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Articles by Sandra Olivetti Martin

Vegetables from A to Z — plus a little free protein at the K

As July rolls into August, locavores are in high corn. Literally, for in the fields around us corn is reaching to the sky. Figuratively, because we can eat our fill of Maryland-grown sweet well-kernelled ears — along with all the complementary fruits of the season, from beans to zucchini, with plenty of tomatoes along the way. Mid-summer’s harvest supplies a fruit or vegetable for every letter of the alphabet, except maybe X.
    The morning after the Governor’s Annual Eat Local Cookout, husband Bill Lambrecht and I toured our home garden. With the heat wave moving in, the valiant kale — the plant on which so many cool weather meals were built — was doomed. I harvested it for one last stand. The plants were too old for salad or to be crisped with olive oil in a slow oven, as a friend suggests. But they weren’t too old for that down-home favorite, a mess of greens.
    My recipe offers a distinct variation on that old theme. Or perhaps it doesn’t.
    Harvesting the kale, I pulled the plants up by their roots, clipping off the freshest stems and discarding the rest, including a thriving community of Colorado potato beetles, pretty striped bugs that had been feasting on the leaves. I could tell the bugs were healthy, for they made short work of climbing out of the four-foot-tall paper yard waste recycling bag in which I stuffed them. Eventually, I had to catch them one by one and consign them to, I hoped, death by suffocation in a plastic bag. Easier to manage were the caterpillars, lots of small, thin, striped ones, the cabbage moth larvae, and a few softly fat pale green ones, the cabbage loopers.
    I was pretty successful in corralling the beetles, I saw, as I stripped the leaves from the stems. For that job I have a nice tool, a flat plastic half disc perforated with four holes of ascending size. Choosing a hole, I pulled each stem through, collecting the leaves in a bowl. Discarded along with the stems were lots more caterpillars.
    Garden kale takes ample washing, indeed triple washing, in bowls of water, sinks of water and under streams of water. Each washing turned up plenty more caterpillars, drowned or holding tenaciously to the curly kale leaves. When I’d surely gotten them all out, I filled a large, low pot with deep green leaves of kale.
    In the pot on the stove, I sprinkled the kale with dried mustard and a nice pinch of chilies dried from earlier years’ garden crops, plus grindings of fresh pepper. “You know when it’s enough,” my mother said, and I’ve always followed that measure — except in baking, which my mother seldom did and perhaps her motto explains why.
    I cook a mess of kale with only two more ingredients: a jigger of cider vinegar and about six times as much apple cider. This time of year, when apples are still to be harvested and pressed, a child’s juice pack is just about the right amount. Cook slow and long. When the greens are cooked, I add two or three cloves of garlic — ours is just harvested — crushed and sautéed in olive oil. That’s all it takes for a fine mess of local greens.
    Except, as the kale wilted, I saw that this mess of greens had another ingredient.
    “What local dish are we having tonight?” my husband asked that evening.
    “Organic kale with fresh garlic and small striped caterpillars,” I said.
    “Free protein,” says Bay Gardener, Dr. Frank Gouin.
    
    Find recipes without caterpillars, created by top Maryland chefs for the Governor’s Annual Eat Local Cookout, in the 2016 Maryland Buy Local Cookbook: http://mda.maryland.gov/Documents/cookbook16.pdf

