Dock of the Bay

 Vol. 9, No. 51
December 20 - 26, 2001 
Current Issue
The Kitty Who Came for Christmas
Dock of the Bay
Letters to the Editor
Bay Reflections
Burton on the Bay
Chesapeake Outdoors
Not Just for Kids
Eight Days a Week
What's Playing Where
Music Notes
Sky Watch
Bay Classifieds
Behind Bay Weekly
Advertising Info
Distribution spots
Contact us
Time to Turn Over a New Leaf

Is it over yet?

Like so many futurists predicted, the world has changed dramatically at the turn of the 21st century. Not as they might have imagined, mind you, but it changed. After such a surreal year as 2001, 2002 will be most welcome.

The road ahead may still be uncertain, but we can at least know what day it is. That in mind, we’ve compiled a list of local and notable calendars to orient you. Here you’ll find the zany — Monty Python — to the painstakingly artistic — America the Beautiful. We’ve included Harry Potter to hold you over till book five arrives and Echoes of the Past III to soak in local heritage. Odds are there is something in the mix for your new year …

Hank Caruso, the St. Mary’s County artist behind this one-of-a-kind wall calendar, prints up no more than 2,500 of these calendars each year. He’s built up a loyal following of airplane buffs since starting the calendar in 1982, so if you want one, act quickly.

Caruso morphs the warplanes and workplanes of history into humanlike caricatures to capture the machines’ personalities. Each month’s pen-and-ink drawing is accompanied by a brief history, and two tear-out color caricatures are stowed in the fold of July.

Order via 301/863-9939 or
ForeFeathers Enterprises, California, MD.

Annapolis 2002 Tide Calendar
Utilitarian yet pretty, this 12-month log blends typical wall-calendar format with tide chart, offering the tide predictions for Annapolis with a back-page conversion chart for your own home waters. The photography inside hops from blue-water sailing to tropic reefs, making this calendar far nicer to look at than most tide charts.

$13.95 in local bookstores or order via 800/345-8524. Tidelines, Encinitas, CA.

Cows to the Extreme
Chick-fil-A’s placard-wearing, anthropomorphic bovines have performed something of a feat, evolving from corporate kitsch to pop culture. In this wall calendar they perform ever wilder feats in typical comic form.

Each month features cows on the brink of becoming burger, taking on extreme sports like freestyle dirtbike, bungee jumping, street luge and more. Corny — but funny — captions make pun-filled quips on each scene. An added bonus: coupons for free food each month.

$5 at all Chick-fil-A locations including Annapolis Mall.

Echoes of the Past III
You once knew this calendar as Familiar Scenes, a collection of artworks depicting South County historic sites. Now Shady Side Rural Heritage Society has dropped out and it’s Galesville Heritage Society’s project.

Highlighting Galesville’s small-town past is a collection of historic photos, featuring the Original Floating Theater, the Hot Socks baseball team, oystermen, forebears and more. For the active local, Galesville Historical Society meetings are noted in the grid and the last page lists town events.

$7.50 (includes tax). Order from Roberta Cassard via 410/867-2648 or pick one up from Topside Inn, Pirates Cove, West River Market or River Gallery. Galesville Historical Society.

The Far Side: Last Impressions
Gary Larson’s final run of the popular Off the Wall day-to-day calendar is your last chance to get a daily fix of his retired comic strip The Far Side. Populating calendar pages are the usual frames of Larson’s inimitably twisted humor, peppered with strips printed in color on glossy stock each Monday. The calendar draws off his entire career, running from his roughly drawn beginnings to his not-so-roughly drawn finish. Enjoy it while you can.

$12.99 in local bookstores. Andrews McMeel Publishing, Kansas City, MO.

Glory: A Celebration of the American Flag
More than one tribute calendar has arrived in the wake of September 11, but this wall calendar stands apart as the best. New York City publisher Workman filled the calendar with pro and amateur photos of the flag as a unifying symbol — all taken within 11 days of the attacks — and is donating all profits to the 9/11 Neediest Fund, a coalition of 10 charities.

The calendar captures the Stars & Stripes’ symbolism in 12 full-page photos joined by 12 smaller insets, showing the flag unfurled in many states plus Canada. Images include ghostly reminders of the World Trade Center’s devastation, impromptu flag murals and heartening rallies.

