 motorcycle operators who make up Washington’s Motorcycle Patrol Division of the Metropolitan Police.

B.C. Phillips • No. 39: Sept. 29

The Whole Crab — and Nothing but the Crab

In Maryland’s crab picking industry, everything’s used, nothing’s wasted

Marylanders love their crabs, but we’ve loved like Shakespeare’s Othello, not wisely but too well. Mountains of shell discarded after a crab feast tell the story of us as consumers, our insatiable appetite for crabs, our habits of consumption and waste.

In Maryland’s crab picking industry, it’s a different story. There, everything’s used, nothing’s wasted.

M.L. Faunce • No. 39: Sept. 29

Hurricane School’s In Session

Scientists are writing the textbook we need to read

We’re getting to know more than ever before about hurricanes, with lessons we might have preferred not to learn, as they’ve come firsthand.

Storms of seasons past are teachers — and their damages still-present mentors — of weather-wisdom.

Now’s the time to study up. Real-life pop quizzes are sure to come.

Carrie Steele • No. 39: Sept. 29

On the Job ~ Bill Donahue

Keeping up an Annapolis Classic tradition

“I have always been the happiest when I was working on boats,” says Bill Donahue, founder of Annapolis Classic Watercraft.

Kat Bennett and Steve Carr • No. 40: Oct. 6


Wind over water

I’d bought a sailboat a year before I found myself crossing to Smith Island. The boat’s captain had been a working waterman all his adult life, so I was anxious to learn from him. I confessed to some nervousness at being a novice captain, and I asked if his experience made him confident he could handle the challenges of the water.

He said, “Cap’n, I’ll never know everthin’ I need to know ’bout the water. I larn somethin’ new ever’ time I go out.”

Captaining my own boat years later, I retraced that crossing — and learned something new about how wind changes water.

Al McKegg • No. 40: Oct. 6


Capt. Paul Itzel fell under the spell of an ancient sea witch

This is not a Halloween story, but it is a story of Witchcraft, a 102-year-old sloop, oft called the witch by her owner, Capt. Paul Itzel.

“People notice her everywhere she goes,” Itzel says. “Everything about her is so beautiful, so classic, you just about can’t miss her. You know she’s special.”

Alice Snively • No. 40: Oct. 6

Bay Weekly Interview: Cyclist-Survivor Christopher Millard

Finding his pace on the Tour of Hope

Rare are the times you find yourself in the center of something so humanly positive and inherently powerful that you know it is worth all you can give. For Annapolitan Christopher Millard, that time is now, as he rides alongside seven-time Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong as a member of the Tour of Hope cycling team.

Suzanna Brugler • No. 40: Oct. 6

Putting Nature to Work

Can a tiny clam save a dying lake?

The waters of Lake Lariat are dangerously polluted.

Citizens thought they didn’t have the money to have their lake cleaned. Then along came the founders of the Clam Project, with what they believe is a cheap, safe and revolutionary alternative — three floating reefs of Asiatic clams.

B.C. Phillips • No. 41: Oct. 13

What’s in a Boat Name?

If you buy it, you’ll have to name it

“What’s Damifino stand for?” we asked looking at the clean letters on the stern of the Bay-built fishing boat.

“Dammed if I know,” responded the owner, Preston Hartge.

The conversation continued for another five minutes before we asked the question again. When the same response was given, the light dawned. Damifino: dam if i no.

Maureen Miller • No. 41: Oct. 13

On the Job

How many fish do you have to catch to make a living

“Running a charter fishing boat isn’t only about loving to fish and working hard at it,” explains Dean. “That doesn’t guarantee you have a going business. One of the things you have to look at are the business realities, the numbers to get a picture of how you’re doing, what you need to be doing. Another thing is keeping the boat and its engine in shape at a cost you can afford.”

Russ Barnes • No. 41: Oct. 13

Cruising with Classic Cars

When the weather is fine, out come the jewels of the highway, the antiques, the street rods, the muscle cars, the luxury imports, old and new … the classics.

B.C. Phillips • No. 42: Oct. 20

The Ghost Fleet’s Graveyard

In Mallows Bay’s nautical ossuary, the bones have stories

Possibly the first ship to die in Mallows Bay was a longboat abandoned by rebel militia during the opening days of the Revolutionary War. As James Murray, the Earl Lord Dunmore, and his Virginia Loyalist forces swept upriver in a heavily armed flotilla, the rebels sank the boat to keep it out of Loyalist hands. That longboat was the first to be interred in what was to become a nautical ossuary.

Reed Hellman • No. 43: Oct. 27

The Psy-dentical Twins

Allyson Walsh and Adele Nichols

Imagine entering the world with extrasensory perception and mental telepathy. Now imagine sharing these supernatural talents with the one person you are closest to in this world. Your clone. Your biological replica. Your twin.

For psy-dentical twins Allyson Walsh, of Arnold, and Adele Nichols, of Severna Park, this paranormal phenomena is life as they know it.

Suzanna Brugler • No. 43: Oct. 27

Give Thanks for Real Food

How to provision your feast at nature’s table

For every item on the standard Thanksgiving menu, we’ve found Chesapeake Country sources in three counties: Anne Arundel, Calvert and St. Mary’s.

By shopping locally for what we don’t grow at home, we’ve also enjoyed food at its freshest.

Sandra Olivetti Martin • No. 44: Nov. 3

Renew Your Passport to Nature

In this modern world, 20-year-old Jug Bay Wetlands Sanctuary is as close as we come to Eden

There’s no playground. No dog beach. No golf carts or pavilions. There are no neatly trimmed gardens, nor yards for picnicking and Frisbee games. Jug Bay Wetlands Sanctuary is not the place for the birthday boy or girl.

