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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. 

Chesapeake Beach matriarch ­celebrates with five generations

     This weekend, Chesapeake Beach’s Mother Christmas celebrates a holiday of a different sort.      Jo Finch, aka Mother Christmas, turns 90 on September 4. Finch, a former town councilwoman, is a mother and grandmother, great-grandmother, great-great-grandmother and great-great-great-grandmother.       “I think the children have something planned,” she surmises. “Any excuse to have a party; they take after their mother.”

Of Fenders and Gibsons, GE Smith and Eric Clapton

     American music grew up on American guitars.      Mississippi Delta blues rose from the spirituals of African Americans but found a voice on National Resonator guitars built in California. Jazz and swing evolved from Big Bands on Gibson Archtops made in Kalamazoo, Michigan. The lonesome hillbilly folk we know as bluegrass was played on Martin guitars from Nazareth, Pennsylvania. When blues and jazz had a baby, they called it rock and roll and played it on Leo Fender’s Telecaster.

Bob Evans Seafood’s story continues — with a surprise turn

If you were Eliza or Lori Evans, daughters of renowned Maryland waterman and single father Bob Evans, waking in the pitch of night to go crabbing was par for the course. From the age of three or four, the sisters, two years apart, were all but destined to work in the seafood industry.     Their part of the industry is Bob Evans Seafood, the family business since 1972, in Churchton since 1994. With customers from Virginia, D.C., Charles and Calvert counties, it is almost an institution in southern Anne Arundel County.

We asked, and you delivered, with great nuptial photos and wedding day memories.

  Stacie ‘Jaya’ and Ivan Balaguer Married April 9, 2011, in Punta Cana Dominican Republic

Why does the groom always stand on the bride’s right?

It’s usually because that’s where the nearest exit is.     No, just kidding. The groom’s position is a tradition dating back to medieval times. It is also why many European countries drive on, according to us, the wrong side of the road.

Capturing customers with a little of this, a little of that

The name Vintage Stew, colorfully scripted on the brick wall above an empty storefront in Deale, opened four years ago to numerous conversations about whom and what was moving in. Was it a new eatery serving stew?     “Like a big ol’ pot of stew …” says owner Shelley Daniels. But not the kind you eat.     “A mix of ingredients,” adds partner Barry Morrissey.