Tidewater Times January 2024

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Tidewater Times

January 2024

Father Time and Baby New Year!


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Vol. 72, No. 8

Published Monthly

January 2024

Features: About the Cover: Father Time and Baby New Year . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 More Shore Lore: Helen Chappell . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 Canadian Rockies - Stampede, Badlands and Rockies: Bonna L. Nelson . . . . 21 New Year - New Way of Seeing, New Way of Being: Michael Valliant . . . . . . 45 All Quiet on the Sound (chapter 5): B. P. Gallagher . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 55 Chicken Neckers: Steve Hugel . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 71 Tidewater Gardening K. Marc Teffeau . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 83 Her Name is Freedom: A.M. Foley . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 97 Tidewater Kitchen: Pamela Meredith . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 111 Changes - Flashing Lights in the Rearview Mirror: Roger Vaughan . . . 127

Departments: January Tide Table . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43 Easton Map and History . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 79 Dorchester Map and History . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 81 St. Michaels Map and History . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 95 Oxford Map and History . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 101 Caroline County - A Perspective . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 123 Queen Anne's County . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 125 Anne B. Farwell & John D. Farwell, Co-Publishers Editor: Jodie Littleton Proofing: Kippy Requardt Deliveries: Nancy Smith, Brandon Coleman and Bob Swann P. O. Box 1141, Easton, Maryland 21601 410-714-9389 www.tidewatertimes.com info@tidewatertimes.com

Tidewater Times is published monthly by Bailey-Farwell, LLC. Advertising rates upon request. Subscription price is $40 per year. Individual copies are $4. Contents of this publication may not be reproduced in part or whole without prior approval of the publisher. Printed by Delmarva Printing, Inc. The publisher does not assume any liability for errors and/or omissions.

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About the Cover 30 Years Later...

Thirty years ago our beloved Pop, Hugh Bailey, got the wild idea to do a cover featuring our son Ben as Baby New Year. We took it a step further and had him pose as Father Time. He received many compliments on his stylish outfit - some even calling him Mrs. Doubtfire. This year we have been blessed with our own Baby New Year, Emily Clair Ronning. She's not as hefty as her Uncle Ben, but he was 11 months old when his picture was taken. Our little Emily is fresh out of the oven. We even had a Happy New Year sash for her, but we found it covered her entire body.

The onset of each New Year is a moment for reflection on the past year and the formulation of plans for the future. It carries a special magic, promising new opportunities and the potential for positive change in our lives. It's also a wonderful time to reminisce about old memories as you set out to create new ones. This month's cover is our homage to the old as we celebrate the new. Wishing you a year of good health, happiness, and new adventures. Happy New Year!

Tidewater Times

January 2024

Father Time and Baby New Year!

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More Shore Lore by Helen Chappell I recently thought of my late friend Anne Stinson, who may have passed on to some glorious garden in the sky, but lives forever down here as a living legend. I was out and about and suddenly heard my car making a weird noise, as if someone were in the back seat keening like a banshee. It scared the bejesus out of me until I realized one of the rear windows was down, and the wind off the river was whistling through the crack. Which reminded me of a story Anne used to tell. In her reporting days, she’d

gone down below to cover a muskrat skinning that went on late into the might. It was around midnight when she finally left Hooper’s Island and the roads were deserted, just a high causeway with deep tidal banks on either side, between endless stretches of marsh and cripples. Somewhere around Golden Hill, she started to hear a moaning, an unearthly sound coming from the back seat of her car. Too afraid to stop in the lonely road, Anne, who was nothing if not fearless, kept her pedal to the metal all the way to Church

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More Shore Lore

Creek before the unearthly moaning stopped as mysteriously as it started. Now. Anne never made things up. She didn’t have to; she was Anne Stinson and stuff just naturally happened to her. But I was reminded of her story in the days when I drove pretty regularly down to Elliott’s Island. Every once in a while I’d come home after dark, and every once in a while, in the distant pool of the headlights, I’d swear I saw someone walking along the side of the road. It seemed at that distance that it was a woman wearing a skirt. As soon as my headlights hit her fully, it would turn out to be a tree or a patch of grass. A trick of

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More Shore Lore

ruins of the church we call Holein-the-Wall is named after a once famous and respected minister at that church. According to sources, people would come from far and away to hear Reverend Maynardier preach. So it’s hardly surprising that his name is attached to this bit of an-

the eye, as it were. I never thought much about it until someone from down below told me about a spirit, in full 1920’s dress who can be spotted from time to time walking long the road out to Robbins. Killed in a car accident? Vanishing hitchhiker? Who knows? Locally, there’s a spectral horse and buggy driven by a doctor who has said to be spotted driving hell for leather down Landing Neck to attend to a patient as long gone as the doctor and his buggy. No one I know up Landing Neck has seen him, but word on the street is he’s out there. . . somewhere. Maynardier Road. Site of the

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More Shore Lore cient shore lore. Seems that Mrs. Maynardier died and was duly buried in the churchyard we see today. Rumor had it that she was buried with a grand and expensive ruby ring. Hearing this gossip at the Holein-the-Wall Tavern which once stood nearby, a pair of thieves decided to dig Mrs. Maynardier up and get the ring. Well, they did manage to disinter her, but the ring wouldn’t come off her finger, so one of the thieves started to cut it off. Which aroused Mrs. Maynardier out of her trance. Seems the lady wasn’t dead, just in a coma.

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More Shore Lore

folklore. The names and situations change to hit the time and the place, but like last month’s teen tales and a few stories told down at the bar, they have an eternal place in our culture. Whether it’s to point out a moral and just entertain us these stories are a part of who we are.

So, when she stirred and awakened, the thieves were so scared out of their wits they ran all the way to Cambridge. Never to be seen again. Meanwhile, the revived lady somehow managed to crawl out her grave and walk all the way home, where her surprised and hopefully delighted husband found her on the doorstep. You’d think all of this was local woo woo, but save for Anne’s howling companion, it has roots in folklore that stretches all the way to time immortal, and is no carefully documented by scholars that you can get a college degree in

Helen Chappell is the creator of the Sam and Hollis mystery series and the Oysterback stories, as well as The Chesapeake Book of the Dead. Under her pen names, Rebecca Baldwin and Caroline Brooks, she has published a number of historical novels.

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OXFORD WATERFRONT

Originally built in the late 1800s, this home was totally and beautifully renovated in the 1990s. With amazing sunset views over the Tred Avon River, this beautiful 3 bedroom home has 4 fireplaces, elevator, carport, swimming pool, and garage. The custom moldings and attention to detail in design are incredible. The architectural elements are reminiscent of a London Row house with very high ceilings, tall windows, significant moldings, and wide plank floors. A butternut paneled study with a hidden room, stenciled wood floors, and a hand painted mural in the entryway present images of the Eastern Shore to visitors. Large windows in all rooms allow a bright and happy feeling, yet all very sophisticated. This home truly has to be seen to be appreciated. $2,595,000

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Canadian Rockies

Stampede, Badlands and Dinosaurs by Bonna L. Nelson A western stampede on steroids, the Calgary Stampede more than earns its reputation as the “Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth.” Fodor’s Travel We were thrilled to arrive in Calgary, a gateway city to the Canadian Rockies. The Alberta Provence city established in 1875 possesses a dramatic skyline, including the notable Calgary Tower, beautiful landscape, and enticing cultural and outdoor experiences. Calgary was our fi rst stop on an adventure years in the making and cancelled multiple times during the enduring pandemic. We fi nally made it!

With our Easton, MD, friends Tom and Genny Dalrymple, we relaxed on a smooth, comfortable, 5-hour direct flight from Dulles to Calgary on West Jet. We picked up a rental car and settled into our hotel, the Hilton Garden Inn, unpacked, ate dinner and were ready to explore. The largest city in Alberta, third largest in Canada, clocked in with a population of almost 1.5 million as of 2021. Sitting at the confluence of the

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Canadian Rockies

visit to the internationally renowned outdoor extravaganza. The ten-day festival of all things western is held in July every year and tickets to the most popular events sell out fast. We scheduled our upcoming Canadian Rockies tour with Caravan Tours company to coincide with the Stampede. To prepare for this trip and story I relied on online research supplemented by a few of my favorite guide books. DK Eyewitness Travel guides never disappoint with their beautiful photography and detailed maps and descriptions, the guide on Canada was no exception. Fodor’s is another favorite. Fodor’s Canadian Rockies is filled with useful information about each of our tour stops. The Calgary Stampede has a help-

Bow and Elbow Rivers, Calgary lies between the foothills of the majestic Rockies and the vast plains of the Prairies. The city did not seem overly large or populated to us. Although it had a sophisticated downtown area with skyscrapers, galleries, upscale restaurants, and theatres, we found that pickup trucks and cowboy boots are de rigueur and the traffic was minimal. In addition to being known as the gateway to the Rockies and to Banff National Park, Calgary may be most famous for the annual Calgary Stampede which preserves and celebrates western heritage, culture, and community spirit. We bought tickets online well in advance of our

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Canadian Rockies

the Stampede which kicks off with a parade. According to Fodor’s guide, “350,000 people watch dozens of marching bands, 150 floats, hundreds of horses, cowboys, First Nations dancers, and Mounties wend their way through the [Calgar y] Downtown core.” One of Canada’s largest and most famous festivals, the Stampede attracts over a million local and international visitors each year. Deemed one of the world’s largest rodeos it also offers stage shows, concerts, agricultural competitions, chuck wagon racing and First Nation dancing demonstrations and competitions, encampments and exhibitions as well as nightly fireworks. The Calgary Stampede campus

ful website, www.calgarystampede. com, that provided us with maps of the extensive venue, schedules of daily events and locations, food venues, parking sites, and even a list of places to escape the heat or rain. We missed the first day of

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Wishing everyone safe, healthy Wishing everyone a safe, healthy Wishing everyone aasafe, healthy Wishing Wishing everyone everyone a safe, a safe, healthy healthy and happy holiday season! and happy holiday season! and happy holiday season! and and happy happy holiday holiday season! season!

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Canadian Rockies

cultural and economic attraction in Calgary. We arrived early enough to wander through the Agriculture Building to see the collection of cattle, donkeys, goats, horses, pigs, poultry, sheep, and other farm animals while waiting for the start of the big events. Over 7,500 animals participate in the annual event in some capacity. Historical chuckwagons were also on display. At various venues we watched local musical groups performing.

encompasses over 200 acres including the Saddledome, Big Four building, the BMO Centre, and the Stampede Grandstand. There is a bit of walking to do to see everything but plenty of opportunities for shade and seating. The Stampede website encourages guests to be prepared for heat or rain. It was in the 80s when we visited. They recommend wearing sunscreen, cowboy hats, all things denim, big belt buckles and cowboy boots. We were more comfortable in our L. L. Bean-type of attire with athletic shoes. Founded in 1912, we attended the 111th anniversary of the biggest

The Rodeo is one of the most popular Stampede highlights with more than 100 of North America’s best cowboys and cowgirls competing in various events including bull riding and barrel racing. We all really enjoyed the risky but so exciting covered chuckwagon relay races where teams of three wagons with drivers and horses raced at high speeds around the track. “The horses 26


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Canadian Rockies

Calgary. Traditional First Nations’ arts and crafts including jewelry and beading were demonstrated and sold at their market. At the Calgary Stampede Powwow, the best First Nations’ dancers and drummers from across Canada celebrated and competed dressed in glorious tribal regalia. It was breathtaking, enchanting, and inspiring. The Sta mpede a lso of fered a gigantic amusement park on the Midway w ith r ides, games, and imaginative food such as fried snickers and fried pickles. We chose an indoor restaurant with AC to get a break from the heat and enjoyed the respite before heading to the amazing evening show. The magical nighttime show included dancing, singing, celebrities, a drone light show and fireworks. It is, “A combination of grit, glamour and live music [and] horsemanship…” Fodors. The music included

fly into a gallop, jerking the wagon off the starting lines as the drivers haul on the reins to pull the teams,” according to the Calgary Herald. My favorite attractions were the Elbow River Camp, a teepee encampment of First Nations representatives along the river, and the First Nations dance competition. According to the Calgary Visitors’ Guide, “Alberta was shaped by the cultural heritage of First Nations people, who inhabited the land for more than 10,000 years before the arrival of Europeans in the late 1700s. They formed complex societies, beliefs and practices that helped them navigate a changing world…15 First Nations are recognized in the province.” It was surreal to be standing amidst teepees with First Nations natives and looking back across the river at the modern skyline of

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Canadian Rockies

Canyon in the Canadian Badlands. The horseshoe-shaped canyon with maroon-shaded walls revealed layers of sediments down to the former lush habitat of the dinosaurs. Platforms at the top edges allowed us to take in the beauty and mystery of the prehistoric sight which lies along the Red Deer River. The Badlands were formed by Ice Age glaciers eroding layers of mud and sand that buried the remains of dinosaurs and plants.

blues, country, jazz, opera, and rock. The costumes and dancing were fantastic. We headed back to the hotel after a long, exhilarating day filled with once in a lifetime experiences, and treats for the eyes and ears. We needed to rest and be ready for a drive to the Badlands and the Royal Tyrrell Museum in Drumheller the next day.

