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Letter from the Editor

Mild weather, good stories, holidays and commemorations 

       A few weeks back, I spoke disrespectfully of February as my least favorite month (www.bayweekly.com/node/41847). I take it back.        How can I speak ill of a 63-degree February morning, especially when the reversal of those numbers would have seemed a blessing of warmth on many a morning in January?

Richard Edwin Wilson, December 16, 1931-February 11, 2018 

      For nine of Bay Weekly’s 25 years, from 2003 until 2012, Dick Wilson had local thespians praying for his approval. Theater-going readers trusted him as their judge. His applause helped fill houses, and his boos (and rare hisses) not only hurt egos but also dampened sales.

When, where or how, love takes stepping outside your comfort zone

       When is the adverb director Rob Reiner and crew settled on for the legendary (and now ancient) rom-com When Harry Met Sally … . Success is its own reward, so we follow that catchy precedent in this year’s Valentine’s story about finding love.

Just in time to see us through to spring

      The restaurants of Chesapeake Country are keeping my spirits up for February, which, were it not for its brevity, would be my least favorite month of the year, despite Groundhog Day’s tragi-comic good news that winter is half over.       Groundhogs and bears may continue hibernating, burning up their store of calories before they wake to a ravenous spring. You and I can find a better use for February: eating our way right through it.

There’s something like Zen in the art of beer making

       “Home brewers may dream of quitting their day jobs to live off the fruits of their fermentation,” I write in this week’s feature story.       In Homebrew to Microbrew, you’ll read about those dreams and how they fit in the lives of four Chesapeake Country neighbors. I think you’ll find these brewers likeable, as I did, and I hope you make opportunity to find their brews drinkable. 

Is January 23 just another so what, like National ­Popcorn Day?

       It was no fun writing lessons in cursive, and no better in the hybrid connected printing I developed in obedient defiance to the nuns’ complaints of my handwriting’s illegibility. My mother couldn’t read anything I wrote, either, which may be why she insisted I take typing in high school summer school. On my own, I signed up at the same public school to learn Chancery script, a pretty Renaissance cursive. I’ve used both skills throughout my life.

It’s not always a straight path 

      Like a holiday box of chocolates (thanks Bill Vance, Betsy and Alex), this week’s paper brings you a variety of choices, all I hope to your taste. (And none, I hope, that sticky cough-medicine flavor that makes you say yuck!)

Not so good? We’ve got you covered there, too

      Very often, my newspaper gives me just what I want. Plenty of puzzles to work over the splendidly empty days after Christmas. Insight into the world around me, from my community to the cosmos. Advertisers to fix what’s broken and bring me unexpected benefits, like the Pashmina shawl from Green Phoenix that’s kept me warm since Christmas.

My Favorite Stories of 2017

Together, we read a lot of stories over the course of a year. Many of them give you a moment’s insight or delight. Others tell you just what you need to know. Some stay in your mind, even after all those words have come between you and them all that time ago. So I can still recount stories we ran four, 14 or 24 years ago.     Before I close the book on 2017 (yes, I really do have a large, heavy book labeled “2017 • Vol. XXV,” I like to reflect on what we’ve done in the 52 issues of our 25th volume.
Good stories to warm your holiday heart 
      Journalism is about good stories. For us writers and editors, the search for a good story has the urgency of a primal drive. The phrase a nose for news is high praise, alluding to the hound in a good reporter. Like bloodhound or beagle, we have it in our nature to sniff out what’s around. Catch a scent, and we can’t let it go. We need to know who’s doing what, when, where, how, why.