Sandra Olivetti Martin
Editor and publisher; editor@bayweekly.com

Caught live and dressed for you this and every week in Bay Weekly

What do you love to do?    
    Discovering what that is and making the time to do it is a key to a happy life.
    I learned that lesson from Joe Akers, who when I met him had stepped back from the stage of world affairs to take over a small-town Illinois newspaper.
    “When I worked for the oil companies,” Akers told me the evening of the June afternoon I walked into his newsroom, “I’d leave and never know when I’d be back. Three weeks, that’ll be all, my boss said on sending me to South America.
    “By then I was wise to him. All right, I said, but I want one condition. I want to come home once a month.
    “Fine,” he said.
    “That stay lasted 11 months and took me to nearly every county in South America. But he kept his promise. I came home 11 times.”
    Back then, I’d bumped into what I loved to do, and I was making time for it. Discovering people like Joe Akers kept photographer partner Sue Eslinger and me on the road for two years.
    Two years have stretched into a lifetime. After leaving Illinois, and Illinois Times, I joined with my family in creating Bay Weekly so I could keep telling the stories of people whose work and play made this their equivalent of Akers’ “the best life I’ve ever lived — that I can remember.”
    Most everybody who’s ever written a story for Bay Weekly has shared my sustained delight in discovering, first-hand, the dynamism of people doing work they love.
    That’s why you have the pleasure this week of reading The Original Social Network.
    Writer Karen Holmes was dancing at the Davidsonville Recreation Center when she chanced on the Anne Arundel Radio Club reaching out to the world by Morse code, voice and digital over the 24 hours of this year’s nationwide Ham Radio Field Day.
    Find a bunch of people erecting electronic Maypoles, and you take notice. If, that is, you’re like Holmes, whose association with Bay Weekly has turned her into the version of a journalistic hunting dog we call a newshound.
    Like Sue and me in those early years, Bay Weekly reporters catch their stories where they find them.
    Proudly, they bring their catch back to me, and we dress them for your reading pleasure. Just as Karen Holmes has done in this fascinating story about people — our neighbors in Calvert and Anne Arundel counties — whose passion is connecting.
    In the inner sanctums of journalism, there’s a lot of talk nowadays about “rekindling the passion for print” — in other words, how to get people to do what you’re doing, reading a newspaper.
    Of my prescription for keeping print alive and well, you’re living proof: Find writers and reporters who love their work, and send them out to bring back stories of people making the world tick. These are stories people will read.
    We’ve got stories of that sort for you again this week, thanks to writers like Victoria Clarkson, first appearing in Bay Weekly this week; Kathy Knotts, a journalist for 15 years, the last for Bay Weekly; and intern Robyn Bell, our St. John’s College grad who’s discovering what thrills us all in this business: finding good stories and bringing them back to you.