In all our years of planning for this trip to the Canadian Rockies, I most longed for this pre-tour exploration of the area east of Calgary known as the “Dinosaur Capital of the World.” Our next stop at the Royal Tyrrell Museum was a highlight of the trip for me. I have always been fascinated with paleontology and archaeology, the ancient, the old, the history, the mystery of our beginnings. Joseph Tyrrell found the first important dinosaur skeleton components in the Red Deer River Valley in 1884. Tyrrell stumbled across the skull of a 70-million-year-old

After a hearty breakfast we drove for over several hours from Calgary to various sites around the land where dinosaurs roamed over 75 million years ago. Back then the area was a tropical swamp like the Florida Everglades and favorable to the huge reptiles who dominated. Dinosaur specimens found here originate from the Cretaceous period. Dramatic changes in the weather patterns from wet to dry desert preserved an incredible number of dinosaurs remains. Our f irst stop was Horseshoe 30


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Canadian Rockies Albertosaurus while surveying, and the news of the discovery prompted a rush of paleontologists to the area of Drumheller. Canada’s amazing Royal Tyrrell Museum of Paleontology is named after him. Thirty-five reconstructed gigantic dinosaur skeletons, including a Trex, towered over us in the jaw-dropping, (mine and the dinosaurs) Royal Tyrrell Museum’s Dinosaur Hall. A dinosaur nest on display contains embryos and eggs of a plant-eating dinosaur. The museum opened in 1985 and is the only museum in Canada devoted to 4.5 billion years of the Earth’s history. It features one of the world’s largest displays of dinosaurs. The museum layout allowed us to marvel at the course of evolution through displays of dinosaurs and fossils, including mammals from different ages and different landscapes, land as well as reefs and sea. The museum offers a variety of creative, fun, and educational opportunities, films, interactive exhibits, and a gift shop. Sadly, we did not have time to take a tour of Dinosaur Provincial Park, nearly two hours further way, which contains one of the world’s richest fossil beds with active digs. Next time? We were heading back to Calgary with a few more adventures to undertake. We stopped at a notable Drumheller site, the Little Church,

a tiny white chapel used for worship, meditation, and ceremonies. After a few prayers and photos, we were off to see the famous Hoodoos on the Drive of the same name. Hoodoos, stunning, eerie, otherworldly structures in the Canadian Badlands, are mushroom-shaped rock formations formed millions of years ago. The limestone and sandstone rock pillars are between 1623-feet high, up to 60 million years old, and were formed by wind and

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Canadian Rockies water erosion. Due to their fragility many are surrounded by fencing for protection. On the drive back to Calgary we passed by lovely fields of yellow canola flowers waving in the wind. They were a contrast to the many oil derricks/rigs dotting the landscape. We chatted about our day, my pleasure at fi nally seeing the dinosaur territory, and about the next adventure in Calgary. Our fi nal full day in Calgary was spent at Canada’s “Largest Living History Experience,” Heritage Park, preceded by a driving tour of the city. Highlights of our brief tour included admiring the visually stun-

ning, iconic Calgary Tower. Though we didn’t experience it, we learned that the observation deck of the 627-foot structure offers fantastic 360-degree views of the Rockies and eastward to the prairies. Also, impressive to us, were the numerous

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cal Village is situated on 127-acres surrounded on three sides by the Glenmore Reservoir with the majestic Rocky Mountains as a backdrop. We were greeted at the entrance by a hostess, Lynne, dressed in period costume who gave us maps and suggestions about what to see. The Park includes 70 historic buildings. At the two-story, historic Wainwright Hotel and tavern we had a delicious lunch of steaming hot chili and homemade biscuits. These original buildings were brought to the Park from all over western Canada.

skywalks connecting skyscrapers downtown, offering comfortable walking between buildings during harsh winter months. A network of 86 elevated and enclosed bridges, the skywalks cover more than 10 miles. Open mostly during the day, skywalk bridges are connected to Calgary’s major sights.

The structures were organized in time periods, from the 1880s furtrading post, to the shops - including a bakery, candy shop and general store, and homes of a small town between 1900-1914 and an urban streetscape from the 1930s-40s. Residents of Calgary and surrounding towns donated most the 45,000 artifacts that decorate and furnish the town. Historic transportation helped us enjoy getting around the campus including riding on a steam locomotive past coal mine structures, farm-

We also stopped to admire other city icons such as Jaume Plensa’s Wonderland, a gigantic mesh-like sculpture of a girl’s head in front of a dramatic skyscraper. Genny and I walked on the sidewalk along the Bow River and admired the attractive gardens that lined it. We then walked halfway across the Peace Bridge, a bright red pedestrian and biking bridge, which crosses the Bow River. Calgary’s Heritage Park Histori38


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Canadian Rockies

Heritage Park gave us a sense of stepping back in time to embrace some of western Canada’s history. We fi nished off our visit with a stop at the Ice Cream Parlor. Yum! After dinner at the Hilton Hotel, we met our Caravan Canadian Rockies tour group and leader to prepare for our trip launch the next morning. Our experienced guide, Rick Ward, seemed knowledgeable and personable. We were in good hands. We packed and readied for an 8 a.m. departure the next day. More Canadian Rockies stories to come.

steads, and a First Nations campsite with teepees. A ride on a sternwheeler paddle boat took us around Glenmore Reservoir past sailboats and kayakers, and a clip-clopping horse-drawn carriage took us past the blacksmith’s shop, lumber yard, and livery. Guides in period costumes shared their knowledge of each site.

Bonna L. Nelson is a Bay-area writer, columnist, photographer and world traveler. She resides in Easton with her husband, John.

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TIDE TABLE

OXFORD, MD 1. Mon. 2. Tues. 3.. Wed. 4. Thurs. 5. Fri. 6. Sat. 7. Sun. 8. Mon. 9. Tues. 10. Wed. 11. Thurs. 12. Fri. 13. Sat. 14. Sun. 15. Mon. 16. Tues. 17. Wed. 18. Thurs. 19. Fri. 20. Sat. 21. Sun. 22. Mon. 23. Tues. 24. Wed. 25. Thurs. 26. Fri. 27. Sat. 28. Sun. 29. Mon. 30. Tues. 31. Wed.

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JANUARY 2024

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New Way of Seeing, New Way of Being by Michael Valliant Chinese philosopher and author of the “Tao Te Ching,” Lao Tzu famously pointed out that, “Things may be named, but names are not the things.” Of course, that’s problematic for writers, who try to build worlds, relate thoughts, and express feelings out of these names. But it’s also a fair reminder for daily life: we can’t reduce people, places, things, or even emotions to a particular term. Life is not so easily tagged or boxed, though to try to make sense of things to us, we name them. When my daughter Anna was three or four years old, she was riding in the backwards facing seat of a two-child stroller, her younger sister Ava was in her car seat on the front part. We were walking through the parking garage of the Annapolis Mall. “Why did God make us?” Anna asked. It’s important to note this was unprompted, out of nowhere, we weren’t even really going to church at the time. It wasn’t the kind of conversation we had with her. I fumbled for an answer that would make sense to either of us.

“Know why I think?” She followed up her own question and bailed me out, maybe. “Why Anna?” “Because he was lonely.” I can still picture the whole exchange, 18 years ago, like it was yesterday. I was blown away. I had no idea those thoughts or words were anywhere in her. It went outside the 45


New Year

that fit my image of who they are, or when they do something I like, everything fits and makes sense from my viewpoint. When they struggle, or move into uncharted territory, or do something that doesn’t fit my view of them, I am left wondering what is going on, what did I miss? They are human beings; much bigger and more complex than any label I can give them. Their names are just an introduction. I need to give them space and grace, realizing I can’t fully know what it is to be either of them. This goes for family and friends, but also people we just meet walking down the sidewalk or at the grocery store. If I label someone based on how they are dressed, what they look like, etc., I am discounting their humanity. They know their lives,

box I had assumed her to be within— there was more going on than I was aware, even in her preschool self.

When I look at my daughters now, I see their names and all the memories and associations I have for them. When they act in ways

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“It helps to remember that despite all our struggles for identity, despite the weight of living, there is an irrepressible ounce of spirit in each of us, a wellspring we carry within, that can be blocked but not contained. It emanates through all beings as the longing for love and peace.” If I can’t fully know or understand someone else and they can’t fully know or understand me, what if I give them the benefit of the doubt that through their struggles, through the heaviness that life can bring, that through good decisions and bad, they are looking for and deserving of peace and love. The biggest and greatest surprises I have ever experienced have come when I am able to drop my expecta-

thoughts, and feelings better than I can. January is a time for resolutions, a chance for us to form new habits or put new goals or intentions into the universe. What if 2024 is a new year, new way of seeing, new way of being year, where we realize that our way of seeing things, our way of naming things is only one way, and we open ourselves up to meeting people, places, experiences on their terms. What if we decide that everyone we encounter wants, deserves, and longs for love and peace in the same way we do? In his “Book of Awakening,” writer and poet Mark Nepo reminds us:

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when someone is looking for compassion or support, or doesn’t know what they are looking for. What if instead of either of those statements, instead of advice, we offer our presence. What if we offer our attention. What if we offer our ears, our minds, and our hearts, in being there with and for someone else. Just because we have been through grief or loss (names we use for these experiences), doesn’t mean we understand exactly what or how someone is dealing with something, what they are experiencing. If we have lived those experiences, what if we offer someone grace and space to walk beside them as they go through them. Steven Charleston is a guy with whom I would very much like to share a meal or grab coffee. He is an elder in the Choctaw Nation, served as the Episcopal Bishop of Alaska, and is a seminary professor of theology. He spends his life working as a voice for indigenous peoples, the environment, and spiritual renewal. In

tions and approach a person or situation just as it is. It is a gift both for myself and for those I encounter. Two sayings that make me cringe, make my skin crawl, and I try to make a point to never use are, “been there, done that,” and “everything happens for a reason.” Let’s call these the slogans or ways of thinking we want to avoid at all costs in 2024 and beyond. Though both sayings are an attempt to show someone we can relate or to assure someone that things will work out, they are both completely dismissive of what someone is going through. If a friend or co-worker has a newborn and is relating how tough it is to be sleep-deprived and frustrated at the same time as being elated and full of wonder, “been there, done that,” adds nothing to what they are experiencing, and if I am the one that said it, it communicates that I am not impressed and that I think I am so much further along in my life. Neither of which is true (hopefully). A dear friend tells me they have lost their spouse, parent, child, or that they or a loved one has been diagnosed with cancer, if in trying to comfort them, my response is “everything happens for a reason,” it does not meet them where they are in their grief and confusion. It’s not a line Jesus gave to the sick or the poor or the hungry who he encountered, and it’s not a great take for us, 50


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Love is offered freely to any, to every, to all. Diversity abounds in this household A tribe of many clans. Every language spoken, every family at home.

his book, “Spirit Wheel,” he writes a prayer/poem that feels like a good way to approach the new year. I am going to post it on my refrigerator at home and above my desk at work. It’s called “No Strangers”—

If we are not all here None of us have arrived.

There are no strangers. In the house of the Spirit there are no empty chairs.

Let’s make 2024 a year of no strangers.

All who seek shelter are welcomed. All who are hungry are fed. No one is turned away, no one questioned No one made to wait.

Michael Valliant is the Assistant for Adult Education and Newcomers Ministry at Christ Church Easton. He has worked for several non-profit organizations throughout Talbot County.

