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I want to grow up to be like ­Diamond Dave

When I was a little kid, I wanted to play the guitar like my dad did. He’s a great musician, a human jukebox who can play hundreds of songs, whatever you want. Diamond Dave is what his music partner Mike calls him, a name that reminds me of the 1960s and of Woodstock, the culture he was immersed in when he was about my age, a teenager. He’s been honing his skill for more than twice as long as I’ve been alive, and it shows.

Only poets have words for so tough a job

It’s that time of year again when, whether we deserve it or not, Hallmark tells us parents what a great job we’re doing raising our kids. Yet as we all know, perfection is unattainable. Toughing the job, Americans are increasingly parenting alone. Roughly a quarter of American children are raised by single parents, with nearly 20 percent single fathers, according to 2011 Census statistics.     No matter the circumstances, our children’s road to independence follows a fine line between common sense and the nanny state.

Thanks to Dad, I’ve checked and refilled oil, changed spark plugs and batteries, tightened wires, satisfied in the knowledge I could do it

My father, Marlow Hankey, came back from the Army in 1952 after a few years in Korea. While in the service, he learned to like the work of fixing cars and engines in the Motor Pool. His later-life tag of Mr. Fixit stemmed from that time.     I remember him working on his cars, changing the spark plugs, the oil and filters. Most of the cars were Fords. When I was 16, I remember him buying a 1956 Ford Fairlane — but at that age I was not very interested in cars.

Special Olympics athletes set their sights on the summer games in Los Angeles

Brandan Ehrmantraut of Prince Fredrick loves being part of Special Olympics. “It shows we aren’t different even with our disabilities,” the 20-year-old says. “We can compete like everyone else.”     Ehrmantraut and seven unified cheerleading teammates are journeying to Los Angeles later this summer to support and energize special athletes from around the world in the 2015 Special Olympics World Summer Games. They will be cheering on five of their Maryland peers at the games.

Since a teenage batboy for the Washington Senators, Bill Cox has rooted for the home team

Ask Rose Haven resident Bill Cox about baseball, and he’ll tell you as many stories as you want to hear.     You’d expect as much from this 74-year-old, as he drives a blazing red golf cart refurbished as a Washington Nationals tribute with red and white seats, chrome wheels and a Nats logo. Cox and his shiny cart make appearances in all the Rose Haven holiday parades. He lets Santa borrow it for the Christmas parade.

Tactician Terry Hutchinson rises to top spot for a second time

Terry Hutchinson has been named the U.S. Sailing Association’s 2014 Rolex Yachtsman of the year.     A veteran of four America’s Cup campaigns, Hutchinson in 2014 was atop more major regatta leader boards than any other American sailor. Competing as chief tactician, he won the Farr 40 and TP52 World Championships and the Oman Cup’s RC44 one-design class, among other big-boat regattas around the world. He also was at the helm in the Annapolis Fall Brawl, as the winner in the J/70 class.

Can’t get your boat to a pump-out station? One will come to you

If you spend much time on your boat, it’s probably got a head. What you put into the head can’t go into the Bay. It’s against the law to pump effluent into the Bay or its tributaries or within three miles of the U.S. coastline.

A nautical life leads to Annapolis Maritime Antiques

Life gets interesting early for some people. Mark Zuckerberg invented Facebook when he was 20, was a billionaire by 23 and had a movie made about him by 26. For more of us, it takes a lifetime to build a story.     For Tony Kime, the owner of Annapolis Maritime Antiques, life’s story got more interesting after retirement — his second.

Senator Ben Cardin wants a system that’s fair and easy to understand

Everybody hates taxes, yet we want more and more services from government.     Trying to balance those two forces, U.S. Senator Ben Cardin wants to change our entire tax system, which he regards as out of whack, not to mention unfair.     The system he’s espousing essentially taxes us when we spend money rather than siphoning it from our paychecks, earnings, dividends and capital gains. Cardin is a Democrat, but many Republicans agree with him. So does Bill Gates.

How a 60-something heart-attack survivor found fitness and friendship riding with the Fab Brew Crew

About 5pm on a Tuesday afternoon, I pulled into the nearly empty parking lot of the Inn at Pirates Cove in Galesville.     Where was everyone?     I had expected the place to be teeming with cyclists.     Had I come to the wrong place at the wrong time on the wrong day? Confusion joined doubts that had been growing since I decided to check out the cycling group I heard of from friend John Hoffman.