Sandra Olivetti Martin
Editor and publisher; editor@bayweekly.com

Spin dreams and refresh fond memories with Bay Weekly’s first-ever Wedding Guide

Does it take an advanced degree to plan a wedding?    
    Our longtime contributing writer Emily Myron claims equivalent credit to a master’s in strategic planning for organizing her upcoming October wedding. She’s been working on it since April 2015, when her guy dropped to one knee at the Jefferson Memorial in Washington, D.C. It didn’t take much longer to earn her first master’s degree, in environmental management, at Duke University.
    Obsessive Type A personality that she confesses to be, Emily has turned her well-documented planning into a how-to that will guide couples through the complex geography of getting married.
    If that’s not you, don’t feel left out. We get the fun of peeking into her story.
    On the how-to side, she sets up seven categories — Where to Marry, Caterer, The Dress, Photography, Flowers, Music plus Hair and Makeup — and tells you how she and her fiancé (replaced by her mother for dress shopping) researched and decided in each.
    In most of those categories, we readers will have to wait until after her big day to find out what her choices were and how they worked out. Location the couple know well, as they courted in that garden back in their days at Duke. Dress is bought, but despite my editorial blandishments, she refused to send photos before her wedding day, lest Bay Weekly readers know more than her groom. Everything else is pretty much a gamble. You make your study, pay your money and hope for the best.
    That’s where Bay Weekly’s advertising partners take over.
    In this issue, 30-some local businesses with special wedding qualifications step in to describe how they can help you. Thus you’ll learn that family-owned Willow Oak Flower and Herb Farm is a close parallel to the North Carolina, mother-daughter cottage garden business that is growing and designing Emily’s wedding flowers.
    Emily’s wedding venue is the Sarah P. Duke Gardens in Durham. Where is yours? Chesapeake Country is so rich with wonderful options that I’m glad this choice is yours and not mine. In these pages you’ll read about the outdoor settings of Annmarie Garden, Darnall’s Chance House Museum, Friday’s Creek Winery, Historic Sotterley Plantation, Maria’s Love Point Bed and Breakfast, Running Hare Winery, the Town of North Beach and Two Rivers-Maryland Yacht Club. Each offers unique, spectacular settings.
    You’ll also learn about favorite Chesapeake Country places with special ambiance and good food both casual and upscale: Babes Boys Tavern; Brick Wood Fired Bistro; Pirates Cove; The Old Stein Inn; Two Rivers Steak & Fish House, The Reserve, Catering, & Bakery.
    Of course you may have your own dream spot. A half dozen more of our wedding partners describe how they’ll set the stage for a party or wedding in a garden, on the beach or a favorite back yard.
    Other partners, including DJ Dave and Last Call Entertainment, will satisfy your musical tastes. Diamonds and dresses are here too, to set your imagination spinning.
    We’d like to help you eat your cake, too, for Cakes and Confections and Kirsten’s Cakery have set our sweet teeth longing, while Kilwins Chocolates has us dreaming of sugarplum favors.
    If you can’t fit us on your guest list, do send photos — or, better still, your wedding painted on the scene by live-event painter Amy Moreno. (Without reading about it here, who would have thought of a painting of your wedding, done on the spot?)
    You’ll also find framing and preserving helpers in these pages.
    Send us your wedding photos, like the 26 readers whose wedding memories start on page 18 in “I Do”, and we’ll include you in next year’s Wedding Guide.

Sandra Olivetti Martin
Editor and publisher; editor@bayweekly.com

From Honor Flights … to Rocking the Dock … to Shark Week, Bay Weekly puts you in the know

Have your travels taken you to BWI, National or Dulles airports as a plane full of old veterans made their slow way through the concourse? If so, you’ll know the eruptions of appreciation described by writer Selene San Felice in this week’s feature story, The Men Who Saved the World: Honoring the Greatest Generation of Veterans Starts at BWI.
    I’ve seen that scene, as the planned Honor Flight welcome is amplified by the spontaneous gawking, applause, photo snapping, even singing of travelers whose ordinary passage through the airport has pulled them into history.
    Massed together as they were in their fighting companies, for perhaps the last time, the veterans come so full of memories that passers-by can’t help but feel the weight they carry and imagine its import.
    More powerful still, as San Felice documents, is to share the sacred space at one of our great national memorials like the World War II, Korean or Vietnam with a gathering of veterans who lived those wars.
    As well as Honor Flights, other organizations bring their veterans to our nation’s memorials.
    It was on a pilgrimage organized by the Laborers International Union of North America that I felt the power still vital in these old men.
    They saw the war, I wrote in this space in May 2010. You cannot imagine what they saw. But you know from their shell-shocked look that they are seeing it again.
    They are awed and daunted, and their hearts are overflowing.
    That May day was the last visit of many of the ­veterans I joined.
    Two I knew well are no longer with us: Paul Penn, a World War II veteran, and his son David Penn, a Vietnam veteran. Together we had traced the story of America’s wars in 24 bas-relief panels sculpted in brass on the ceremonial entrance walls to the World War II Memorial. One of the panels depicts trucks and jeeps on their way to England through the Lend Lease program.
    “That’s what I did. I was a driver,” said Paul, reading the images with his fingers and memory as if they were Braille.
    I was there, he said, and made the story real.
    Great as the power of art and architecture are, human witness is more powerful still. To understand the weight of history, we need the first person present. That’s what we get when we share the company of veterans — at our airports, our memorials and this week in Selene San Felice’s story.
    Selene, just turning 21 as you read her story, will remind you of the power of empathy — and take her ­veterans’ memories far into the future.