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54


All Quiet on the Sound A novel by B. P. Gallagher

Chapter 5: Lightening Up As November slipped into December, Leon’s mood darkened. Autumn’s blustery squalls gave way to the muting snowfalls of winter, quiet but for the calls of Canada geese winging in great Vs across the sky, ducks rafting like new islands on the Bay and the Sound and the Blackwater, and gunshots to still them. Ice crept back into the world, clogging the passage of commerce along the rivers of the Chesapeake Bay. Leon and his tug were kept extra busy

clearing jams those weeks, and Earl kept nearly as busy fixing workboats and barges with hull damage. He picked up work on the side fixing crab pots dropped off by watermen during the off-season to make room for their fishing and oystering hauls, labor he meant to exchange for Maggie’s Christmas gift. Outside, a yuletide stillness descended over the world. The second week of December blanketed Moore Island—and the Higgins house with it—in a foot of snow. No new leaks were sprung, though, which

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to put all this together.” “Clara’s Pop Pop,” said Maggie, cutting her eyes away. Earl shot her a funny look. The Gibbses had receded from public in recent weeks, presumably in response to the patriarch’s declining health. It was no business of Earl’s, but it seemed to him like the ailing Mr. Gibbs should have no business driving young ladies back and forth from the Shore in his deteriorating condition, either. But he decided against challenging his sister on it in front of Leon, who seemed hellbent enough on giving her grief as it was. Besides, Margaret’s clenched jaw reminded Earl an awful lot of Mom’s, whose temper had been nothing to trifle with.

pleased Earl to see his work on the roof holding up. But beneath that roof, storms between his siblings retained their summertime thunder along with the jagged edge of winter ice. “Who’d you hitch a ride with?” Leon demanded of Maggie one evening when the brothers arrived home from work to find dinner waiting for them on the kitchen table. Earl grimaced at the combative tone. Surely even Leon couldn’t pick a fight over a hot meal, could he? But he should’ve known better than to doubt his brother’s irascibility. Narrowing his eyes, Leon said, “You musta got home mighty early

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down the hall. The slam of her bedroom door was a thunderclap to answer Leon’s, the latch clicking home like a crackle of dissipating static. With their sister stormed off in a huff, Earl turned to Leon. “Why d’you always gotta pester her like that ‘bout how she got home?” “I don’t want her riding ‘round in strange trucks with whatever Shore boy she’s taken up with this week, that’s why.” Leon’s face was set in stone, jaw clenched visibly even through his untrimmed winter beard. Earl wondered whether his face ever looked like that when he got mad. Probably. Seemed to run in the family. “Who cares?” he asked, exasperated by Leon’s tired gripe. Why did his brother always go back to scratching the same old sores? “So maybe one of ‘em takes more’n a passing liking to her, takes her off our hands. Would that be the worst thing?” “I s’pose not,” said Leon, “But they’re more like to knock her up and leave us in the lurch to care for some dumb sumbitch’s bastard instead. All I’m sayin’ is, any sorry sap takes up with her better be ready to marry her! Can you imagine what Mom woulda said ‘bout her Maggie living a life of loose morals?” “She ain’t around to care no more,” said Earl, harsher than intended. “Well I know that,” said Leon, stung. “Course I do.”

Leon observed no such caution, inviting the rising storm. “You sure ‘bout that? You better not be lying.” “Why the hell would I lie?” I don’t know, Maggie, Earl mused. Why would you? “I could name a few reasons,” said Leon, “Local names all!” He was wise enough not to elaborate beyond the obvious intimation, this time. Still, that first thunderclap echoed loud. It damn near shook the room. An angry red flush flooded Maggie’s face, and she slammed her palms on the table with a sound like twin whips cracking. “Do you have to be such a bastard, Leon?! Can’t you just sit down and eat your dinner without complaining, for once? I worked hard on it, but I guess I’ll take mine in my room!” Tearing a hunk of bread from the loaf, she snatched up her bowl—still-steaming tomato soup, its aroma enticing from across the room—and fled

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“There’s an easy way to figure out if she’s lying, anyhow.” “I know damn well she is! But how’s that?” “Just ask Clara next time you take her walking.” Leon’s face fell. “She don’t want nothin’ to do with me lately; haven’t the faintest idea why. And she’s apt to lie for Maggie anyways, even if she were talking to me. The pair of ‘em are thick as thieves, you know that.” Earl wondered whether he should tell Leon about the Geezer’s illness, but decided against it. He figured it was Clara’s news to share when she was ready. Besides, Leon didn’t deserve his feelings assuaged, the way he was acting. “Just go apologize to Maggie so we can eat already. That soup smells damn good.” “I’ll say sorry when she quits lying,” said Leon stubbornly, taking his seat at the table. “But if you think I’m gonna hold off eating ‘till then, you’re crazy!” He dug in with relish. After what he deemed a principled pause, Earl followed suit. The dinnertime hostilities were

reignited on Friday evening, with Leon rebelling against the discovery of shot in the duck breasts Margaret served for supper. “Ain’t you cleaned these?” he roared in pain and surprise, clapping a hand to his cheek. “I damn near broke my tooth! Them pellets are meant to kill the birds, Maggie, not the hunters shot ‘em!” “You try cleaning two-dozen ducks in one sitting and tell me you’d do any better! Not to mention frying up a quarter of them right after! Then I can grouse at you about the quality of the meal and see how you like it!” “Gee, I’m mighty sorry we brought so many eating birds home for you to cook up! How inconvenient for you!” “I’m just saying—” Leon cut her off the obligatory retort. “Why don’t you try hunting for your own dinner sometime, then? See how well you like that!” It was a time-honored refrain, spoken by Higgins men at least back to Pop Pop’s generation and perhaps further, for all Earl knew. Handed

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finish your duck! I mean to start on the dishes right away so I can get to bed early.” Earl revisited the issue with Leon later that evening, as they readied the rowboat and decoys down by the pier. He’d always abided by Pop’s philosophy of never leaving for later what could be done now with respect to hunting, and Leon could be difficult enough to roust in the dead of a winter’s night without leaving tasks for the small hours. Plus, it offered a chance to get a sense of where Leon’s compass was pointed on other matters of their father’s philosophy. Some of Eldridge’s wisdom had been differently imparted to his sons. Some of it had gone ignored altogether. “Pop woulda never taken her hunting, Leon. Especially not just to prove some dumb point! It ain’t proper.” “Since when have you worried ‘bout what’s proper? Besides, it’s just to teach her a lesson. Oh, she’ll moan about how cold it is and how there’s muck in her shoes, and we might have to head in early, but we should hear the end of her griping over dinner and dishes after that.” “She doesn’t gripe over dishes,” said Earl, “she usually just does them! And last I checked, you’re the one gripes over dinner—she only really makes a stink about it when you drive her to it.” “And you dote on her, which I also seem to recall Pop being dead-set

down through the generations like the solid-oak dining table whereat its utterance had traditionally quashed all argument. The womenfolk of generations past hadn’t as a rule answered the challenge except with sullen silence. Margaret Anne wasn’t so timid. “I will!” she said. “I bet I can shoot better than you, even!” Leon scoffed. “I mean it!” Maggie’s face was flushed—not with anger, it seemed to Earl, but breathless excitement incongruous with the contentious context. “Don’t you dare take it back now—unless you’re scared I’ll embarrass you!” “That’s ridiculous. I—sure! Why the hell not?” said Leon, never one to retract a statement. Margaret knew that tendency well, knew how to exploit it. She’d baited him quite cleverly, Earl observed, and Leon had walked right into it. Maybe she would make a good hunter. “I can come along tomorrow morning, then?” she pressed. Flummoxed at the sudden change of winds but unwilling to waver, Leon said, “If you don’t slow us down, I guess. If you even wake up on time!” Earl looked askance at his brother, who seemed bemused at stumbling into their sister’s trap. “I’ll be up before the Earl-y bird even, mark me!” said Maggie. “Now 60


envy her straight-backed posture, stubbornly maintained throughout the boat ride despite the wind lashing her bare cheeks and nose. At least rowing kept a body warm. “The reeds are so tall here!” she remarked as they wound between the brush-choked banks of the Blackwater River. “It’s like being in a giant maze! Can’t you picture all sorts of nasty things spying on us from them?” “It’s ducks we’re interested in,” said Leon. “Picture those.” Maggie was right, though; the overgrowth was due for a burn soon. In the meantime, it made apt camouflage. If Earl had thought Leon might foreswear liquor just because their little sister was along on the hunt,

against,” Leon countered, “at least as much as he was against women handling firearms. What do you care anyways? Maybe she does turn out to be a crack shot, and we can start taking weekends off!” Earl had no reply to that. At a quarter past three on Saturday morning the Higgins siblings assembled in waders and winter gear at the island’s northwest boat ramp. They cast off not ten minutes later, heading north up Fishing Bay in the frigid morning mist. Margaret proved stoic in the face of the cold, but then Earl hadn’t expected her to succumb to minor discomfort. Having provoked the challenge, she would not willingly evidence weakness. Still, he didn’t

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circumstances of her inclusion, Margaret and Leon’s interactions were absent the rancor Earl had feared. Leon didn’t needle or tease, perhaps because Maggie performed her assignments with such alacrity, and Maggie in turn didn’t make demands or prod Leon about his drinking. She seemed aware that bringing her along was a concession in itself. Young though she’d been when Pop died, she remembered his vehement convictions as to a woman’s rightful place on the hunt— which was to say, no place at all. To Maggie’s credit, she lent no credence to those antiquated views—not in any measurable sense. Maybe bringing her along was bad luck though, because by lunchtime they’d seen few ducks and shot fewer. Leon surprised Earl by keeping his temper as the unsuccessful outing progressed, although he was reluctant to entrust a shotgun to Maggie with game so scarce. “Can’t I have a gun?” she asked after lunch, not for the first time. “You haven’t let me take a shot at anything all day.” “I’ve hardly done any shooting myself,” said Leon. “Lemme have that bottle, then.” Leon snorted in annoyance—or perhaps grudging admiration—at this sudden change of tack. Noticing how much alike they were, maybe. The similarities were plain as day. Hell, Earl must have heard Leon pester Pop to hold a gun like that

he was dead wrong. Not that Earl had really expected as much, no more than he’d expected Maggie to admit her discomfort at the bitter weather. True to custom, Leon produced a bottle before they made landfall at their spot on the ponds. If he was trying to disguise his drinking, he did a piss-poor job of it, and although Margaret cast Leon disapproving looks each time he ‘snuck’ a mouthful, Earl detected a hint of jealousy in her dark eyes as well. He hoped wouldn’t have to spend the entire day corralling his siblings’ worst instincts. They set out the spread in the pale pause before dawn, silhouettes arranging silhouettes as sunlight kissed the distant horizon. Margaret did her part without complaint, tossing decoys into the shallows from the rowboat since there were no oilskins fitted to her slight frame. By shooting light the morning mists had dispersed, the day dawning crisp and clear and full of potential. Despite the contentious

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a thousand times when they were boys. Outmaneuvered, Leon handed over his 12 gauge with an obligatory warning. “Careful, it’s loaded.” “I know,” came the obligatory response. Margaret strode up the point, hefting the gun. The reeds grew thinner there, except for occasional bunches of cattails standing tall amid the scrubbier marsh grasses. Planting her feet on the ground and the shotgun’s stock in the crook of her shoulder, she aimed down the barrel at nothing in particular, or so Earl thought. But when she squeezed the trigger a split second later, the head of a cattail some thirty paces away exploded in a shower of fibrous seedlings. “Holy hell, Maggie!” said Leon, springing to his feet. “You mighta warned us you were gonna shoot!” “That what you were aiming for?” asked Earl, impressed. Not bad for a first shot on the day. Not bad at all. “Sure was.” “Maybe she could give you a run for your money, Leon, whatcha think?” “We ain’t likely to find out if she keeps blasting cattails! Just gonna scare the birds off like that,” said Leon. Yet he seemed proud at Maggie’s display of aptitude, and let her hold onto the gun for the rest of the afternoon while he took up Pop’s 10 gauge. When a knot of buffleheads flew past not twenty minutes later,

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Maggie killed one on her third shot. “Good shootin’, Maggs!” said Leon, face flushed with exhilaration. He’d dropped two ducks out of the group himself, with Earl mopping up the fourth and fifth. A clean wipe. “Hot damn! Did you see that?” said Maggie, beaming. “My first duck! Can I get ahold of that bottle now, Leon? You’ve been hogging it all day.” “I don’t know, Maggie…” said Earl. One drunk sibling was trouble enough to deal with. “Ah hell, let her have some,” said Leon, and handed over the bottle. “She’s got cause to celebrate!” Rather than spoil what was turning out to be an unexpectedly pleasant day, Earl relented. He had a nip

too, for good measure. Soon they were doing more chatting than hunting, and more laughing than he could recall in recent memory. But as is often the case when alcohol is being consumed, melancholy lurked in the shadows. The bottle was almost empty, and talk between them almost fizzled out, when Leon crashed off into the underbrush muttering something about needing to pee. Margaret had turned steadily inward over the preceding hour, her expression pensive. Now her brow darkened like a storm rolling over the Sound, as if an awful thought had just occurred to her. “Something on your mind, Maggie?” said Earl. She shrugged, glanced away.

