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People

Six small ways Chesapeake neighbors are making a better world 

     Our neighbors are some amazing people. They do not take for granted the privilege of living in Chesapeake Country in comfort and community amidst a larger world where so many suffer famine, flood, fighting and so many degrees of inferiority.      They interpret that privilege as a challenge to make a better world. Rich in resources as we are, many of us take that challenge far and wide. Others find their mission here at home — for even here, good fortune is not equally distributed.

How to sing Messiah for St. James’ sing-along

     On key, according to Michael Ryan, the mighty voice retired from the President’s Own U.S. Marine Band and, later, St. Mary’s College to lead Chesapeake Country in a unique opportunity to sing George Frideric Handel’s most beloved and “accessible” oratorio.

What our Thanksgiving tradition meant for one immigrant

      Anna Formici Smith can remember her first Thanksgiving as if it were yesterday.       The year was 1964. Seventeen-year-old Italian high school student Anna Formici was spending a year in the American Southwest through a student exchange program. She’d been living with a host family in Phoenix and had just spent a week with the Navajo tribe, learning of the plight of many of our Native Americans.

In Armenia, we say yerakhtapart

     Green Bean Casserole is my least favorite part of a traditional Thanksgiving, which is a pity, because my hometown in Armenia is famous for the quality of its green beans. At this time of year, though, with snow already on the mountains, the only beans we see are kidney shaped and devoid of pod.

Aly weaves a tale

     Aly loved October. She loved how the spiders spun ghostly webs to decorate the house for Halloween.      The fall cold always came overnight, when the moon was a spooky thumbnail. Then her mother’s outdoor plants began to droop and wither. Thinking about the spiders and how hard they were working, Aly worried.

Screenwriter Rodney Barnes hits the comic shelves with Falcon #1

     When Rodney Barnes hung out at the Eastport corner drugstore reading comic books, he could dream of becoming the mind behind a comics superhero.      He was a hard-working kid. “I think I washed dishes in every restaurant in town,” he says. “I also shucked oysters, crabbed and worked the concessions at Navy stadium.”

A missive 20 years delayed sent me into my future

     What is a miracle? Some may say it is the touch of a loved one, reaching deep into one’s heart to caress the soul. Others may say it is the vast mystery of the world, laying softly on the hills and whispering through grass and leaves.      To me, a miracle is a postcard.
After 60 years, Eva Brann is St. John’s longest-serving tutor
     When school opens this fall, 88-year-old Eva Brann — renowned philosopher, author and long-time Annapolitan — begins her 60th year of doing what she loves best: discussing the great works of western civilization with the Johnnies.

College junior DaJuan Gay ­campaigning to bring people ­together and make positive changes 

     DaJuan Gay began his junior year at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore with more on his mind than his challenging curriculum.       At the age of 20, when most college kids anticipate the social life of school, Gay focuses his extracurricular activities on his run for Annapolis Alderman in Ward 6. On September 19, he hopes to win a seat on the Annapolis City Council. He is running against Shaneka Henson, also a first-time candidate.

A look at who we are through what we do in snapshots of Chesapeake Country ­working people aged 17 to 89.

Summer officially ends with Labor Day, aptly the day America sets aside to celebrate the people who made and make the nation.       The holiday began as part of working people’s campaign to claim the benefits of their labor. Much has changed since the determined, often life-and-death labor struggles of the late 19th century. Industries have flourished and fallen. We do different jobs, contributing to a far different give-and-take than New York City’s 1892 Labor Day paraders.