And, that’s just one of the benefits you get from reading this issue of Bay Weekly.
    Read about how Chesapeake Beach Resort Rocks the Dock almost every night of summer … Shark Week at Calvert Marine Museum, with living sharks and fantastic fossils … how to catch rockfish … what to do for entertainment and education through July 14 — plus, who’s doing what all around Chesapeake Country.
    In our advertisements, you’ll find just what you need — as well as what you didn’t know you needed until you saw it here.
    As always, Bay Weekly puts you in the know.

Sandra Olivetti Martin
Editor and publisher; editor@bayweekly.com

On the Fourth of July, we celebrate reason and high ideals

There are places that seem to be magic. Who knows what forces might be at work? Perhaps magnetic fields? Certainly I’m not claiming any science here. Yet over history, places like England’s Stonehenge have drawn human creatures ­hither, often for sacred rites.
    Another of those forces seems to me to rise along the Mississippi River between Fort de Chartres and Fort Kaskaskia, the first capital of Illinois. Nearby in the cliffs of the river, humans sheltered as long ago as 10,000 years at the Modoc Rock Shelter.
    You can feel the vibrations there. At least I did when I visited with Irwin Peithmann, the local archaeologist who discovered those long-ago people’s telltale leavings.
    Places on the calendar can have that same kind of resonance. Right now, we’re in one of those times: the solstice days leading up to the Fourth of July.
    Can you feel the magic of the solstice? Indoor lives buffer us from the sense of the sun, but it still pulls on us. That force is one of the reasons people choose to spend their lives out of doors, often, here in Chesapeake Country, on the water.
    Our calendars, including Stonehenge, mark the solstice as the first day of summer here in the Northern Hemisphere. Chesapeake Country artist and naturalist John Taylor goes contrary to tradition, calling the summer solstice the first day of Chesapeake autumn, as it’s the pivot point for shortening daylight hours.
    As you’ll read in The Bay Gardener this week, plants grow by the length of daylight hours, and knowledge of their affinity for light helps gardeners to success.
    Solstice is universal language that we’ve Americanized in very special ways.
    I’m not thinking just of fiscal years, which as in Maryland often end on June 30.
    Our magic day of the season is the Fourth of July. Though we could be celebrating the Second of July, when the Continental Congress voted for independence, as you’ll read in Chesapeake Curiosities this week.
    What we’re celebrating — with fireworks, parades, concerts, picnics, barbecues and naturalization ceremonies — is our Declaration of Independence. Written over June of 1776 by five authors —Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, Roger Sherman, John Adams and Robert R. Livingston — it was presented to the Continental Congress on July 1, debated, revised and adopted July 4.
    War had already broken out, and George Washington had been commissioned commander in chief of the armies fighting for independence from Great Britain. So fervor was high.  
    Consider America’s political passions this summer 240 years later, and you’ll get a sense of those roiling times. Back then, however, the 56 signers of the Declaration of Independence, including four Marylanders, were deadly serious, were willing to kill and to be killed, for their cause.
    One of the wonders of that time is that these men and their compatriots could summon the cool force of reason to think — newly for their age — in terms of moral ideals. They could not only think great thoughts but also express their claim in words that set the standard for political wisdom.
    That’s a feat worth celebrating. Worth emulating in these unsettled times of ours.
    If you’re feeling that reason and higher ideals are scarce in today’s political debate, you might need a reminder of what they sound like.
    How long has it been since you’ve read the Declaration of Independence?
    Refresh your memory (below) and enjoy your Fourth!