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said, “Sure is a lot of marshland. Big and wide and empty.” “Sure is,” said Earl. “I bet if you got lost out here and died, no one would ever find your body.” “I bet,” said Earl absently. “You think people have?” said Maggie. “Hmm?” “Died out here. Or dumped bodies. You think there’s bodies hidden out here?” Earl glanced at her. “I don’t know, maybe. What the hell kind of question is that?” The line of inquiry made him think of drowned, bloated corpses, for reasons he would rather not confront at the moment. Hunting was supposed to offer solace from such thoughts, not summon them. Margaret seemed to sense his discomfort, because she discontinued her questions. “No reason,” she said. “Just a funny thing I was wondering about, I guess.” Earl failed to see what was so funny about it. “No more whiskey for you,” he told her. They decided to pack up and turn in soon thereafter, since the sun was sinking fast and the birds nowhere in evidence. Earl and Leon, at least, should’ve known better. The brothers were wading in the shallows collecting decoys, and Maggie in the rowboat with the guns, when the thrum of wingbeats announced the approach of late arrivals.

“Lots of things, I guess.” “Try me.” “Oh, I don’t know. Been thinking ‘bout Mom a lot, for one. Ever since that pastor’s been coming ‘round.” “Oh,” said Earl. “Can I ask you something about her?” “About Mom? Uh, sure. Of course.” Where was this going? “D’you think she could’ve been ashamed of something, and that’s why she…” “Shew! I had to piss like a horse!” announced Leon, reemerging from between the reeds with his oilskins sagging. Snatching them up, he said, “How’re you finding your first duck hunt, Maggs?” “It’s good, Leon.” “But it ain’t easy, is it?” he said. In other words, thought Earl, ‘Lesson learned, right kid? You called my bluff and made us drag you all the way out here. Now admit you were wrong so we can head home and go back to brooding in our private corners, like usual.’ And Margaret, clever enough to recognize that the atmosphere of the rest of the day hinged upon her response, said dutifully, “I’ll take cooking any day.” “That’s what I thought.” “Now I gotta go,” she said, and took to the bushes where she wouldn’t have to endure Leon’s smugness. Upon returning, she 66


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panic as its escort plummeted to the pondwater. With the blasts still echoing over the ponds, Margaret lowered the smoking shotgun and turned to face her brothers in the rowboat. “There, now we can call it a day!” “Well shit, Earl, did you see that?” said Leon, gawping. “She’s a regular Annie Oakley!” Notwithstanding the late Eldridge Higgins’s rigid sense of propriety, Earl liked to think Pop would’ve been pretty proud of Maggie’s shooting that afternoon.

“Quitting-time crew!” yelled Leon and Earl in unison, splashing towards the rowboat. Neither would make it in time. A knot of four ducks darted across the dusk-lit horizon, silhouetted against the fiery backdrop like pips on the face of a die. BOOM! Suddenly three remained. BOOM! Then two. BOOM! Finally one, a sole survivor flitting away in a

Brendan Gallagher is a 2013 graduate of Easton High School and is currently finishing his Ph.D. in Social-Personality Psychology.

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Chicken Neckers by Steve Hugel

“Ron, there’s a swimmer…It’s a doubler too!” Dad yelled out excitedly at Uncle Ron who was leaning against the window of the passenger seat on our little runabout boat, sipping coffee from his thermos cup. Dad was at the helm navigating the calm backwaters of Maryland’s Chesapeake Bay on the way to “crab central” when he spotted the big swimmer (a blue crab swimming on top of the water). In this case it was actually a “doubler,” which is a male and female crab swimming one on top of the other.

I was baiting the crab traps with chicken necks, and instinctively I glanced up at Uncle Ron’s big boom net resting ever-ready in its homemade PVC pipe holder attached to the side wall of the boat hull. Now, you have to understand that when a swimmer is spotted by the boat’s driver it’s normally so close to the bow that there’s usually very little chance of getting a net into action without having to make another pass at it. But this was no normal scenario - oh no in fact, far from it. Little did those crabs know

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We were chicken-neckers! Heck, probably still are, if not in practice anymore at least in mind and soul. For the uninitiated out there a “chicken-necker” is a tongue-in-cheek nickname that was given to “civilian” sport crabbers by their commercial counterparts. It was probably intended to be a disrespectful title due to our invasion of what they believe to be their “territory.” Truth is though, when it comes right down

that that boom net had wreaked havoc with swimmers past. Besides that, Uncle Ron had the physical prowess to navigate obstacles in a crowded boat (passengers and gear alike) with a predatory finesse that had to be seen to be believed. Honestly, I almost felt sorry for those poor crabs, as the combination of that net and Uncle Ron’s ref lexes were certainly more than the little crustaceans had bargained for. Sure enough, quicker than the drop of a hat, the coffee cup found the ledge beneath the window (with nary a drop spilt from it, mind you). And in a series of acrobatic-like movements then, Uncle Ron turned, sprang over the traps stacked in the walkway between the seats, and jerked the boom net out of its holder. I watched then, jaw agape, as the big net carved a wide arc way up in the air and splashed down on top of the crabs as if it was destiny. “Man, what a catch!” I exclaimed, as a big smile was shared by all of us.

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Back in the ’60’s and ’70’s of my youth, Maryland was in the middle of it’s home building and buying heyday. My Uncle Bill Hugel, the eldest of the four Hugel brothers, was a building contractor in those days, and made his mark in the industry in Anne Arundel County. Uncle Ron was Uncle Bill’s foreman for the small company pretty much for its decades long duration. Uncle Don was Uncle Ron’s twin brother, who also worked for Uncle Bill occasionally. In those days my father, Gene Hugel, who was between Uncle Bill and the twins (which they were never referred to as, by the way, for fear of quite the unwelcome wrath), also worked

to it, they’re probably right. After all, this is how these guys make their living, and it’s certainly no cakewalk. Early to rise to catch the morning run, and long hours prepping gear for just a hope of a good catch, day in and day out. Commercial crabbers use eel for bait, whereas most sport crabbers use chicken necks. Eel is tougher, and if stored in salt can be reused over and over again. Although chicken is also a good bait, those that use it don’t measure up, and probably can’t catch crabs anyway…according to the Commercials. If this comment brings a smile to their face it’s meant to, and my hat’s off to ’em, believe me, to commit to a livelihood so hard-earned.

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Chicken Neckers

go off (not the good part), and 30 minutes later Uncle Ron was there. Being late was simply not in the mix for crabbing, no matter how much Pabst Blue Ribbon may have been consumed the night before. The trotline was already baited, and neatly tucked away in a bucket in the spare ‘fridge. Sport crabbing in those days was usually accomplished by using a trotline, several traps, catching swimmers when they were “running,” and soft-crabbing by wading out in the clear waters (they really were clear back then) with a net and a basket sneaking up on them while they hid in the seaweed, and snatching them up, if you were quick and slick enough.

part-time for Uncle Bill after retiring from the USAF. These good-ole’-boys were blue-collar types who stereotypically worked hard and played hard. Although Uncle Bill was the first to investigate sport-crabbing, Dad and Uncle Ron were the ones who really took to it. I was allowed to tag along with them on their crabbing adventures mostly because I was the unofficial “gofer” - actually an admirable title for a kid…most of the time. Occasionally, I think back to those teen years now when we hadn’t a clue as to how good we had it. At 0400 the alarm would

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Chicken Neckers

periences, that was pretty bitter at the time, but seems to become more sweet as time passes. Another system we discovered later was snatching them off pier pilings and poles by approaching the piers slowly in the boat with two people on the bow, one with a net and the other acting as the boat’s pier fender. I really fell in love with this method as you had to have some finesse with the net to be successful. If your timing was just right you could snatch them off the piling at an angle, in effect f lipping them into the air, and quickly repositioning the net to swallow them up as they dropped into it. Since it didn’t always work, it was quite rewarding when it did, occasionally netting even a doubler in the process. Sometimes it would all fall apart though, spelling disaster for that particular encounter. Once in fact, my niece (she who shall remain anonymous - she knows who she is) was in the act of making a pole-snatch when the net slipped out of her hands and ended up in the drink. Instinctively, I chucked my wallet at my surprised mother (who was usually the designated captain, probably because she was so good at it), and dove right in after the net. I swam down several feet groping haphazardly around in the dark waters desperately trying to find it. Finally my hand closed around the pole, and

There was a time before we figured out the Crabber’s Knot when we attempted to tie the bait on the trotline with string. I can’t even remember if that worked or not, but one brilliant idea that dimmed quickly when it was put into practice was to try and give a bit of string leader so the crabs would feel more “comfortable” as they were drug through the water to the surface. Of course, it begs the question of what gauge could one use to accurately determine a crabs comfort anyway…? All it took was one pass over the trotline roller though to figure out that wasn’t going to work. It was a shame too, that particular day, as the crabs were really running. It was a long time ago, but it was one of those snapshot moments in life that you never totally forget. I can just vaguely remember pandemonium in the boat as we tried to unravel the knotted line, with crabs running wildly all over the place. One of those bittersweet life ex-

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I surfaced then, with it in hand. I half expected a good chewing from dad, but I think he was just happy to get the net back. It was all good though, as my niece got one for missing the crab...mostly tongue-in-cheek, of course. But that was just like Dad - goal-oriented as he was. Dad and Uncle Ron weren’t just brothers, they were good friends too. They were always pulling practical jokes on each other, and whoever else presented themselves as a likely victim - the gofer, of course being high on that list. One time we had brought both boats with us, and my cousin Kevin and I were piloting one, whilst Dad and Uncle Ron were in the other. After the morning run, we were just lounging around in the heat of the late morning, when Kevin and I decided to take a run at the traps. One after another we pulled them up, dumping the occasional crab as we went. One trap though was particularly heavy, as I pulled it up off the bottom. Hand over hand I kept pulling, excitedly anticipating a couple of big crabs trapped inside. When the trap finally surfaced there were four or five big ones jumping all about. You can imagine my excitement then as I yelled out at Dad and Uncle Ron to show off my great catch to them. It was a thumbs-up all around, and I was quite proud of my great ac-

complishment. But when I turned the trap over to dump the crabs into the basket, the trap doors wouldn’t open. Upon further inspection I saw that the doors had been tied shut with string. All of a sudden I heard some commotion from Dad’s boat. He and Uncle Ron had busted out laughing hysterically. It was then that I realized that my “great catch” was actually nothing more than a “great joke” played upon the gofer and his assistant. But in exemplary gofer fashion I took it all in stride. I mean, heck, that’s just part of growin’ up with chicken-neckers.

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Easton Map and History The County Seat of Talbot Count y. Established around early religious settlements and a court of law, Histor ic Dow ntow n Easton is today a centerpiece of fine specialt y shops, business and cultural activ ities, unique restaurants, and architectural fascination. Treel i ne d s t r e e t s a r e graced with various per iod str uctures and remarkable home s , c a r e f u l l y preser ved or re stored. Because of its histor ic a l significance, historic Easton has earned distinction as the “C olon ia l C apitol of the Eastern Shore” and was honored as number eight in the book “The 100 Best Small Towns in America.” With a population of over 16,500, Easton offers the best of many worlds including access to large metropolitan areas like Baltimore, Annapolis, Washington, and Wilmington. For a walking tour and more history visit https:// tidewatertimes.com/travel-tourism/easton-maryland/. © John Norton

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Dorchester Map and History

© John Norton

Dorchester County is known as the Heart of the Chesapeake. It is rich in Chesapeake Bay history, folklore and tradition. With 1,700 miles of shoreline (more than any other Maryland county), marshlands, working boats, quaint waterfront towns and villages among fertile farm fields – much still exists of what is the authentic Eastern Shore landscape and traditional way of life along the Chesapeake. For more information about Dorchester County visit https://tidewatertimes.com/travel-tourism/dorchester/. 81


82


TIDEWATER GARDENING

by K. Marc Teffeau, Ph.D.

