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Great Expectations … Revisited

How did 2015 work out?

Back on January 2, when this year was new, we couldn’t help but wonder whether this might just be the one to make us healthy, wealthy and wise.
    Were we alone in that wishful thinking? Or does the coming of a new year make optimists of us all?
    We were curious.
    So we turned to friends and neighbors to ask what each expected his new year to bring. With our inquiry came a condition. We’d follow up at year’s end to ask just how this year turned out.
    Read on to see how their great expectations were realized. Then ask yourself the same question, as I have.

–Sandra Olivetti Martin


Anne Arundel County; Consultant

For 40 years we have lived on this postage stamp lot. This year we tore down the old house, leaky roof and pipes, crumbling walls, to erect a new one under the trees.

We moved to a new house on the lot we’ve known for 40 years. The first day, magically, a blue bird alit on the deck rail and waited for the camera: Welcome back!
    Summer was mostly outside, replanting old shrubs and bulbs, which had patiently waited in pots, shifting to the shade as the day turned. September we glimpsed the eclipse. Autumn was frequently outside, raking, reading, shifting to the sun as the day turned. Inside, this holiday season, we are warm and grateful, surrounded by new walls and old friends. We have arrived home.

Deborah Banker

Cape St. Claire; Sculptor and art teacher, St. John’s College

This past year has been the most successful time for my art career, exceeding all of the expectations I set forth in my 2015 Bay Weekly forecast.
    I exhibited my alabaster Naiad sculptures locally at the MFA Holley Gallery, Mitchell Gallery at St. John’s College and the Roland Park Country School Gallery in Baltimore and finished the year with an exhibit at Menier Gallery in London, England. Each exhibit was a great success in terms of exposure, sales and gathering new clients.
    Thank you Bay Weekly for encouraging me to put these hopes and dreams on paper.

Joel Dunn

Annapolis; Conservationist and president of Chesapeake Bay Conservancy

This year has proven what I knew to be true: working together we can protect and restore our great rivers and special places. President Barack Obama included more than $30 million in his proposed budget to conserve land along the Chesapeake’s major rivers; the public stood up to harmful proposed power lines and developments in sensitive ecosystems; and we’re a step closer to achieving the first National Marine Sanctuary in the Chesapeake.
    With the region’s human population approaching 18 million and growing and tens of thousands of acres of open space vanishing each year, our Chesapeake needs our help more than ever. In 2016, we must focus our efforts on public access to the Bay. With nearly 12,000 miles of Chesapeake shoreline, only two percent is publicly accessible. To bring more people into the conservation movement, they need access to appreciate the Bay and to be dedicated to its protection.

Chris Haley

Annapolis; Director, Study of the Legacy of ­Slavery in ­Maryland

I hope that 2015 produces more people from both sides of the political and social divide who acknowledge the similarities that all people — black, white, Hispanic, Asian, gay, straight, religious, atheist, native-born and immigrant — share.

Perhaps, particularly approaching an election year, that was foolish. Hostility and suspicion have trampled my dream. The dinner table where we should not discuss politics, religion or money extends through all media, especially social. We declare our differences more than ever and bid our better angels goodbye. With righteous indignation and unacknowledged hypocrisy, we shout the faults of others and deny our own. We defend inalienable human rights, but decry them for any whose beliefs, actions or appearances do not mirror our own. We choose fear and lies over faith and trust. We justify it all because of the topical them.
     One book completed, I pray for caution over paranoia and that our better angels visit again.

Jeff Huntington

Annapolis; Artist

My art has involved the interplay of images representing the friction between dark and light, the universal struggle happening inside us and in the events unfolding around us.
    My art will be shown in Brazil, where I hope to travel to paint a mural. I also hope to be involved in Living Walls, which uses murals to create dialogue between artists and residents in Atlanta.
    To bring overall balance to my life and my art, I’ll continue investing in my own health and well-being.

Agony & Ecstasy, Huntington’s controversial mural above Tsunami on West Street in Annapolis, mirrored his life in 2015.
    He lost both parents in the first half of the year. By summer, he had moved from studio work to murals, painting walls from Sao Paulo, Brazil, to the Annapolis Design District off Spa Road.
    “Learning how to say no and how to breathe” are part driver and part effect of Huntington’s transformation. On Adventure Tuesdays, he and wife Julia strengthened their connection and brought balance to his life, as also do pre-dawn bike rides.
    In 2016, he plans to continue to work on walls — in D.C., Chicago, France, Hawaii and Guatemala — as he appreciates its on-the-fly challenges and finds deeper honesty and authenticity in “street art.”

–Leigh Glenn

Mimi Little

Scientist Cliffs; Artist, president CalvART Gallery

Professional goals? To ensure that ­CalvArt grows as a professional gallery where people of all ages can view and take home exceptional art, attend classes, hear lectures, learn, interact, and with all the inspiration, themselves create — and have fun!
    My own goals? To explore acrylics, mixed media, create canvases large enough to cover a wall — and work on my Spanish.

We had a great year at CalvART: I couldn’t be more impressed with our artists and their work! We’ve started a new program, Art Night, with gallery artists presenting small workshops with all supplies included for our friends and patrons to try their hand at what we do. It’s been so much fun.
    I also had the privilege of becoming a grandmother this year. What fun is that!
    Never did get to South America. We sold the Cabo Rico sailboat, so my Spanish refresher course will be postponed.

Margaret H. Phipps

Owings; Calvert County Register of Wills

I’ve been register of wills for 37 years, so I know what to expect in 2015. I’m here to serve people. That’s what I love about the job.
    On the farm, I expect we’ll have a dozen new Angus calves in 2015.

I love my job as much as ever, still doing the same thing, serving the people. A knee replacement in November has slowed me temporarily and kept me home from work longer than I ever have been. Normally, I only take two weeks off during the year. I ­wouldn’t know what to do with myself if I couldn’t be helping someone. I have worked in the tobacco fields and tossed hay bales, but nothing compares to working my way through therapy for this knee. It whips me, but I can’t let that get me down as it is so important for recovery. They say I am doing extremely well, and I have a straight leg again so I can move even better and faster. I’ll be back up to speed very soon and ready to charge into the New Year.
    We did have our dozen calves, and kept two of them, selling the others to farmers to add to or start their herds. Calving is starting again this month, and we expect about the same number this year.