Sandra Olivetti Martin
Editor and publisher; editor@bayweekly.com

And thanks for keeping the dialogue going

Who wants to talk — or write — when nobody’s listening? Not me, regardless of what my husband might say. (He accuses me of happily talking to a void. Sometimes, that void is he.)
    So I’m thrilled when you make Bay Weekly a dialogue. On that score, this has been a very good week.
    In this space last week, I asked for stories of mid-20th century fathers. Reader Bonnie promptly sent hers, noting that traits pass down for better or worse. As she’s at a stage of writing her heart out, she’s sent more, and I’ve read with pleasure.
    Responding to the same request, Annapolitan and former St. Louisan Jack wrote, “I thought I knew most of the joints, but missed that one. Okay, I give! Where is/was, the Stymie Club?”
    Alas, it is no more, but from the mid-1940s through the mid-1960s the Stymie supper club and cocktail lounge stood at 7555 Olive Street Road in the St. Louis suburb of University City. My parents, Gene and Elsa Martin, owned it from 1948 until 1965.
    That Editor’s Letter included shout-outs to a half-dozen or so modern fathers who’ve showed me how it’s done. I’m delighted to have heard back from many of them. Bill Freivogel, the father so agile in diapering babies, reports that his son-in-law and daughter say good fathering models are still scarce:
    “Over a long, wonderful weekend with six grandchildren,” Freivogel wrote, “we read a lot of our old children’s books. Liz and her husband Gabe remarked at how few modern, progressive role models there are in those books and even in today’s children’s books. (Gabe has stayed home with their two kids the past three years and is about to go back to work as a Spanish teacher.) In the books, the mommas are doing almost all of the parenting. We’ve still got a long way to go before dads become full parents, I’m afraid.”
    Reader Greg flashed that issue at me from the cockpit of his sailboat, where he was reading as husband Bill and I returned from a fishless Father’s Day excursion. Greg had already accused Bill and me of combining two of Bay Weekly’s 101 Ways to have Fun into one as we picnicked waterside an evening earlier.
    Readers use Bay Weekly to plan their excursions, too. Reader Marilyn, a Coloradan who spends part of summer boating on Chesapeake Bay, thanks us for guiding her and her husband to Smithsonian Environmental Research Center, where they kayaked.
    Husband Bill may not always listen to me, but he always reads Bay Weekly. Having taken Sporting Life columnist Dennis Doyle’s advice to heart, he’d snatched as bait some of the soft-shell crabs meant for our dinner. Fortunately, I’d bought extra. Dennis, you’ll remember, had written that “One bait in particular will, likely as not, out-produce all others: the soft crab.”
    Reader Dave teased Bill for his garden, the subject of my June 2 Editor’s Letter. Dave retired from gardening by reason of too much work for too many tomatoes, but many other readers happily till the soil.
    Bay Gardener Dr. Frank Gouin tells me he has already filled nine requests for Gita beans, a tasty green bean that can grow to lengths of almost three feet on 10-foot-tall vines — better trellise them. He has more. For a dozen or more seeds, send a self-addressed stamped envelope to F.R. Gouin, 420 E. Bay Front Rd., Deale, MD. 20751.
    Whatever your reasons — from beanstalks Jack could envy to diversions, excursions and thoughtful provocations — thank you for reading Bay Weekly.

