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The South County Senior ShowStoppers prove that ambition isn’t a young person’s game

The South County Senior ShowStoppers want you to know they’re more than just belly dancers. Shimmying seniors on Social Security may be what gets the variety troupe noticed, but this diverse bunch has more than swiveling hips to recommend them. The troupe has earned the Governor’s Leadership in Aging Award for Performing Arts, recognizing outstanding contributions to quality of life and the field of aging.

Fourth-Grader Teresa Pelli shows prize-winning political instincts

“If I were mayor, I would ...”         Build sidewalks, wrote Broadneck Elementary fourth-grader Teresa Pelli, beating fourth-graders from all over the state to win Maryland Municipal League’s 11th annual “If I were mayor, I would ...” essay contest.     “I thought of sidewalks right away because we can’t walk to school,” Pelli said. “We have to take the bus.”

Margaret O’Brien weaves her history into her future

Art is Margaret O’Brien’s way back.         The way was long for this 55-year-old whose suffering from childhood abuse recurred as post-traumatic stress disorder. At Arundel Lodge, she found first a loving home, then help in remaking her past through art.     “It was the atmosphere of praise here,” O’Brien says, “that helped me overcome my past.”

Three heroes use the power of comics for good

Bam! Pow! Clang! Each year with Free Comic Book Day, three stand against the melee. There’s little violence, but Steve Anderson, Billy Vogt and Bumper Moyer face throngs of fans.     It’s their favorite time of year.

Brothers work toward their dream one panel at a time

On the Eastern shore of Maryland, brothers Josh and Mat Shockley are hard at work with vigilantes, vampire hunters and multi-dimensional travelers. The brothers aren’t in charge of a secret government lair; they’re the owners and principal artists of PLB Comics.     They’ve been working on their business a few years, but comics have been their life since they could read.

For her 10th birthday, Maggie Strandquist asked her guests to help her help animals in need

For the big One-Oh, Maggie Strandquist of Arnold said no to presents for herself and yes to presents for the animals at the SPCA of Anne Arundel County.     “I didn’t think I needed anything, so I thought who else needed things,” Maggie reports. “I love animals and really wanted to help them, so I thought of the SPCA.”

Six Chesapeake volunteers tell how the 50-year-old Peace Corps changed their lives

Walking through Gaziantep, Turkey, meant keeping an eye on any young man walking toward me. At the instant he was about to bump me, I did a quick sidestep. In that conservative eastern country 45 years ago, this was nothing to worry about: just a young man’s trick. My sidestep was one small adjustment Peace Corps volunteers make to live by the rules of a foreign culture.

In his fifth book, Family of Freedom, Chesapeake Neighbor Ken Walsh introduces us to Presidents and their African American servants in the White House

To keep up with presidents, you have to share their drive and stamina. Understand that, and you are getting to know Ken Walsh, one of the shrinking corps of reporters whose job is telling the rest of us about the plans, plots and policies of the occupants of the White House.
Teresa Chambers of Dunkirk is back at work as chief of the U.S. Park Police. Her swearing in January 31 by Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar not only returns her to the job she loves but also clears her name and vindicates her claim of wrongful dismissal. Chambers lost her job seven years ago after telling the Washington Post that funding cuts to her department could endanger public safety and national monuments.

How did you fall in love? Most of us eventually achieve our own love story, some of us many times over. Common as the love story is, it never grows stale.

How did you fall in love? That’s a question worth dwelling on. Girls at least — perhaps boys, too, though they’ll never tell — grow up dreaming of how they’ll fall in love. Most of us eventually achieve our own love story, some of us many times over. Common as the love story is, it never grows stale.