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Our best family night at the theater — ever

Not all Christmas trees are equal

He has many faces; here you’ll see some

Where will he be on Christmas Eve?

Spoiler alert: Don’t let the kids read this

Venison is benison to area food banks

Who is that man?

Each morning as he brews his coffee, long-time Arnold resident Tom Plott asks himself: Who am I today?     Well, if it’s Thursday, he’s likely to be Dr. James Craik, George Washington’s closest friend and personal physician. The good doctor often roams George Washington’s Mount Vernon estate in Northern Virginia on weekdays, regaling visitors with stories about his beloved friend.     Tom, you see, manages the First Person program and...

Sightings up in warmer weather

Chesapeake Bay sees many migratory visitors, among them Canada geese, tundra swans and rockfish. The list occasionally includes Florida manatees. Colder waters generally keep the species south of us; most venture no farther than South Carolina or Georgia. But some males looking to expand their range can end up as far north as New England.     “They start their migration in early spring and generally return to Florida in the fall when falling temperatures bring them back,...

So far, it’s just a surmise

Could it be pilot whales?         What was Clara Gouin’s surmise as she made quick assessment of the marine pod swimming beneath the Chesapeake Bay Bridge just as she and Bay Gardener Dr. Francis Gouin crossed by truck above.     “Driving over the Bay Bridge at 50 miles an hour, you don’t have a lot of time,” she said. “But looking straight down, I saw these large, dark shapes, at least 10 feet long, maybe more, with...

She saw Annapolis’s potential as a center of art

When Cynthia McBride was a kid driving a tractor on her family’s Minnesota farm, art was not on her mind or in her future. At her father’s right hand, she watched as he managed the farm, purchased seed and equipment, planned for future crops. The seed of art that flourishes in the largest art gallery in historic Annapolis sprouted with her mother, a painter with a home studio.     Both parents were examples of hard work, honesty and thriftiness. “Nothing got...

And what these days mean to Jews

Bay Weekly You’ve just held your first service for Beit Chaverim [bejt xAvajr\im], Calvert’s Jewish community. Reb Betsy Roth This is my first position as spiritual leader. I’m in my fifth year of rabbinical studies, so I’ve asked to be called reb until I’m ordained. If you were close to your rabbi in the old country, reb is like saying daddy rather than father. I’ve just met the congregation — I live in Montgomery County — and they were very...

You’ll enjoy the best flavor and pound out your aggression

The best sauerkraut is made from freshly harvested cabbage grown during the fall months. I make about 20 pounds of sauerkraut every two to three years and store it in canning jars.     Choose cabbages that form tight dense heads and can be uniformly shredded into pieces approximately one-eighth of an inch thin. I prefer Flat Head Dutch be­cause the tight, dense heads can easily be shredded. Heads can weigh five pounds or more.     For best flavor, pack and...

For my youngest’s 24th, a hard-fighting false ­albacore

It has been quite a while since I heard a reel drag shriek. I had to go to Florida to hear it — not once but three times in minutes.     My youngest son, Rob, was holding the protesting rig as a powerful fish departed at speed. Harrison, my next oldest at 27, was live-lining a small pilchard farther down the pier when his reel also began to wail as line ripped off the spool.     Their friend Matt then joined in the cacophony. Out of the corner of my eye, I...

Farewell, Joe Browder: 1938-2016

“Most of what became our woods in 1981 was a farm family’s pasture 40 years ago. We didn’t have the decades to wait for honey-scented flowers to appear again on their own timetable. We also wanted to be able to smell the wild azaleas of the Smokies and Blue Ridge, of the north Florida river forests and the Carolinas,” Joe Browder wrote in the third issue of New Bay Times, which would become Bay Weekly.     On May 20, 1993, as the native azaleas bloomed,...

Often our best learning comes from questions rather than from answers, from wondering about seemingly small details or great mysteries …

The Bay. When said and heard that way, the words mean more than a dictionary’s definition, more than a body of water, sheltered somehow from a larger lake or sea. The Bay means that a person knows about a special place.     This awareness is a gift to the people who have it, a relationship to the place and to other people who share the knowledge. The more we learn, from the Bay and from Bay people, the more valuable the gift becomes.     Often our best...

Can a rag-tag bunch of ne'er-do-wells defeat an army of villains?

To rid himself of the Rose Creek townspeople impeding his mining operation, land baron Bartholomew Bogue (Peter Sarsgaard: Black Mass) offers an ultimatum: take the paltry sum offered — or die. To prove he’s serious, he burns the church and shoots a few men, women and children, leaving the survivors to pick up their bodies.     Thus begins the latest take on two great movies, Akira Kurosawa’s classic Seven Samurai, and John Sturges’s subsequent western...