Sandra Olivetti Martin
Editor and publisher; editor@bayweekly.com

Modern fathering is new to me. But I like what I see

As it’s time once more to talk about fathers, let me ask you a question.
    Did you grow up in a patriarchy? Or a matriarchy?
    Matriarchy for me. Like elephant calves, I grew up surrounded by women. From the center out: my dominant, buzz-saw mother, Elsa; my doting paternal grandmother, Florence Martin; my godmothers Virginia Dalton and Kay King; the waitresses at our family restaurant and the cook, Lovie.
    Because we lived in or near our restaurant — the Stymie Club in St Louis — my father, Gene Martin, was always around, taking care of business and pleasure.
    When I was old enough to tag along, he introduced me to the world as he knew it: clubbing; St Louis Cardinals baseball; horseracing; motor boating on the Mississippi River; Chicago, his native city; and tales tall and true. Dad taught me how to have a good time, what to expect from a good date and the satisfaction of a well-told story. Not a bad role model, as I’ve enjoyed a husband with those same qualities for 43 years.
    Most schoolmates had seemingly more traditional families, with father who went to work and came home, so I imagined my matriarchal upbringing was odd. Now I’m not so sure. In the 1950s, when I grew up, raising kids was pretty much women’s work. How much, I wonder, did fathers of that era invest in their children? I’d like to hear your stories.
    When my sons came along, I raised them in a matriarchy. From the center out: me; their grandmother, Elsa; their godmother, Linda; and my amoebic circle of girlfriends, especially Janice, Judy and Sue.
    What they have taken from their father, who often lived many states away, is their story. As is their inheritance from Bill, their steadfast buddy and stepfather.
    Alex and Nat were well along before I saw the father who opened my eyes to the potential of the calling.
    Bill Freivogel, a colleague of Bill’s at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch Washington Bureau, not only split one full-time journalism job and raising four kids with his wife, Margie. Bill could also change a wet diaper while holding the kid on his hip.
    That, I thought, is a serious father.
    Other D.C. cohorts of Bill showed me more tricks of the trade of fathering. Jon Sawyer, founding director of the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting, put himself into raising his and Kem’s three girls and now a half-dozen grandchildren. Tim Poor, also from the Post-Dispatch, ran his miles with baby Elizabeth in a stroller. Donald Foley kept up with wife Louise Hilsen in raising their comingled family of five, and now three grandkids, while both kept moving ahead in high-level policy jobs.
    Around my neighborhood, Scott Smith, Jack Brumbaugh, Steve Smith, Mike Brewer showed the same dedication and delight in fathering. “Raising Eric was such a rich part of my life,” Scott Smith told me the other day, just before little Alex Groves, son of Wes, one of a new generation of dedicated fathers, raced into Scott’s arms. Steve Smith’s son John is our neighborhood’s other daddy-on-the spot with daughter Sienna.
    In my own family, I see fatherhood in action as Alex and Nat join their wives in raising Jack, Elsa and Ada, sharing work, joys and outrage.
    Of course daughters-in-law Lisa and Liz tell me theirs is still the lionesses’ share.
    And that’s a role I understand.

    While we’re on the subject, this week’s Chesapeake Curiosities reveals a famous — if little known — fact about Father’s Day. That we celebrate it at all is due to the tenacious efforts of a daddy’s girl named Sonora Smart Dodd. Read on to discover that story.
    For other role models, dads and mentors are all over our pages this week. Enjoy!

Sandra Olivetti Martin
Editor and publisher; editor@bayweekly.com

We can’t eat salad forever. Now we won’t have to.