Gardening in 2024! Happy New Year 2024 to all the avid gardeners out there! Hopefully, you received some nice gardening gifts for Christmas. Maybe one of the many items that I mentioned in my December column. If you are like me you are already anticipating a great gardening season for 2024. Before we know it the seed

and gardening catalogs will arrive in the mailbox and the promotional emails will show up in our In box. If you received a new set of hand pruners or a saw as a Christmas present, on the nice, sunny, somewhat mild winter days that we do experience in January can go out and do some tree and shrub prun-

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Tidewater Gardening ing. Prune out any dead wood or crossing branches and remember not to use tree paint. Painting pruning cuts with tar, pitch, or shellac will inhibit that natural callousing process around the cut so do not use them. I still do not understand why pruning paint is still sold in garden centers as its use is detrimental to the “healing” process of a pruning cut. Tree branches that cast excess shade over herbaceous flower beds should be removed in winter when they will not damage the bed as they fall. Remember that spring flowering shrubs should be pruned after they flower, not during the

winter. You can now prune crepe myrtles, rose of Sharon, hibiscus, butterfly bush, and hydrangeas -depending on the cultivar - if they need it. Vines that are strangling trees, such as bittersweet, wisteria, wild grape, poison ivy, Virginia creeper, and Japanese honeysuckle,

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should be cut off and removed during the winter. While you are walking around your yard doing some winter pruning check to see if any perennials have been heaved by freezing and thawing of the soil. Firmly press down any that have lifted and cover with at least two inches of mulch. If you don’t do this the exposed roots will dry out and the plant will die. Don’t forget to recycle your holiday decorations. Greenery used in ornaments can be used again in the garden. Wreaths and branches stripped from Christmas trees make excellent mulch for protecting newly planted ornamentals. Remove the material in the spring and compost it.

We will not get by this winter without some snowfall and ice. If you plan to use salt to melt ice on walks and driveways, spread it carefully to avoid damage to nearby shrubs. Damage to needle-type evergreens will be evident next spring in copper and yellow tones of the foliage. Damaged deciduous plants

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Tidewater Gardening

and check them for insect infestations.

will have bronze or reddish leaves. Alternatives to salt to consider include sand or sawdust. Some suggest spreading granulated fertilizer but it has been my experience using granulated fertilizer can be tracked inside on your shoes and stain carpets. Chemical fertilizers are also salts and can lead to the same damage problems as regular deicing salt if not used correctly. We do have inside gardening activities we can do in January. Remember that your house plants need some attention during the winter season. The low light level of winter calls for some adjustments in the placement of the houseplants. Bring plants that normally thrive on the north side of the house to the east windows, while allowing the plants from the east more sun on the south side. Also, give the plants that usually are set on the tables away from direct light a short midwinter visit to one of the less exposed windowsills. Because the houseplants are not growing as fast in the winter as in the summer, they need little fertilization. Also, watch your watering. Overwatering is the number one problem in the care of houseplants. Over watering will encourage root rot so water only when the soil is dry to the touch. Turn and prune house plants regularly to keep them shapely

When we have extremely cold nights, draw the window shades, or slip lengths of protective cardboard between the plants and the glass. Move the most tender plants away from the windowpane on the coldest nights to prevent frostbite of the leaves. During the winter most houses are too dry for house plants. Humidity may be increased by placing plants on trays lined with pebbles and filled with water to within one-half inch of the base of the pot. If you heat with wood, keep a pot of water on the stove. The added moisture will be healthier for you as well as your plants. When dusting the furniture, consider dusting the plants as well. With the short days of winter, light reduction must remain at a minimum. House plants with large leaves and smooth foliage (philodendrons, dracaena, rubber plants, etc.) especially benefit if their leaves are washed at regular intervals to remove any dust. For homeowners who seem to 86


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Tidewater Gardening

gerbera seed now, it will be ready to bloom in June. You can also start tuberous begonias and caladiums

have a black thumb when it comes to house plants, there are two that you might try to grow, the Chinese Evergreen (Aglaonema) and the Snake Plant (Sanseviera), a.k.a. mother-in-law tongue. They are very tolerant of neglect and survive for long periods with no water. In addition, they have few pest or disease problems, thrive in low light, and can withstand hot or cool indoor temperatures. During January you can start the seeds of slow-growing f lowers like alyssum, coleus, dusty miller, geraniums, impatiens, marigold, petunias, phlox, portulaca, salvia, vinca, and verbena. If you start

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Tidewater Gardening

Georgia. I also remember doing that when we lived on the Eastern Shore with these hardy cole crops.

now to be set out in the Spring. Set the roots in pots or shallow boxes of seed starting growing medium. Cover the seeds with one inch of this soil mixture. Keep the pots moist, but not wet, and in good light at 65 degrees F. Transplant to larger pots in 6 weeks and set outside in the ground after all danger of frost is past. If you are growing chives inside and they are looking a little shabby, cut them back to 1 inch above the soil. Some gardeners like to start parsley seeds indoors. These seeds are slow to germinate, sometimes it can be three or more weeks before they show signs of growth above the soil. To encourage them to sprout more rapidly, soften the seeds by soaking them overnight in warm water. Then put 3 or 4 seeds in a pot full of soilless mix, such as equal parts of peat moss and vermiculite. Plus, a tiny bit of ground limestone and fertilizer. Keep the media moist during the entire germination time. You might want to cover the pot with plastic wrap to keep the moisture in until the seeds germinate. Set the plants in the garden in early May. In my January column each year I like to feature a couple of the New Year All-American Selections (AAS) vegetable winners. Right now, I am cutting broccoli and cauliflower heads in my garden here in north

When we think of broccoli we think of green color. For 2024 AAS has selected a purple broccoli Broccoli Purple Magic F1. According to the AAS, “From its beautiful purple color, tight uniform heads, and bright beads to its great broccoli flavor, this easy-to-grow broccoli is also stress and heat tolerant… Excellent broccoli to try growing in cooler seasons. Can be eaten raw, stir-fried, roasted, lightly blanched, or steamed for the best texture, either way, you will find it sweeter and more tender than traditional green broccoli.” AAS recommends that you “Start transplants indoors 12 weeks before your first frost date. Keep seeds warm (70 degrees) until they sprout then move to a sunny location. Plant into well-worked soil 5 weeks before the last spring frost. Water well, 90


plants should not dry out or wilt. Harvest primary head after about 90 days after transplant. Continue to care for the plants to encourage smaller side shoot heads.” A new type of green pepper Pepper Red Impact F1 is another

2024 AAS winner selection. It is a Lamuyo type of sweet gourmet pepper. I was not aware of this type of pepper but I have read that they are gaining a foothold in North America after being popular in Europe for years. This pepper variety is in the Capsicum annuum group which includes bell, paprika, chili pepper, jalapeño, and cayenne peppers. The AAS comments, “Lamuyotype peppers are notoriously difficult to grow, but the new Red Impact variety is here to change that. This AAS Winning pepper is easy to grow and produces thick, sweet walls, even when green. It is also much sweeter than other varieties and loaded with fruits for a high-yielding gem. Red Impact

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Tidewater Gardening

and other AAS Winners at the AAS website https://all-americaselections.org. In your 2024 gardening year make it a point to look for something in plants that is “new and cool,” whether it be a new vegetable or flower variety, maybe a new annual or perennial flower cultivar, or even a new shrub or tree to plant in the landscape. Happy Gardening and Happy New Year!!!

plants are upright and tidy, with a strong disease package that protects your investment. The fruit is dark red, highly uniform in shape and size, and if you are looking for a delicious and easy-to-grow pepper, Red Impact is the perfect choice for you.” You can find information on these

Marc Teffeau retired as Director of Research and Regulatory Affairs at the American Nursery and Landscape Association in Washington, D.C. He now lives in Georgia with his wife, Linda.

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St. Michaels Map and History

© John Norton

On the broad Miles River, with its picturesque tree-lined streets and beautiful harbor, St. Michaels has been a haven for boats plying the Chesapeake and its inlets since the earliest days. Here, some of the handsomest models of the Bay craft, such as canoes, bugeyes, pungys and some famous Baltimore Clippers, were designed and built. The Church, named “St. Michael’s,” was the first building erected (about 1677) and around it clustered the town that took its name. For a walking tour and more history of the St. Michaels area visit https://tidewatertimes.com/travel-tourism/st-michaels-maryland/. 95


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Her Name is Freedom by A.M. Foley

On the Eastern Shore, opinions vary widely about what happens in Washington under the Capitol’s dome. It’s generally agreed that some Congressional doings are inane. Beyond that, agreement among Shoremen on specifics is problematic. Regardless, to the world at large, the Capitol building—the People’s Building—symbolizes uniquely successful, longlived democracy. Symbolism of the figure atop the dome is more of a puzzle. Given her history, it’s no wonder. Her name is Freedom—more properly, Freedom Triumphant in War and Peace. Standing nearly twenty feet tall, she may be said to symbolize what comes from too much compromise. Freedom is festooned in symbols from head to toe. Her design would never make it out of a present-day committee. Among the symbols are her helmet, crested with a feathered eagle’s head and encircled by nine stars; Roman toga and robe decorated with fur and balls; sheathed sword wrapped in a scarf; engraved brooch; laurel wreath; and shield bearing thirteen stripes. The pedestal under Ms. Freedom’s feet is decorated with “fas-

ces,” a symbol some Capitol callers may have misinterpreted January 6, 2021. Fasces are bundles of wheat, since ancient Rome, symbolic of government authority. Fasces circle beneath an orb wrapped in the motto E Pluribus Unum: “Out of Many, One.” Jefferson Davis, overseeing construction as President Franklin Pierce’s secretary of war, approved this motto, but disapproved Freedom’s original headwear. In earlier sketches by sculptor 97


Freedom

who were born free and should not be enslaved.” Davis suggested a helmet encircled by stars instead. He subsequently approved Crawford’s redesign: the simple cap swapped out for an ultra-ornate Roman-style helmet. The artist, perhaps overreacting to criticism, described the helmet’s crest as “composed of an eagle’s head and a bold arrangement of feathers, suggested by the costume of our Indian tribes.” Only outer Capitol walls had survived burning by British troops in 1814. After reconstruction, expansion had been undertaken to accommodate representatives of a growing country. Captain Montgomery Meigs, Army Corps of Engineers, supervised. He also had the unenviable job of mediating between Davis and artists such as Crawford, a New Yorker settled in Italy. By the time Freedom’s design was approved, sculpted in plaster, and shipped from Rome, the motto E Pluribus Unum was in dispute, never mind the liberty cap. Crawford had already successfully sculpted Capitol designs: a pediment for the Senate entrance; figures representing History and Justice; and bronze doors leading to Senate and House chambers. After his design for Freedom was approved, Crawford’s sight began failing due to cancer. He completed his depiction in clay and cast her in six plaster sections, which re-

Thomas Crawford, Freedom wore a knitted “liberty cap,” traditionally worn to identify rebels in the American and French Revolutions. In ancient Greece and Rome, the caps designated freed slaves. Secretary Davis objected to Freedom wearing a liberty cap, taking the narrow view that “its history renders it inappropriate to a people 98


mained in his studio after his 1857 death until the following year. His widow then had them crated and shipped in a small sailing vessel bound for New York. Leaks forced the unseaworthy ship into Gibraltar for repairs, and again into Bermuda, where the crates were stored pending alternate arrangements. It was late March, 1859 before all crates reached Washington. A German foundry had cast earlier Crawford sculptures in bronze. No American had ever attempted bronze-casting until an artist named Clark Mills won a competition to sculpt and cast a statue of Andrew Jackson. Mills moved to Washington, then an aspirational, marshy backwater. Mills sculpted

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Oxford Map and History

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Oxford is one of the oldest towns in Maryland. Although already settled for perhaps 20 years, Oxford Oxford Bellevue Ferry marks the year 1683 177 166 as its official founding, 155 nd Stra St. 144 for in that year Oxford The 133 was first named by n a 18 8 19 9 hm Tilg the Maryland General k e e Assembly as a seaport Cr 122 St. n and was laid out as a son il W 11 East town. In 1694, OxSt. lair St. t nc 10 e Si rk St. Ma ford and a new town Oxford 9 t. Park hS called Anne Arundel son Hig 8 Richard . St (now Annapolis) were n Divisio St. selected the only ports of entry for the entire i Town Rd. non . eek Cr e B Ave Maryland province. n 3 isio t. Until the American S Div W. 2 Revolution, Oxford 1 t. S ne enjoyed prominence roli 7 ad Ro Ca d 333 Oxfor To Easton as an international Pleasant Oxford St. Community shipping center surCenter Hbr. Robes t. 4 C rounded by wealthy E. Pier St. Pier St. tobacco plantations. Oxford Today, Oxford is a © John Norton 6 5 charming tree-lined and waterbound village with a population of just over 700 and is still important in boat building and yachting. It has a protected harbor for watermen who harvest oysters, crabs, clams and fish, and for sailors from all over the Bay. For a walking tour and more history visit https://tidewatertimes. com/travel-tourism/oxford-maryland/.


