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Turning a pop phenomenon into challenging life lessons

Highway medians become home to the birds, bees, butterflies

My guests were not who I expected

Billed as a smart and energetic musical comedy with a pop rock score and immensely likable story, this show delivers

A waterspout may get you if you don’t watch out

Reflections on heroes and superheroes

Greater Annapolis 1st Class Gymnastics Co-ed gymnastic fun for ages 3+ up: Trampoline, Tumble Trak, water slide, parachute, music and dance. MiniKidz (3.5 to 5) 8:30am-2pm one- to five-day camps; FitKidz (5 years+) 8:30am to 2pm or to 5pm five-day camps. 1st Class Gymnastics, 451 Defense Hwy., Annapolis: 410-224-0721; www.1stclassgym.com. Annapolis Area Christian School Summer Programs Faith-based academic, creative arts and sports camps for ages 2 to 18 with over 50 specialties, including...
I have told my children many stories about the way life in Annapolis was back in the 1960s and ’70s. I grew up in a neighborhood where there was water access at the head of a creek: Romar Drive on Aberdeen Creek. I remember catching crabs off the community pier pilings the first week we lived here. When I caught my first doubler, I was shown the difference between a male and a female. “You can’t keep the female. You have to put her back so we can have more crabs next year....

Seizing life’s moments while dreaming of summer days at camp

This week’s paper, featuring our annual Summer Camp Guide, is not 100 percent wishful thinking.     But enough of it is to take your mind off present ­circumstances.     I left behind the gelid remains of winter mix — and the prospect of more to come — in the hours I spent considering the camps of summer. Why do kids get to have all the fun? Michelle Steel, who prepares the Guide, shared that wishful sentiment. Together we yearned to sail...

Listen up to tease plot from prattle

Colonial Players bills the World War II drama Watch On the Rhine as the first in their American Standard series, “presented for the nostalgia of older audiences or introduction to younger patrons.” As winner of the New York Drama Critics’ Circle Award for Best Play in 1941, this play would seem a good choice. It has star appeal: The hit film featured Bette Davis and Paul Lukas, who won an Oscar for Best Actor. It is historically compelling: A call to arms for a pre-war America...

Loaded with two charming leads, this movie doesn’t quite pull off its con

Nicky Spurgeon (Will Smith: After Earth) has a charming smile and a light touch. He’s adept at cons from lifting wallets to convincing investors that an empty warehouse is the Federal Reserve. A third-generation conman, Nicky has managed to stay successful in the game by staying isolated.     When he meets Jess (Margot Robbie: The Wolf of Wall Street), a beautiful con clumsily targeting horny men, he sees potential. Jess becomes his student in the true art of the hustle...

Harriet Tubman now conducting tours

History is a bigger hall nowadays, with room at the table for more people than the old white guys who used to rule there. So a good story for any week of the year is the new prominence coming to Harriet Tubman as a hero of Maryland, New York and our nation.     Harriet Tubman, a contemporary of Abe Lincoln, escaped slavery only to return home, to Dorchester County, to conduct many more enslaved people along the Underground Railroad she had followed to freedom.   ...

On February 28, 1994, my granddaughter was born six weeks premature in Anne Arundel Medical Center. Katie weighed less than five pounds and had a mild case of jaundice. Because she was such a preemie, for four weeks they kept her in the hospital, where she was initially connected to several devices. I credit the nurses and staff at the hospital for their excellent skills and care in ensuring that she survived those early weeks.     I visited Katie so frequently that the nurses...

For years I have traveled throughout Maryland and seen the Maryland State Flag displayed improperly at private residences, on boats, at restaurants, fire departments, government buildings and even the Annapolis Visitors Center. Now that Under Armour has popularized the Maryland colors with their sports clothing it seems to be everywhere. So let’s do the right thing and fly the Maryland State Flag correctly.     Briefly, the flag consists of two heraldic emblems. The black...

One man is the difference between life and death for creatures great and small

Deep in the maze of Chesapeake Ranch Estates, St. Francis of Bay Country gives sanctuary and modern medicine to the creatures of our wild. From tiny to the mighty, all are welcome — within the guidelines of federal and state agencies and six permits that control the work of Orphaned Wildlife Rescue Center.     “My main thing is that every life form has a right to live,” says Ron Wexler, whose lifelong calling is giving “the helping hand that makes the...

Oh, the creatures we’ve seen

You find them sitting atop shelves at libraries, inside toy chests and in the hands of parents turning well-worn pages in a nighttime ritual of reading the rhymes, words and wisdom of Dr. Seuss and his unforgettable characters.     From 1928 until his death in 1990, Theodor Seuss Geisel wrote and illustrated 60-plus books for children and adults as Dr. Seuss.     The Seuss menagerie includes Horton the elephant who preaches that all people are important; the...