These are our salad days.    
    Billowy red leaf, upright sheaves of Romaine, tender baby lettuces, tart sorrel with its lovely red edges, verdant deep green spinach, peppery arugula that takes off like its English name, rocket. They, like my herbs, loved our cool, rainy May and are determined to fill our bowls and bellies before heat makes them bolt into bitterness.
    At the same time, curly kale and rainbow Swiss chard are demanding to be picked and eaten. Can’t you wait, I ask them, but they answer eat me, eat me!
    Less patient still — and always welcome — are radishes, peeking out of the chocolate of our well-composed soil beneath the shade of towering leaves to remind me that their time is short. Red globe and French breakfast, they are brilliant in their color contrast, red on white, crisp to the teeth and sharp to tongue and palate.
    The earth they leave behind awaits okra, red okra I hope, for last year’s from Betty Knapp’s Loch Less Farm nursery was as delicious and bountiful as it was beautiful, coming along at the time of tomatoes, to create and satisfy our craving for a sauté of those two vegetables with shrimp and rice.
    Among onions, we’re harvesting chives, scallions and shallots now and garlic soon, for its three-foot-high stalks are budding and bending in curlicues.
    Underground, potatoes are forming, their rising leaves tell us. Tomatoes and peppers, too, are promises to be kept.
    If only our rhubarb grew as lush as our horseradish.
    Husband Bill Lambrecht’s birth place in McLean County, Illinois, is blessed with soil that ranks at the top of all Earth has to offer. Like that black gold, his Illinois farm roots are deep. Under Bay Gardener Dr. Frank Gouin’s tutelage, he is reviving them, and we are eating well. He does all that in feet rather than acres, proving — along with his lettuce — that a little can go a long way.
    Still, it could have been I, before these salad days, hungrily raiding Chesapeake’s Bounty shelves as first-time Bay Weekly writer BJ Poss describes in this week’s feature, Living Up to a 100 Percent Local Commitment.
    I’ve been a regular customer since proprietor William Kreamer opened a second Chesapeake’s Bounty in North Beach, having been long prepped by the bountiful tales of more southerly Calvert countians used to shopping at the original St. Leonard location. Food that shares your space on earth is an easy taste to acquire.
    That’s just what’s happened to us over the years we’ve been making Bay Weekly, years that coincide with the ripening of the local food movement in Chesapeake Country. Since 1993, we’ve chronicled farmers and farmways, watermen and waterways. At the same time, we’ve followed our words with our custom. We’ve been members of Community Supported Agriculture; shoppers at farm stands and farmers markets; questers for fresh asparagus, strawberries, apples, eggs and honey; buyers of locally raised meat and Bay seafood.
    (The shrimp that go with that okra are local to Gulf rather than Chesapeake waters — but they’re not farm-raised in China or Vietnam. When husband Lambrecht is not tending our garden, he’s writing investigative stories that explain why we don’t buy fish from those sources, or honey either.)
    At the same time, we’ve revived our grandmothers’ old traditions of putting food up.
    For lagging moderns like us, the missing link was a market to carry us over winter, to expand our local ­choices and to consolidate it all in one place, one trip. Chesapeake’s Bounty fills the gap.
    Among my consequent expansions: milk, butter and yogurt, as well as flour, table salt and cooking oil. (Alas, olives for olive oil don’t grow in the Chesapeake Watershed.)
    If you don’t live far enough south in Anne Arundel County to make such bounty worthwhile, maybe you’ll be the one to fill another gap.

Sandra Olivetti Martin
Editor and publisher; editor@bayweekly.com

In Chesapeake Country we are not alone

A twist of current? A floating isle of seagrass?
    In the next instant, my speculation took form as a large turtle rising through the bottle-glass water. A cousin of Calypso, the rescued sea turtle star of the National Aquarium in Baltimore’s Blacktip Reef exhibit? The star, too, of Kathy Knotts’ story this issue in honor of the 25th anniversary of the Rescue Center, she was on my mind. But the hooked beak then poking at the meniscus of the water marked this apparition as a snapping turtle. No baby ducks paddled on the cove this year. Even the resident heron was absent. Perhaps I know why.
    One way and another, it’s getting to be the turtle time of year. Box turtles will soon be crossing our roads. Humans are as dangerous to them as snappers are to ducklings. Our cars squash them; abandoned crab pots imprison them. From the marsh edge of Bay Weekly’s former office between Rockhold Creek and Tracys Creek, production manager Betsy Kehne and I once pulled out a derelict crab pot containing the empty shells of three box turtles that had wandered in but could find no way out.
    Diamondback terrapins can also die in crab pots. In this week’s paper, Bob Melamud tells you how to buy or rig your traps to avoid drowning Maryland’s mascot reptile — thus being a law-abiding citizen.
    Both those stories remind us that we are not alone. Chesapeake Country is full of life — from turtles, who give us occasional glimpses … to foxes, no longer unusual … to commonplace deer, raccoons and opossums … to squirrels, our everyday neighbors … to the constant companionship of birds big as eagles and small as hummingbirds, bees, butterflies and beetles.
    Thus this issue continues our series on our riverkeepers. This week’s installment is written by South Riverkeeper Jesse Iliff, who describes his personal journey from legal eagle to water guardian. Day by day, our riverkeepers embody the responsibility we citizens of Chesapeake Country share: living carefully in our rich but vulnerable ecosystem.
    Perhaps America’s wilderness-taming spirit suspects the word careful as a synonym for cautious. That’s not the reality. English gives us full as a generous suffix, enabling us to take a host of words, and qualities, as our own. Just as awful is full of awe, careful is full of care. When we are careful, we put our full care to our thoughts and actions, giving care to whatever prepositional object follows that phrase.
    Thus buying,crab traps with turtle excluders — or installing them on your own — is a careful act. Watching for turtles on the road is careful. As knowledge is a step toward becoming careful, knowing the work of our riverkeeper helps make us careful. As does knowing about the National Aquarium Rescue Center.
    We can be careful without endangering our national character. The Blue Angels you’ll also read about in this issue — in preparation for their usually annual visit to Annapolis for the Naval Academy’s Commissioning Week — are anything but cautious. But you can bet those pilots are careful as their A/F 18 Hornets fly within 18 inches of another’s wingtips.
    Careful is a lovely word, adding values to our selves, recognizing value in the world around us.

