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The Gateway to Summer

Memorial Day reminds us to delight in being alive
Christopher Swanson, died in Ramadi, Iraq on July 22, 2006. His mother Kelly was the topic of our story A Gold Star ­Mothers Day: Kelly Swanson keeps her fallen soldier son Christopher alive in spirit. Find it at
     We cannot enter summer through Memorial Day’s gateway without reflections that ought to make life and its pleasures dearer. Life ended in its sweet springtime for most of the 41,892,128 men and women lost in U.S. Military Service during Wartime between 1775 and 1991. To that U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs figure, add 6,915 more lives lost in our Global War on Terrorism since 2001. 
     Each of those millions was a life infinitely important in its brief span, each of those a name spoken in reverence until no living memory survived. One was Henry Beckwith, the chum our beloved columnist Bill Burton lost in World War II and outlived by six decades, recalled each year by Bay Weekly in both their honor. Another was Tony Pellegrino, boyhood hero to John O’Hara of Bowie, lost in World War II and recalled in this week’s paper. Another was Christopher Swanson, son of Gold Star Mother Kelly Swanson of Rose Haven, the subject of our Mother’s Day feature three weeks ago. Chris died in Ramadi, Iraq on July 22, 2006.
     Those three and their 42 million compatriots are in our minds and hearts on Memorial Day.
     Remember them, and in your own life take the advice Free Will Astrologer Rob Brezsny offers Librans this week: “Be eager to utter the word MORE! as you meditate on the French phrase joie de vivre and the English phrase a delight in being alive.”
     Put our minds in that frame, and we may enter into the pleasures of summer.
Helping you into those pleasures come rain or come shine is the purpose of Bill Sells’ Memorial Day feature, Summer Calls for Picnics, and ­Picnics Call for Games. In it, you’ll find eight yard games to enjoy all summer long outdoors or in.
     On a scale 100 times as large, summer pleasures are the theme of the annual special you find in this week’s paper, 101 Ways to Have Fun: Your Guide to Summer on the Bay. I promise you it lives up to its name. Staff writer Kathy Knotts has filled this thick magazine with things to do and places to go that give Chesapeake Country its distinctive culture.
     You’ll learn, for example, how to catch a crab, size up a crab, cook a crab feast and evaluate a crab cake. You’ll see where and how to look for signature Chesapeake creatures, horseshoe crabs and Chessie. You’ll find out where to find a Bay beach, a refreshing swimming hole and put-ins for paddle boats and ramps for trailered boats.
     You’ll discover what’s happening week by week in Chesapeake Country. You’ll read what’s what and when in summer’s night skies. You’ll discover when and where you can see Maryland’s state sport, jousting. You’ll learn what festival is when and where to celebrate the Fourth of July with parades and fireworks. 
      101 Ways to Have Fun will keep you busy and happy all the way to Labor Day. By then, we’ll be ready to take you into autumn with another annual special, 50 Ways to Leave Your Summer. But that’s 101 days from now. Now summer 2019 is all yours to live and love.
Calling Dad Lookalikes
     We had so much fun with our Mother’s Day lookalike contest (you’ll find the winners in this week’s paper) that we’re doing it for Father’s Day. 
     For your Father-Child photos to appear in our June 13 issue:
1. Send a photo of the two of you;
2. Caption it with a short family story about your resemblance;
3. Tell us who’s who by name and town, identifying both father and child;
4. Provide us a point of contact.
      Email to [email protected] before 1pm Monday June 10. 
Photos will again be voted on by readers and prizes awarded.