$10.95 in local bookstores. Workman Publishing, New York.

Harry Potter 2002 Calendar
Any young fan of the Harry Potter series would be remiss not to have this clever day-to-day calendar bound in a faux hardback book cover. With Sorcerer’s Stone excerpts, drawn scene and character art, trivia, quizzes, flavor suggestions for Bertie Bott’s Every Flavor Beans and more, it’s enough to keep a hungry fan occupied until book five comes out later in 2002.

$12.99 in local bookstores. Andrews McMeel
Publishing, Kansas City, MO.

Monty Python 2002 Calendar
“And now for something completely different …”

The Monty Python wall calendar fits the bill as the biggest oddball calendar of 2002. At 12 by 15 inches, its collage of still shots, laugh lines and cartoons from classic skits are meant for the hardiest fans. Like its donor comedians, this calendar can be lewd and crude and unrefined, so half-hearted fans beware.

Special touches include months and days listed in four languages and an extensive range of international holidays and events, ranging from Scotland and New Zealand’s Day After New Year’s Day to Japan’s Respect for the Aged Day (September 16).

$12.99 in local bookstores. The Ink Group, New South Wales, Australia.

America the Beautiful
Particularly timely this year is the meticulously crafted calligraphy calendar penned by Annapolis-area calligraphers Lynne Carnes, Suzanne Heany, Jan Lynn, Marilyn Gaver, Joan Machinchick and Tamara Stoneburner — each crafting two months’ art.

Each month is a loose five-by-seven page. Stamped and hand-drawn images mingle with layers of textured, colored paper. Transcribed accounts, poetic musings and word association celebrate the various faces of America’s beauty.

Only 200 were printed; call now for you still may get one.

$18 — Suzanne Heany: 410/647-8339.

Sierra Club Engagement Calendar
Sierra Club’s calendars hold so many stunning photos that one 12-month wall issue just isn’t enough.

The conservation group’s spiral-bound weekly engagement calendar is part photologue, with subjects of dramatic landscapes to macroscopic florals to wildlife close-ups. Naturally, sales of these calendars benefit the Sierra Club. You can buy a copy from your local chapter to benefit them directly.

$12.95 in local bookstores or chapters including Anne Arundel (Michael Murdock, 410/268-2845) and Southern Maryland (Linda Murdock, 301/884-0500). Crown Publishers, New York.

Power ’02
If your holiday wishes have you plying distant waters in a dreamboat, this one’s for you. Within this wall calendar you’ll find more than a few sleek trawlers, yachts, fishing boats and speedboats (plus one or two complementary bikinis) paired up with full-page, detailed charts of destinations ranging from Annapolis (November) to Santa Barbara to the Virgin Islands.

$11.99 in local bookstores. Penchant Publishing, Jackson, NH.

— Mark Burns

Chesapeake Country’s Earl Hargrove Puts the Sparkle on Christmas

It’s been a fine run, but Lothian’s Earl Hargrove Jr. is finally set to pack up his Christmas lights for the last time.

But he promises he’ll still do the National Tree.

Hargrove, now 73, has illuminated every National Christmas Tree since President Eisenhower began the tradition. Locally, he’s lighted his own home as a gift to the community for the past 42 years. Some 30,000 people toured through his extravagant millenial display.

You’d better swell that number this year, for it’s your last chance. Hargrove’s Christmas Tree Lane, which glows through December 29, will not return for 2002.

“This truly is going to be our last year,” says Hargrove. He’s enjoyed the tradition, he says, but his children have grown up and moved away to raise families of their own. Besides, he smiles, he can’t go three miles from home now without seeing a house lit beautifully for the holidays.

It’s time to move on.

After escorting one of his thousands of fans on a rare tour through his home’s decked halls — past the nine-foot-tall Christmas tree in the living room, antique Santa figurines populating a mirrored mantle, three-foot-tall Clauses and carolers greeting visitors just inside the front door — Hargrove excuses himself to the basement. The loud flicking of switches echoes up the stairwell and he soon follows, donning a jacket and gesturing toward the front door.