But it is the place where creatures find refuge and people find sanctuary as they learn and find delight in nature’s way.

Carrie Steele • No. 45: Nov. 10

Going On Watch

One sailor to stand for 68,000 in Solomons’ secret navy

German U-boats invade Solomons Island? Secret government training? Could it be true?

Yes, there was a secret amphibious training base. German U-boats? Yes — but they didn’t find the secret training base located on Dowell Peninsula in Solomons Island.

Sixty years later, a memorial will stand on the site where sailors and Marines trained from 1942 to 1945 for their first amphibious landing attacks.

By August, 2006, On Watch will rise eight feet tall in bronze on a three-by-four-foot brick base surrounded by a brick plaza made of 1,000 bricks inscribed with the names and ranks of World War II veterans.

Vicki Marsh with Mark Burns • No. 45: Nov. 10

Far from the Madding Crowd

Winter at the Island of the Ponies

In November, few people brave the cold wind on the shore. But, as the wit once said, there is no bad weather, just inappropriate clothes. So, bundled up, I take a walk on an island in the Atlantic. The hypnotic breathing of the ocean, like that of a large animal, is balm for the soul. I am far from the madding crowd.

Helena Mann-Melnitchenko • No. 46: Nov. 17

You’re Never Too Old

How Grandma became a biker

I didn’t know at the time, but I was on my way to becoming one of 85,000 women motorcycle owners in America.

Vicki Marsh • No. 46: Nov. 17

The Horse Rescuers

Calvert farms break a link in a surprising food chain

PMU stands for Premarin®, which is pregnant mares’ urine. Conjugated estrogens are extracted from the urine to be used in hormone replacement therapy. That demand has produced a new kind of farm; nowadays some 500 PMU farms raise mares for urine.

The foals filter down into the United States through North Dakota. Some will find good homes, but the vast majority is sent to slaughter.

“I decided those horses needed rescuing,” says Melody Parrish.

Nancy Hoffmann • No. 46: Nov. 17

Another Person’s Treasure

Inventive teens reincarnate trash into art

Dumpster diving wasn’t part of the class assignment, but Maryland teens raided trashcans, recycling bins and the castoff collections of friends and neighbors, all for the sake of art.

Some 51 high schoolers from across the state had spent months creating art from such oddments for the 4th Annual America Recycles Day, called Rethink Recycling, where they competed for such teen-friendly prizes as a flat-screen TV and a portable DVD player.

Carrie Steele • No. 47: Nov. 23

The Trouble with Piers

How big is too big?

Holland Point pier owners are stopped at a checkpoint that could move through communities up and down the Bay.

Carrie Steele • No. 47: Nov. 23

Appreciation: Dawn Kittrell

May 15, 1981 to November 27, 2005

At 24, Dawn Kittrell bubbled with youth’s promise. She dyed her hair orange, suffered boyfriend trouble, drove a junker, courted and found love, took incompletes in college courses and devoured Popeye’s fried chicken.

She thought she could do anything, and she was ready to do something. She applied for job after job, seeking the door that would open, revealing her staircase to the stars.

At Bay Weekly, Dawn tried her hand at writing. She could, after all, type 98 words a minute.

Dawn debuted in Bay Weekly with Animal Music Makes Family Fun (Vol. xiii, No. 9: March 3), on the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra’s Peter and the Wolf performance. She had stories in issues 9, 10 and 13. This was a girl who could work to deadline.

Dawn was pushing deadline in more ways than one.

Sandra Olivetti Martin • No. 48: Dec. 1


The know-nothing’s guide to the dos and don’ts of fox chasing

The fox hunt was a fat wedge between our unhorsed family and the horse people. Yet I wondered just what this sport was about.

Mark Burns • No. 48: Dec.1

Cooking Up Christmas Spirit

Peek behind the curtain while these pageants are still brewin’ their holiday magic

The pageants of Christmas are the spices that add rich and special flavor to the holiday season. In and around Chesapeake Country, you can season your December to taste with your choice of hundreds of holiday happenings. Before you feast, peek with us while the magic’s brewing.

Carrie Steele with Kat Bennett and Sandra Olivetti Martin • No. 48: Dec.1

Ballet Mistress Abigail Francisco

A Nutcracker dream come true

This season’s gala performance of Abigail Francisco’a Tchaikovsky’s holiday classic — her 14th in Chesapeake Country — is something special. This year, the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra came to town to set her dancers spinning.

Their live music raised the bar so high that Abigail says there can be no going back.

Diane Burr • No. 49: Dec. 8

Dale Solomon

Playing the game as mall security guard

At six feet, eight inches, Dale Solomon is tall, and he has used his height. Once upon a time, he was a player. Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia, opened the playing doors for Solomon when he was 19 years old. At 22, Solomon moved to Italy, where he played as a small forward for Benetton, an international basketball team, and later on Riunite.

“When you are a security guard, you notice a lot of things about people,” said Solomon. “You read their body language and eye contact and can tell when they are lost or need assistance.”

Carmel Hall • No. 50: Dec. 15

The Girl Who Forgot Christmas

“We used to have Christmas trees when you were very little,” my mother said, pointing to the photograph of a toddler, a big bow in her hair, clutching a figurine of Father Christmas.

“Was that really me?” I asked as I studied the black and white photograph, not convinced.

“Of course it’s you. You can see the Christmas tree here. You loved Christmas and especially sugar cookies.”

“What do they taste like?”

“They taste sweet, buttery. You must remember,” she insisted. “Before the Germans came.”

Helena Mann-Melnitchenko • No. 51: Dec. 22

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