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Even soldiers in Vietnam set the table for a Christmas feast

     Christmas in Vietnam. Say or think what you want about the Army, good morale is what keeps it going. It does everything it can during the holiday season to raise the spirits of the soldiers, many away from home for the first time.

I don’t remember if my parents laughed like my sisters did or if they just smiled

     It was Christmas in the early 1950s; people just getting over World War II. Wages were such that raising three children, paying for a house, heat, food and a car was stretching dollars to the limit.      I attended Catholic school in Baltimore, complete with Dominican sisters and priests of some order. I rode a bus to and from school as it was several miles away. We had a Christmas tree in the school hallway, decorated no doubt with ancient holy ornaments.

Start the new year out and active

      Making resolutions to be more active in 2019? Start the New Year off on the right foot with a first day hike. Last year nearly 28,000 people welcomed 2018 by hiking a collective 66,000 miles across the country on January 1. 

An international taste of the holidays

      In the great American melting pot, many families have a specialty that makes the holidays taste like home. Many of these recipes were passed down by family members who immigrated to the U.S.        Bay Weekly reached out to our friends and neighbors to see what food and drink from around the world are featured on their tables. We’re happy to share their treasured recipes with you.  

Mickey Cashman to sing at famed Opera House

       The music bug bit Mickey Cashman early and apparently incurably.        “Some time around third grade, I knew that I wanted to always have music in my life,” the 18-year-old says.        He pursued his passion through elementary, middle and high school by joining choral groups, performing musical theater and studying at the Jarrett Studio of Vocal Arts in St. Leonard. All that hard work has won him an extraordinary international experience like no other.

AACo Library waives fines for 45,000 patrons

      The holidays came a little early this year for some 45,000 Anne Arundel County Public Library patrons. With the generosity of a converted Ebenezer Scrooge, all overdue fines accumulated between September 24 and December 14 have been waived.        “We are happy to offer this gesture of goodwill to our customers who patiently stood by us during our recent cyber attack,” said Library CEO Hampton ‘Skip’ Auld.

New owners at Chesapeake Health and Fitness 

      Two former gym members are living their best lives by helping others do the same as the new owners of Chesapeake Health and Fitness Club in Deale.       Kristina Gardiner and Vanessa Runion purchased the club from Linda Strohecker.        The approximate 1,600 members are “an eclectic group of people,” Strohecker says. On the day the club opened in 2010, she spotted “two men on treadmills wearing work boots. We give people the opportunity to work out in their comfort zone.” 

Plans to increase biking gain national attention

     Chesapeake Country isn’t just friendly. We’re also bike friendly.      So says the League of American Bicyclists which, on December 6, recognized Annapolis and Anne Arundel County with a bronze Bicycle Friendly Community award.       Both county and city join 464 biking districts across the country.

Clear your calendar for these holiday traditions

What: The Best Christmas Pageant Ever

Tom Crockett’s trains at Tan’s Cycles

     “He created a destination with his trains,” Marygrace Baergen says as she gestures across the kitchen table to her brother Tom Crockett.       A pile of thank-you notes and old pictures are scattered on the table. Cardboard boxes wait to be unpacked in Crockett’s new house in Rose Haven, where he moved from the apartment at his former business, Tan’s Cycles in North Beach.