Emerging onto the porch, sidestepping yet another Christmas figurine standing sentry outside the door, we’re engulfed in the warm, white glow of Hargrove’s home, which has been trimmed along every window and door frame and baseline and roofline until it compensates for the lack of stars this cloudy night.

After 42 years, Earl Hargrove Jr. — who has decorated the National Christmas Tree since Eisenhower was president — is calling 2001 his final home display of Christmas Tree Lane, which last year drew some 30,000 visitors.
photo by Mark Burns
As eyes adjust to the brightened twilight, lighted arches appear along the treed drive, tapering into the distance to meet the road. Around to the right, near the glowing cross, a family of gigantic snowmen — a former Rose Parade float, new this year — bask in spotlights. It takes a short walk to get far enough back to absorb the luster of the house itself, neatly framed by a luminous wreath set directly on the approach. From here, you can see an animated Santa waving from the center balcony.

The lights were to go dark for good after last year, but recent events forestalled the unplugging.

“Because of 9/11 we decided to do it one more year,” Hargrove explains. “We didn’t want to send that jackass bin Laden the wrong message.” To help send the right message, Hargrove added to his display an illuminated firetruck and police car.

September 11 proved the motivation to continue, and the added loss of Hargrove’s 16-year-old grandson this year further strengthened the family’s resolve. The display honors him as well.

Though this holiday tradition may retire, Hargrove will remain busy with Washington’s Pageant of Peace.

Since 1954, Hargrove Exhibits — the family business his father began — has been entrusted with decorating the National Christmas Tree and its accompanying grove of state trees. It was Hargrove who scrambled up scaffolds to cap the very first National Tree. He’s a veteran of 14 straight presidential inaugurations. Plus Olympics, World’s Fairs, Miss America pageants, economic summits and uncountable other high-profile events. Still, lighting the nation’s Christmas tree remains his special privilege.

“It’s a very proud tradition,” says Hargrove, who has weathered all manner of meteorology and social climate to get the Pageant of Peace glowing in time. “It’s not just a show of lights; it’s a show of design and meaning.”

This year’s meaning is decidedly patriotic, as the tree is shrouded in a field of blue lights accented by strands of white and red. The color scheme repeats in the smaller trees.

Hargrove’s home is the setting of a message equally patriotic. To see his local legacy, enjoy a drive-through from dusk to 9:30pm nightly through December 29 (weather permitting) at Holly Spring Farms off Route 258 near Route 4. To see his national legacy, you’ll have to walk to the Ellipse — tight security has closed most car parking — where the Pageant of Peace is open from 10am to 11pm through New Year’s Day.

— Mark Burns

Way Downstream …

In Virginia, there’s cheery holiday news about crabs. According to the Virginia Institute of Marine Science, breeding blue crabs doubled in number since last year in the Chesapeake Bay. Of course, last year was the worst ever and less than 10 percent of what researchers counted in 1992 …

In Calvert County, we will have to wait until late January to find out if the government will allow the Cove Point liquid natural gas facility to be re-opened and expanded, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission said last week. Bay Weekly is among those strongly opposing turning the Cove Point — which is situated on the Bay near the Calvert Cliffs Nuclear Plant — into America’s biggest port for tankers arriving from around the world with their dangerous cargo …

In Boston, they’re blaming Osama bin Laden for something else that’s terrible: the decline in lobster sales. Lobster wholesalers say people are depressed and aren’t splurging for dinner. “We need bin Laden to get whacked so that everybody celebrates and goes out and has a lobster,” Boston Lobster Co. president Neil Zarella told the Canadian Press

Our Creature Feature comes from Georgia, where an eight-point buck gave new meaning last week to the old saying about a bull in a china shop. The trophy buck surprised two dozen Christmas shoppers at the Queen of Hearts Antiques shop in Alpharetta when it burst through the front door.

Mr. Deer did more than browse. Before bashing into the front window, he destroyed plates and stained glass. The buck was subdued when the manager, Jim Luftman, grabbed him by the antlers and steered him out the door while a customer shoved from the aft position. Said Luftman, “Some people go out in the woods and hunt them. I just catch and release.”

Copyright 2001
Bay Weekly