Sandra Olivetti Martin
Editor and publisher; editor@bayweekly.com

With Bay Weekly’s Last-Minute Camp Guide

What to do with the kids this summer takes on new urgency as summer advances from someday to next month. So for parents, Bay Weekly’s Last-Minute Camp Guide offers solutions.
    Giving them direction is an important goal, but it’s by no means the only goal of this issue. There’s value here for each of us.
    For kids, their parents’ choice is much more than childcare. Camp is often our children’s maiden voyage into a wider world. As you’ll remember from your reading of children’s books, the adventure starts when parents are absent.
    Camps nowadays are many and varied, as you’ll see in this guide, but they all follow the no-parents rule — and in a different way than school. Teachers in most schools are legally bound in loco parentis. Camp counselors also have responsibilities of care and guidance, but they’re supposed to be buddies, too, and bring on the fun. So kids get to know almost-grown-ups in a new way. At the same time, they’re exploring new environments and developing new powers for navigating, for example, the latest highlight of outdoor camps, zip lines.
    You don’t snap on a harness and zoom through thin air in school. In camp you do, discovering new muscles, skills and dimensions to your personality. So the choices parents make for their kids’ summer camps are about more than a few days or weeks; they’re about lifetimes. This guide opens the door to hundreds of choices for parents and as many directions for kids as a tree has branches.
    For no-longer kids, this guide is fantasy camp, ­reviving memories of adventures you’ve had and opening adventures that can be yours in mind as well, perhaps, as in body.
    Read in another way, the Camp Guide makes a great short course in American Studies. Back-to-nature camps are but one variety, nowadays called traditional, of the diverse species of modern camps. Many others are skill-building camps that can be as intense as baseball’s spring training. Specialty camps range from sports, arts and crafts, drama and dance to science. Many get very specific. At Camp Hidden Meadows, for example, kids delve into GoPro Video production, culinary and performing arts, organic gardening and yoga.
    Adults can daydream of camp adventures. But kids don’t go to camp to wander Huck Finn-style in chance and imagination. We send our camp-bound kids to structured experiences designed to improve them.
    If you, like me, have been provoked by The Big Read to rediscover Tom Sawyer, you too may be feeling his envy of Huckleberry as a boy who “came and went, at his own free will.”
    That “romantic outcast … slept on doorsteps in fine weather and in empty hogsheads in wet; we did not have to go to school or to church, or call any being master or obey anybody; he could go fishing or swimming when and where he chose, and stay as long as it suited him. … In a word, everything that goes to make life precious, that boy had.”
    So send your kid to camp. But leave a little free time for the kids — and yourself as well.

Sandra Olivetti Martin
Editor and publisher; editor@bayweekly.com