Freedom Jackson astride his rearing horse, Duke in a make-shift foundry set up by the White House. The selftaught artist and his crew improvised, experimented, and ultimately produced ten bronze sections comprising a 15-ton statue. None in the foundry had prior experience. Mills, who had never even seen an equestrian statue, perhaps didn’t realize he’d designed the world’s first balanced solely on the horse’s hind legs. Nervous spectators at its unveiling caused Mills to demonstrate its stability by pushing against a raised hoof. Subsequently commissioned in 1860 to cast Crawford’s statue of

Freedom, Mills established a proper foundry in Bladensburg, Maryland, where he received crates of Crawford’s plaster model. His crew included one Philip Reid, someone Jefferson Davis would never have included under Freedom’s sway. Mills said he purchased Reid in Charleston, South Carolina “when he was quite a youth...because of his evident talent for the business...” Mills described Reid, unschooled but inventive, as “not prepossessing in appearance but smart in mind, a good workman in a foundry...” Pay records show free crewmen received $1 per day, Reid $1.25. He worked many sevenday-weeks for nearly a year. Until emancipation in D.C., six days’ pay

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went to Mills; Reid was paid only for Sundays.

Before Mills successfully cast Crawford’s helmeted Freedom,

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Freedom Mississippi had seceded. ThenSenator Jefferson Davis had left his Capitol office and been two years in Richmond, President of the Confederate States of America, his motto grown from Unum to Duo. He left Freedom wearing elaborate, compromise headgear he instigated and approved: a mixture of classic Roman, Native American, Come Here, and bald eagle, encircled by a halo of lightning-absorbent stars. As Confederate states strove to cleave the Union, President Lincoln determined to complete the expanded Capitol. Meigs devised a method to raise and support

Freedom’s 15,000 pounds, plus the weight of the cast iron Capitol dome. She was hoisted in sections, culminating in her helmeted head and shoulders. On December 2, 1863, a thirty-five gun salute was fired to Freedom’s ascendance, echoed by artillery from twelve forts that ringed Washington against Davis’s rebels. *** President George Washington had personally sited the nation’s permanent capital on an undeveloped square of land ceded by Virginia and Maryland, to be called the District of Columbia. City plans called for the legislative branch to

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meet in a building anchoring a national mall from atop Jenkins Hill. There George Washington laid the Capitol cornerstone September 18, 1793, the ceremony depicted in one panel of Crawford’s bronze door to the Senate chamber.

Montgomery Meigs oversaw Capitol expansion and details for over six years. He saw combat brief ly at Fort Stevens, whose artillery had recently saluted his crowning achievement. In July 1864 General Jubal Early invaded the District of Columbia. Until regular troops arrived, Meigs held Confederates at bay with a hodgepodge of troops, including quartermaster clerks and convalescents from the Capitol rotunda’s makeshift hospital. (During the battle, a tall, slim figure in a stovepipe hat drew fire on himself and had to be ordered to observe from a safer position.) Normally, Meigs served during the Civil War as quartermaster general. He felt completing the Capitol

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Freedom building was his greatest legacy to the country. Meigs was buried with military honors in 1892 at Arlington National Cemetery, which he had designed on grounds formerly home to Robert E. Lee, under whom he had once served. Philip Reid was around fortytwo on April 16, 1862, when President Lincoln emancipated the enslaved in the District of Columbia. Reid changed his name’s spelling to Reed, and went into business for himself doing plastering. Federal City newspaper mentioned him in 1865 as “highly esteemed by all who know him.” It’s unknown if he attended the ceremony at Freedom’s

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Freedom installation, when he’d had a year to adjust to his own freedom. He died February 6, 1892 and was buried within sight of the Capitol. Subsequent developments twice caused his disinterment. He was reburied in Landover, Maryland in the 1960s, a plaque describing his achievements. Jefferson Davis’s popularity waned as president of the Confederacy. After the war he was arrested for treason and imprisoned two rough years on Chesapeake Bay at Fort Monroe, Virginia. Released without trial, essentially a man without a country, he traveled Europe before ultimately returning to Mississippi. Nominated to return to the Senate, he was judged ineligible. Reconciling with the United States before his death in 1889, he begged young Mississippians to “lay aside all rancor, all bitter sectional feeling, and to make your places in

the ranks of those who will bring about a consummation devoutly to be wished—a reunited country.” Mills statue of Andrew Jackson and Duke stood many decades in Lafayette Square before its stability was again tested in 2020. Protesters against police violence plotted unsuccessfully to topple the statue. They wrote “killer” on the pedestal and roped Jackson before Park Police thwarted them. Next morning, then-President Trump tweeted, authorizing the government to “arrest anyone who vandalizes or destroys any monument, statue or other such Federal property in the U.S. with up to 10 years in prison...” A few months later, MAGA protesters battered entrances to Capitol chambers defended by Thomas Crawford’s bronze doors. At his death in Italy in 1857, Crawford was remembered personally as “generous, kindly and adverse to discords.” Forty-some years ago, A.M. Foley swapped the Washington, D.C. business scene for a writing life on Elliott Island, Maryland. Tidewater Times kindly publishes Foley’s musings on regional history and life in general. Published works are described at www.HollandIslandBook.com.

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Comfort Food Made Healthy Oh! comfort food! When you are feeling a bit nostalgic or it’s a rainy, snowy, chilly day, a familiar dish or soup is the thing that makes you feel better. Yes, you can still savor the taste of your favorite dishes while eating healthy. For more nutrients

and less sugar and fat, try these comforting classics. You might even have a special memory associated with these meals. Whether you are looking for chicken, ground beef or turkey, this article has options for everyone in

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Tidewater Kitchen the family. For that stick-to-yourribs goodness, get creative with a healthier version of Sloppy Joes. Once the holidays have come and gone, this fresh take on Chicken Pot Pie Stew will be a comforting way to use up leftovers. Eating clean doesn’t have to be difficult. The root of it all is to consume as many whole foods as possible that have undergone as little processing as possible. Eating healthy and clean simply means choosing food without added chemicals, pesticides, preservatives or artificial sweeteners, flavors or colors.

Spaghetti and Meatballs This has less fat and healthier. Serves 6 1 Tablespoon olive oil 3 Tablespoons panko bread crumbs 2 Tablespoons whole milk or nondairy of your favorite 1 large egg, beaten 4 Tablespoons pesto 1/2 teaspoon sea salt 1 pound lean ground beef 1 can (28 oz) crushed tomatoes 3 cloves garlic, smashed 1 pound favorite spaghetti, or gluten free Freshly grated Parmesan to serve Heat oven to 450 degrees. Drizzle large sheet pan with oil. In a

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large bowl, combine bread crumbs, milk, and egg. Stir in 2 Tablespoons of pesto; add salt and mix in beef. Form into 18 balls and arrange in even layer on sheet pan. Bake until browned, 8 minutes. Remove from oven and turn meatballs. Combine tomatoes and juice, garlic, and remaining pesto. Pour over meatballs, return to oven and bake until meatballs are cooked through and sauce is thickened slightly, 8 minutes. Cook pasta according to package directions. Serve with meatballs, sauce and cheese. Scalloped Vegetables Serves 8 2 Tablespoons olive oil 1 large yellow onion, sliced into 1/8 inch thick 3 Tablespoons chopped fresh sage 2 medium russet potatoes, washed well and sliced 1/8” thick 1/2 medium butternut squash, peeled and sliced 1/8” thick 1/2 head cauliflower sliced 1/8” thick 1/2 pound ricotta or dairy free favorite 3 cups whole milk or dairy free favorite 1 Tablespoon cornstarch 2 teaspoon sea salt 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper 1 cup panko bread crumbs Heat oven to 425 degrees. Lightly coat a 13 x 9 inch baking pan with cooking spray. Heat 1 Tablespoons 114


Layer potatoes, squash, cauliflower, onion, and ricotta in baking dish. Whisk milk, cornstarch, salt and pepper and pour over vegetables. Cover with foil and bake until vegetables, are tender, 30 minutes. Mix bread crumbs and remaining 1 Tablespoon oil. Sprinkle over vegetables. Bake, uncovered, until bread crumbs are brown, 10 minutes. Cool 15 minutes before serving. Season with salt and pepper to taste. olive oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring often, until tender and golden, 15 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in sage.

Sloppy Joes Serves 4 1 Tablespoon olive oil 4 cloves garlic, minced 3 medium carrots, grated 1 medium yellow onion, chopped

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Tidewater Kitchen 1 pound ground turkey 1 cup low sodium chicken broth 1/2 cup tomato paste 4 teaspoon chili powder 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce 2 teaspoon Dijon mustard 4 favorite buns, whole grain or gluten free

Heat oil in large skillet oven medium-high heat. Add garlic, carrots, and onion. Cook until tender 6 minutes. Add turkey and cook, breaking up meat, until browned, 5 minutes. Stir in broth, tomato paste, chili powder, Worcestershire, and mustard and cook until thickened, 8 minutes. Serve on buns. Sweet Potato Biscuits Makes 8 biscuits Adding lower fat ingredients and more fiber make these healthier. 1 cup sweet potato puree (1 medium sweet potato or 1 can of puree) 1/3 cup whole milk or your favorite nondairy 1/4 cup olive oil or your favorite

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4 teaspoons baking powder 1/2 teaspoon sea salt Heat oven to 425 degrees. Line baking sheet with parchment. Mix puree, milk, and oil. Stir in flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt until shaggy dough forms. Press dough onto lightly floured work surface and cut into 8 squares. Place on prepared baking sheet and bake until gold and puffed, 10-12 minutes.

non-dairy butter 1-3/4 cup whole wheat flour or your favorite gluten free flour 1 teaspoon cinnamon

Chicken Potpie Stew Serves 4 Here is a quick and easy, healthy version of a family favorite. 1 Tablespoon olive oil

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Tidewater Kitchen 8 oz. mushrooms, sliced 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, chop into 1 inch pieces or non meat favorite 3 medium ribs celery, diced into small pieces 2 medium carrots, diced 2 sprigs fresh thyme 1 medium yellow onion, diced 1 quart low sodium chicken broth or your favorite vegetable broth 2 cups whole milk or your favorite non dairy milk 3 tablespoons white whole wheat flour or gluten free flour 1 cup frozen peas 1/2 cup fresh chopped parsley

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In a medium pot, heat 1/2 Tablespoons oil and add mushrooms, celery, carrots, onion for about 5 minutes. Take out of pan and put aside. Heat 1/2 Tablespoons oil and chicken. Cook until its browned on all sides about 8 minutes. Add the vegetables as well as the thyme sprigs back in along with the broth. In a jar or whisk together in a bowl, mix the milk and flour together. Add to pot along with the peas and cook for 4 minutes until its thickened and the flour is cooked. Remove the sprigs of thyme and discard. Stir in the parsley, salt and pepper and enjoy.

less sugar. 3 Tablespoons olive oil 12 oz bittersweet chocolate chopped, I like 70% cacao 3/4 cup organic sugar 2 teaspoons vanilla extract 2 large eggs 1/2 cup whole wheat flour or your favorite gluten free

Dark Chocolate Brownies Love these healthy brownies with

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Tidewater Kitchen 1 Tablespoons instant coffee or espresso pinch of sea salt Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 8 x 8 baking pan with cooking spray and line with parchment paper, allow sides to hang over. Place medium heat proof bowl over small pot of simmering water. In bowl, warm oil and 1/2 the chocolate, stir until melted and smooth. Remove heat and stir in sugar and vanilla. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Add the flour, espresso or coffee and salt. Cool batter for about 5 minutes, add the remaining chocolate. Pour batter in pan and bake

for 25 minutes. Cool completely, then cut int0 16 squares. Butterscotch Pudding Serves 6 Love this old fashioned treat. 1-1/2 cups whole milk 1 cup heavy cream or heavy whipping cream 3 large egg yolks 2 Tablespoons cornstarch 3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar 3 Tablespoons water 1/2 teaspoon salt 3 Tablespoons unsalted butter, softened to room temperature 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract - optional but recommended: 1 Tablespoon scotch, rum, or bourbon

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- optional for topping: salted caramel, Heath Bar toffee bits, homemade whipped cream Whisk the whole milk and heavy cream together. Set aside. Whisk the egg yolks and cornstarch together. Set that aside too. Have both ready to go in step 3. Whisk the brown sugar, water, and salt together in a medium heavy duty saucepan over medium heat. Without stirring, allow to cook and bubble until darker brown, about 5-6 minutes. It should begin to smell caramelized at that point. If desired, you can take the temperature with a candy thermometer to be certain

it is ready. Look for around 240°. Slowly and carefully whisk in the heavy cream/milk. It will sizzle and may splatter, so pour in slowly. Cook on medium heat until mixture begins to boil. Once boiling, remove about 1/2 cup of the mixture and, in a slow and steady stream, whisk into the egg yolks. Keep those egg yolks moving so they don’t scramble. In a slow and steady stream, pour and whisk the egg yolk mixture into the pot. Turn the heat down to low. The pudding will immediately begin to bubble and thicken. Whisk and cook for 1 minute. Remove from heat and stir in the butter until completely smooth, then add the vanilla and bourbon. Cool for 5 minutes, then pour into serving glasses or bowls. Cover tightly with plastic wrap directly on the surface of the pudding (to prevent a skin from forming) and refrigerate for 4-6 hours or overnight until chilled and thickened. Serve with optional toppings. Cover and store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Pamela Meredith, formerly Denver’s NBC Channel 9 Children’s Chef, has taught both adult and children’s cooking classes. For more of Pam’s recipes, visit the Story Archive tab at tidewatertimes.com.

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Caroline County – A Perspective Caroline County is the very definition of a rural community. For more than 300 years, the county’s economy has been based on “market” agriculture. Caroline County was created in 1773 from Dorchester and Queen Anne’s counties. The county was named for Lady Caroline Eden, the wife of Maryland’s last colonial governor, Robert Eden (1741-1784). Denton, the county seat, was situated on a point between two ferry boat landings. Much of the business district in Denton was wiped out by the fire of 1863. Following the Civil War, Denton’s location about fifty miles up the Choptank River from the Chesapeake Bay enabled it to become an important shipping point for agricultural products. Denton became a regular port-ofcall for Baltimore-based steamer lines in the latter half of the 19th century. Preston was the site of three Underground Railroad stations during the 1840s and 1850s. One of those stations was operated by Harriet Tubman’s parents, Benjamin and Harriet Ross. When Tubman’s parents were exposed by a traitor, she smuggled them to safety in Wilmington, Delaware. Linchester Mill, just east of Preston, can be traced back to 1681, and possibly as early as 1670. The mill is the last of 26 water-powered mills to operate in Caroline County and is currently being restored. The long-term goals include rebuilding the millpond, rehabilitating the mill equipment, restoring the miller’s dwelling, and opening the historic mill on a scheduled basis. Federalsburg is located on Marshyhope Creek in the southern-most part of Caroline County. Agriculture is still a major portion of the industry in the area; however, Federalsburg is rapidly being discovered and there is a noticeable influx of people, expansion and development. Ridgely has found a niche as the “Strawberry Capital of the World.” The present streetscape, lined with stately Victorian homes, reflects the transient prosperity during the countywide canning boom (1895-1919). Hanover Foods, formerly an enterprise of Saulsbury Bros. Inc., for more than 100 years, is the last of more than 250 food processors that once operated in the Caroline County region. Points of interest in Caroline County include the Museum of Rural Life in Denton, Adkins Arboretum near Ridgely, and the Mason-Dixon Crown Stone in Marydel. To contact the Caroline County Office of Tourism, call 410-479-0655 or visit their website at www.tourcaroline.com. 123


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Queen Anne’s County The history of Queen Anne’s County dates back to the earliest Colonial settlements in Maryland. Small hamlets began appearing in the northern portion of the county in the 1600s. Early communities grew up around transportation routes, the rivers and streams, and then roads and eventually railroads. Small towns were centers of economic and social activity and evolved over the years from thriving centers of tobacco trade to communities boosted by the railroad boom. Queenstown was the original county seat when Queen Anne’s County was created in 1706, but that designation was passed on to Centreville in 1782. It’s location was important during the 18th century, because it is near a creek that, during that time, could be navigated by tradesmen. A hub for shipping and receiving, Queenstown was attacked by English troops during the War of 1812. Construction of the Federal-style courthouse in Centreville began in 1791 and is the oldest courthouse in continuous use in the state of Maryland. Today, Centreville is the largest town in Queen Anne’s County. With its relaxed lifestyle and tree-lined streets, it is a classic example of small town America. The Stevensville Historic District, also known as Historic Stevensville, is a national historic district in downtown Stevensville, Queen Anne’s County. It contains roughly 100 historic structures, and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It is located primarily along East Main Street, a portion of Love Point Road, and a former section of Cockey Lane. The Chesapeake Heritage and Visitor Center in Chester at Kent Narrows provides and overview of the Chesapeake region’s heritage, resources and culture. The Chesapeake Heritage and Visitor Center serves as Queen Anne’s County’s official welcome center. Queen Anne’s County is also home to the Chesapeake Bay Environmental Center (formerly Horsehead Wetland Center), located in Grasonville. The CBEC is a 500-acre preserve just 15 minutes from the Chesapeake Bay Bridge. Over 200 species of birds have been recorded in the area. Embraced by miles of scenic Chesapeake Bay waterways and graced with acres of pastoral rural landscape, Queen Anne’s County offers a relaxing environment for visitors and locals alike. For more information about Queen Anne’s County, visit www.qac.org. 125


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Flashing Lights in the Rearview Mirror Excerpt from a Memoir by Roger Vaughan

Chapter 10: Fazisi (part 2 of 2) The start (1991) was uneventful for Fazisi, although shortly before the gun went off we watched a wayward spectator sailboat snag The Card’s mizzen mast. Card would sail the leg as a sloop. An hour or so after the start we were chased down by a sleek power-

boat in the 50-foot range. Our skipper Skip Novak was understandably concerned as the boat roared in close astern, but relaxed when he saw a bikini-clad lovely clinging to the pulpit hailing crewmember Juki. She had gifts: a stuffed animal and a bottle of wine. Juki accepted them to a chorus of laughter from the crew. “Call me,” the lovely

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Fazisi said, blowing kisses as the powerboat backed away. Juki’s smile was proud. I got to know the tiny area I had been assigned over a bunk I would share with someone on the opposite watch. Below decks is a dingy cave. Headroom is less than five feet. I shuddered to think sixteen of us would be crammed inside this claustrophobic space for four weeks. Juki approached. With his five o’clock shadow, Blues Brothers sunglasses, and a scar draped across his nose, he looked like a heavy in a gangster movie. But he’s a gentle guy, and he was upset. As the one in charge of personal equipment, he had come to tell me he had forgotten my sleeping bag. Four weeks on a wet, unheated boat without a sleeping bag? He handed me a blanket. “You need,” he said, “crew give.” After three relatively calm days, the wind came astern and blew 30 knots as we hit the northern boundary of the Southern Ocean, a thousand-mile-wide swath of

two-mile-deep water encircling the globe between sixty degrees south and Antarctica. The fact that weather there is unimpeded by any continental land mass, not even a decent-sized island, makes these waters whimsically, and dangerously, active. Gale-force winds, storms, very large waves, even blizzards romp centrifugally around the Southern Ocean. Ask most Whitbread crewmen about their primary motivation for coming on the race and the answer would likely be the same: sailing the Southern Ocean. Just as mountaineers have their wish lists of ultimate places to climb — Annapurna, K2 — ocean racers check off major events like Sydney Hobart, Fastnet, and Transpac. But racing in the untamed Southern Ocean stands atop the list. The spinnaker was pulling us into the high teens of boat speed. Steering was a thrill. I knew when the speedo was going to touch 20 knots. As the boat began planning down a wave, two little fountains of water rose up on either side of the bow. I’d never seen anything like it, and I never could find out what caused it. Twenty-knots on a non-foiling 80-footer is common in 2023, but it was noteworthy in 1990. It was fantastic, also exhausting. At night, as Fazisi’s stern would lift on a large wave, a slope of water steep as a ski jump in-run would stretch downhill in front of the boat. It glistened in

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Fazisi the moonlight. Sheets of spray flew past as we picked up speed. Silver bullets of water stung our faces. It was like a high-speed descent on a bicycle in the rain. But this is what it’s all about. This is what makes the risk and misery worthwhile. On one rush we hit 24 knots. Like Novak said, Fazisi was a dinghy. It savored running. Upwind was another story. Hitting twenty-four knots on my helm watch made me want to howl. After four days, our navigator Serguei Akatyev pointed out we were in one of the more remote places on Earth. We were floating atop 5,000 feet of water, and were roughly 2,000 miles from the nearest land mass. We saw our first iceberg the 9th

day out. It was mountainous even from 5 miles distant. It was the first of a dozen we would see. We figured it was 800 feet long, perhaps 150-feet high, and flat topped. Bands of blue ice shimmered within the whiteness. As we got closer, we watched for growlers, automobilesized chunks that break off and float mostly below the surface. To hit one is to sink, or at least sustain bad damage – thousands of miles from nowhere. At the press conference the day before the start, one journalist had asked the skippers how they planned to deal with growlers at night. After a pregnant pause, one skipper said, “No problem, mate. Growlers don’t come out at night.” Off watch, sleep was virtually impossible until fatigue overcame us,

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Fazisi and it would. Truckloads of water landing on the deck sounded like scoops of gravel being dumped on a steel plate. Wet lines being eased on winch drums became screams that shattered dreams. Slamming into waves, the tightly strung boat shuddered from bow to stern. I imagined the hull as the bow and the mast as the fully drawn arrow tensioned by the fore- and back-stays. I could only hope it would stay that way. Crewman Eugene Platon, a math whiz from Moldavia who had helped clean up the Chernobyl nuclear mess, pronounced the boat had been “designed for masochists.” Platon had the best English on the boat. Skip had told me that the crew had been selected politically, so several areas of the USSR would be represented. Sailing ability had counted second. Under that heading, there was a group loyal to the skipper, Alexei, that had raced on his boat in the Black Sea. And there was the rest, who felt at odds with the former. That their sailing experience was restricted to the Black Sea was what they all had in common. They thought their Black Sea sailing had made them experts, which was delusional, and also frightening. There were maybe four of them who were capable helmsmen. Watching the rest of them trying to steer, observing them failing time after time

to anticipate the boat’s unruly dashes in time to correct them without extreme, desperate movements of the wheel, became the major source of fear for my own safety. For a large, odd-looking dinghy, the boat had proved to be robust. If it were sailed well, I thought it should take care of us. Much of the time, it was being sailed sloppily and dangerously by these “helmsman,” which was majorly unsettling. Aside from the tribal grumbling among the Russian groups, there was underlying tension between Novak and the crew. With Novak and Greschenko as co-skippers, I heard there had been command issues on Leg I, as in who had the right to make decisions and issue orders. The crew was divided about who they would listen to, Alexei or Skip. The tension flared up on occasion. A few days into Leg IV, taking advantage of a calm spell, Novak wanted to change the fittings on the spare spinnaker pole. Outraged when he was told the parts had not been brought aboard, he dragged the pole across the deck and slammed it into its holder. Cursing, he went below. I suggested the parts were probably with my sleeping bag. Skip didn’t laugh. There’s a clash of temperaments here. The Soviets are warm, romantic, enthusiastic, and a tad lazy, with an elevated view of their sailing skills. They’d like a leader who will drink a little vodka, sing

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Fazisi a few songs, and appreciate their style. A pro who has raced big boats as part of polished crews, Novak bridles at these sailors’ casual air and misguided overconfidence. “At the end of Leg One,” he says, “during which I busted my ass racing the boat, steering, standing watches, the Russians let it be known I had driven them too hard. So I pulled back.” Now he comes on deck for course and sail changes. Otherwise he stays below. *** The days ground on, one more or less like the other. Down below was a montage of crawling around on hands and knees between one’s bunk and the drying locker to extract your wet gear from among the other, identical wet gear that never dried, or trying to change undergarments once in a while without being able to fully stand up, or crawling to the nav station to chat with Skip and think about the weather and the course, or hitting the head to brush teeth. The head was so small you had to turn sideways to enter it. And it was foul. After a while, no one used the head, preferring to hang one’s butt over the side. Trying to stay clean was a bit of a joke. Packets of damp body wipes had to suffice for a shower. Forget washing one’s hair for 25 days. The “galley” consisted of a tiny

stove, counter, and sink amidships where Rami, a Latvian, presided. Rami got to be cook because he’d been a waiter back home. Cooking aboard Fazisi wasn’t that complicated. Meals consisted of freezedried powder of various flavors being mixed with boiling water and stirred. Rami tried. He brought fresh vegetables and fruits and some bacon aboard in Auckland, but those delights lasted about a week. On deck, the watches were in place. One fell into a routine of steering, trimming, and sitting when the wind was down and the course was steady. It’s a fact that 70% of an ocean race is sailed in light weather, which means there is considerable down time between sail changes. Down time on Fazisi, given the language barrier, was especially boring. The sail changes were worse. Headsails for an 80-footer weigh hundreds of pounds – dry – and our headsails were not dry. Flaked in zippered “turtles” the size of twenty-five-foot-long sausages two feet thick, they provided the carpet we were crawling around on down below, further reducing the headroom. Finding the one called for by Skip took some doing, and since it was often on the bottom, extracting it and passing it up the hatch took several of us below, and several more on deck. The flexible, unruly turtles had to be dragged forward

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Fazisi proper end first, unzippered, have halyard and sheets attached, and run into a feeder that led a line sewn into the sail into the groove of the jib foil. Hauling up a damp sail could be a sticky job. Then the old sail had to be taken down, flaked in its turtle, and dragged below for storage. Novak said the Russians had complained about so many sail changes on Leg I. “They didn’t understand we probably did half as many changes as the other boats,” he said. Periodic squalls and gales reduced the boredom to a manageable state. Even the Russians took heavy weather seriously. There were times when boredom seemed preferable, like when we lost the main after rounding Cape Horn. We raised this infamous land’s end at dawn, on the 21st day out of Auckland. At less than a thousand feet high, Cape Horn is an inconsequential peak among South America’s many giants. But it marks an infamous headland where some of the roughest seas in the world can be found, along with the gales that create them. Storms occur there on the average of one every four days, and they can be violent. Drake Passage, between Cape Horn and the Antarctic Peninsula, is where the Southern Ocean is at its narrowest. As it approaches the Cape, the ocean bottom rises from ten thousand feet to a few hundred feet in just a few

miles, a steep profile that creates mountainous seas. But not this day. Our good luck, or bad luck if one felt cheated at not experiencing this fearsome obstacle to navigation at its worst, was to be rounding Cape Horn on one of those three benign days. The breeze was around 12 knots. The sun was out. Everyone was on deck in a party atmosphere. A bottle of Stolichnaya was broken out and passed around. A dollop was poured into the sea for King Neptune. One of the Russians got naked for some reason having to do with communicating with nature, or perhaps religion. Novak hailed me and passed up the satellite phone. I had a call. It was my wife, on a hollow-sounding line, definitely Kippy’s voice, but surely from another planet. A friend had arranged the connection. Where was I? Cape Horn! Far out, as we used to say. My other life still existed. Good to know. Be careful, she said. Of course. A few hundred miles later, sailing nearly 100 miles off the coast of Argentina, we encountered a full gale. Winds were in the 50-knot range, and out of the northwest – just forward of the beam given the course we were trying to steer. It was difficult sailing with a reef in the main and a small jib, trying to find the friendliest path between seas in the twenty-foot range that were also lining up forty-to-fifty degrees off the bow. The trick was

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Fazisi to find the narrow groove where the boat could ride down the back of a passing wave, then head off a few degrees to avoid slamming into the face of the next one. Repeat infinitum. One might have thought the need for such precise steering would have involved only our few capable helmsmen. But the usual schedule of helm watches prevailed. It wasn’t long until one of the Black Sea experts lost the groove. A wave got under Fazisi’s stern causing the rudder to lose purchase, and the boat broached. The boom dragged heavily in the water as the boat heeled over hard. A ton of water flowed into the mainsail, much of which was lying on the sea’s sur-

face. When the boat stood up again, the weight ripped a 12-foot gash in the belly of the tired sail. The following eight hours were the worst part of the leg. The mainsail, more than a thousand square foot, very heavy triangle of wet cloth, was hauled down, an ordeal that required all hands. Meanwhile we steered off on a broader reach under just the jib. That was manageable, but the seas still had their way with us. We were rail down, and the motion was violent, unpredictable. One hand was for the mainsail that was trying to slip overboard. The other was for hanging on so we wouldn’t slip overboard. In an hour or so, the wind diminished a bit, allowing us to begin repairs. Did I mention it was night? No-

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Happy New Year and Prosperous 2024!

• Kayak Docks • Re-Decking • Pressure Wash & Seal • Boat Lifts, PWC Lifts • Gangways • Solar Dock Lighting

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• Floating Piers • Rowing Docks • Kayak Racks • Ladders • Dock Boxes • Piling Caps


Fazisi vak turned on the deck lights and brought out needles, thread, and lots of sticky-back patches. We worked in pairs, using the patches to bring the rip together, passing needles back and forth through the layers, often puncturing cold fingers, to secure the damp patches on the sail. With the boat lurching around, it was brutal, exhausting. As Villiers had written, “They worked until they had no minds, and went on. . .They worked without food, rest, sleep, interruption of any kind.” As dawn broke, we hauled the main back up, hoping it would hold for three or four days until we made Punta del Este. Somehow, it did. I was never sure what was best: the long hot shower, the joint that was passed around, or one of Uruguay’s sumptuous roasted meat platters. But it was very good to be ashore, off the boat, feet on solid ground. The hotel’s bathroom mirror reflected an unfamiliar body, more muscular, and well-bruised. My hands had thick calluses on the palms. How odd, I thought. Then I remembered the constant crawling around below on all fours – for twenty-five days. I flew home. One leg was quite enough. Skip flew home also, having announced his resignation from Fazisi at the post-race press conference. Some thought it was because the Soviets were no longer able to

pay him. “That was not entirely incorrect,” Novak would write, “but the real reason was because I was tired – tired of the racing, which was really more like a yacht delivery, tired of worrying about money, and tired of being spokesman for the Soviets. I was running out of steam telling their story, who they were and why they were here, and consequently had the enthusiasm of a bored high school teacher explaining the life cycle of angleworms in a jar for the thousandth time.” Steinlager II, under the command of the late Peter Blake – sailing his fifth Whitbread race – would win every leg of the race and place first by a landslide. Fazisi would complete the last two legs, finishing 11th overall. *** Kippy and I flew to Florida to greet the crew at the finish of Leg V. She couldn’t wait to have a look at this odd boat. To raise money, Fazisi was taking potential donors sailing, and shooting videos. We showed up and went out one afternoon. Kippy was horrified by the conditions aboard, and finally comprehended the callouses. It was good to see Rami, with whom I had gotten friendly. We invited him to dinner, and asked what sort of food he’d like to have. He was quite puzzled. He may have worked in a Latvian restaurant, but he said he’d never been “out to dinner.” Just for

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Fazisi fun, we picked one of those Miami “tiki” restaurants with the six-foot carved gods guarding the door and drinks with umbrellas served in coconut shells. Rami was amazed by the place. One of our dinner conversations was about art. Rami said he couldn’t understand how individuals could own paintings and sculptures, and hide them away in their homes. He thought those pieces should be displayed in public places where everyone could see them. We dropped Rami off. The maxi Fisher&Paykel, which would fi nish second overall, a full day behind Steinlager II, was moored next to

Fazisi. I’d always liked the look of that boat. I’d been told it had a head in the stern with a toilet on gimbles. Nice idea. I casually mentioned that it might be good fun to do a leg or two on Fisher&Paykel. I found Kippy staring at me aghast. I understood. I’m sure I had been complaining a lot, telling tough stories. But I’d been home more than a month. The callouses on my palms had gone away. Those spinetingling planing runs at 20+ knots under spinnaker with the wheel feeling light as a feather, reducing an 82-foot yacht to the size of a dinghy, had risen to the top, like cream. Vaughan.roger@gmail.com

Custom Homes, Renovations, Remodeling & Additions Quality Craftsmanship & Attention to Detail Prompt Personal Service Complete Residential Architectural Design Services MHIC Lic. #74140 · MHBR #8895

410-829-5171 · www.coastaldesignbuild.org 142


410-463-1730 (Direct) 410-822-1415 (Office) jmoore@bensonandmangold.com www.themarylandshore.com NEW LISTING

Chesapeake by Del Webb – This one-story Claiborne model features 2 bedrooms, 2 baths, great room with gas fireplace and laminate flooring. Sunroom and 2 car garage. New roof and HVAC system in 2021. Nicely landscaped with paver patio. Backs to Seth Avenue and Seth Forest. Private backyard. Community pool, tennis and Pickle Ball courts, exercise trail, putting green and Clubhouse, 55+ age restricted. $450,000

SOLD

UNDER CONTRACT

EASTON CLUB - Immaculately maintained and beautiful townhouse. 1st floor open floor plan features a living room/dining room combo, kitchen with breakfast area, family room with gas fireplace, wood flooring and powder room. 2nd floor offers a primary suite with remodeled bath with large tiled walk-in shower, 2 guest bedrooms and bath. Close to downtown Easton. $485,000

OXFORD - This brick rancher features a living room, eat-in kitchen with stainless appliances, 3-4 bedrooms, 2 baths, covered rear brick patio, fenced backyard, shed with electric and wood flooring throughout. Paved driveway. HVAC system one year old. Close to downtown, restaurants, churches, Oxford Market, exercise track, tennis courts and marinas. Situated on a +/- .34 acre lot - room for an attached garage. Recently painted throughout. $415,000

This is a great time to list your home. Our inventory is low and we have buyers looking for their dream home. Please call me for a no obligation Comparative Market Analysis.

27999 Oxford Road, Maryland 21654 143


The Wilderness | $14,000,000 coardbenson.com/thewilderness

20786 Frazier Point Ln, Preston, MD Waterfront 4 BR, 3.5BA | $1,690,000

Piney Point’s Advantage | $4,250,000 coardbenson.com/pineypoint

8478 Jane Lowe Rd, Wittman, MD Waterfront 3 BR, 2 BA | $998,000

Under Contract!

Casa Marengo | $4,975,000 coardbenson.com/casamarengo

316 N Washington, Easton, MD Downtown 2 BR, 1.5BA | $268,000

Coard Benson, Associate Broker | (410) 310-4909 | coard@coardbenson.com Benson & Mangold RE (410) 770-9255 | 24 N Washington St, Easton, MD 21601

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COOKE’S HOPE Pristine residence on Old Pasture Drive. First-story Bedroom with tiled bath and 14 ft long walk-in closet. Great Room (27 x 20) with fireplace and built-in book/display cases. Formal Dining Room (17 x 15). Well designed Kitchen open to Breakfast Room. Study. 10 ft. ceilings, 2-car Garage. 3 BRs, 2 baths up. Decks, nature trails, fitness center. Dog park. Community pier. $995,000 Call Bob Shannahan

SHORELINE REALTY

114 Goldsborough St., Easton, MD 21601 410-822-7556 · 410-310-5745 www.shorelinerealty.biz · bob@shorelinerealty.biz


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