Archives for July 2017

Spy Report: Academy Art Museum Members Take Over the Galleries

About this time every year, the members of the Academy Art Museum stage a very polite coup d’etat on South Street and take over the walls in every gallery to share their artwork with the community. From oil paintings to sculpture, and photography to watercolors, over two hundred objects fill the Museum from July 29th through September 4th.

This tradition has been a part of the AAM since it first opened its doors in 1958, and also one of the most popular programs as friends and family members see these artists work in a museum setting. It was has become an important exhibition for Museum staff to see new talent, some of whom are invited to show their art in a one person show.

The Spy spoke for a few minutes with Ben Simons, the director of the AAM, as well as its curator, Anke Van Wagenberg, on the 59th year of the and sampled some of the art on display at the Annual Members’ Exhibition.

This video is approximately two minutes in length. For more information on the AAM Annual Members’ Exhibition please go here

Senior Nation: ‘Age Safely With Technology’ Workshop Planned

“Age Safely With Technology,” a presentation for those 50 & older who may have trouble adjusting to the latest technology available is planned for September. Learn how to keep in touch with your loved ones. Caregivers and families are invited to attend as well. A variety of vendors will be present to demonstrate their latest technology. This event to be hosted by Commission on Aging.

3-5 PM
Thursday, September 21, 2018
Brookletts Place , Easton, Maryland

Saved By George Merrill

In 1939, I went with my family to see a baseball game at Yankee Stadium. The stadium was huge, expansive and bigger than any public place I’d ever been in. Everything was new to me and seemed so immense and spacious. I wasn’t really thinking much about the game, but more about the expanse of the stadium and also that it was a holiday weekend. That meant no school for three whole days, a thrilling thought for me. Here I was in the Bronx as if I’d been set free from the usual constraints of my daily life on Staten Island.

I felt a rush of liberation, of joy. I can’t remember having the same feeling ever again quite as intensely. The feeling and the moment were indelibly implanted in memory at a time in my life when I can remember little else. In my child’s whimsical mind, had I been translated into another universe where time was not a factor any more in my life? Was this moment of joy to be forever and ever? I wondered if I’d somehow tripped and fallen into a moment of eternal bliss. Yankee Stadium was an unlikely place for such a transcendent moment. I didn’t like baseball that much.

The memory of the incident persisted my whole life although it made no sense to me. I guessed that I’d had a glimpse of something bigger than baseball or being off from school for a few days. But what?

Ideas get sown randomly. We process thousands in a day. Like seeds, some die. Many remain latent; some germinate much later and in unexpected places.

So more than half a century after the Yankee Stadium event, a professional colleague and I happened on the topic of salvation. We were discussing how in Christian circles salvation is popularly understood as the assurance of an afterlife in heaven. Although some hold that it’s a free gift, I suspect more believe that salvation is earned by a life of moral rectitude. I’ve never been wholly easy with that. If it were so, heaven would be as sparsely populated as the Sahara Desert. I’ve suspected that the fundamentals of salvation are more of a living dynamic, something happening in the moment, rather than the site of a future residence.

My colleague, more biblically informed than I am, mentioned one of the earliest historical understandings of the word salvation. The word describes an experience. The experience is almost wholly universal and can be put like this: I’m in a tight place. I’m hemmed in, but am being released into a wide-open and spacious place. To say this in another way, experiences of salvation are common to the religious and irreligious alike because they are one of the spiritual dynamics inherent in our daily lives. It’s a process experienced in the now and not a place we go in the future. Who among us hasn’t been jammed up and hemmed in, one way or another, and then sought to break out into the open? When it happens, it’s a powerful moment. Some call it ‘moments of grace.’

The nature of salvation is not only a preoccupation of theologians or philosophers. It’s a living drama that plays out daily in our personal and social lives.

Addictions are one example. Individuals recovering from addictions are in a process of going from a tight and constricting place to free and open spaces. It’s a spiritual process. For the addicted, this is a daily – if not an hourly – issue. It happens one step at a time. It’s all about ‘now.’ For such persons, awareness must be constantly cultivated in order not to be trapped again in those dead-ends to which addiction invariably leads. There is a profound sense of gratitude a recovering person feels in knowing from personal experience how precious those wide open spaces are and being able to freely live in them. It brings happiness to everyone.

I recently watched a TV clip on the aftermath of an earthquake. A large crowd watched as one man worked to free a child who’d been trapped. As the man lifted the child into the hands of the crowd everyone cheered, clapped and threw hands into the air in jubilation. It was as if the rescued child were one of their own. It’s a joyful occasion witnessing those who are trapped become freed and led into the wide open.

Salvation has social implications as well. The ramifications are playing themselves out dramatically in today’s immigration crisis. It’s painful to see.

Governments grow increasingly hesitant to grant space for immigrants fleeing the tight and constricting places in which they find themselves imprisoned. For wealthy countries that have both the resources and the spaces to create possibilities, the fear of the stranger inhibits action. We in the Western World, who have the resources to “save” scores of immigrants, lack the will and the vision to do it. It raises a question – if one subscribes to salvation’s old “saved or damned” typology – of who then is damned in this immigration tragedy? Is it those who inhabit the open and spacious environs or those confined to tight constricting places?

Admittedly these reflections are a long way from a day at Yankee Stadium in 1939, when, for a moment, I sensed there was a world right here filled with joy and endless possibilities. To find what we’re looking for – the wide-open spaces where the heart yearns to dwell – we first have to know they exist. A ball game may seem like a strange place to become spiritually aware. But then, even in baseball, finding your way home safely is the name of the game.

Columnist George Merrill is an Episcopal Church priest and pastoral psychotherapist. A writer and photographer, he’s authored two books on spirituality: Reflections: Psychological and Spiritual Images of the Heart and The Bay of the Mother of God: A Yankee Discovers the Chesapeake Bay. He is a native New Yorker, previously directing counseling services in Hartford, Connecticut, and in Baltimore. George’s essays, some award winning, have appeared in regional magazines and are broadcast twice monthly on Delmarva Public Radio.

August 13 Brings Crabs, Watermen’s Rodeo to St. Michaels

On Sunday, August 13, 2017, the 8th annual Watermen’s Appreciation Day comes to the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum in St. Michaels, Md., featuring a spirited boat docking contest, steamed crabs and other regional food, live music, beer, boat rides, family activities, and more. The fundraising event is organized by CBMM in cooperation with the Talbot Watermen Association, with proceeds benefiting both organizations.

“Watermen’s Day is an annual favorite among locals and guests alike,” said CBMM President Kristen Greenaway. “You can meet many of the watermen who work to bring seafood to tables across the region, while having a great time celebrating the Chesapeake with us in such an incredibly authentic way.”

Beginning at 11:00 a.m., the event’s “watermen’s rodeo” boat docking contest returns to the Miles River to its expanded location under CBMM’s 1879 Hooper Strait Lighthouse. Bleacher seating will be provided for spectators to the contest.

“The boat docking contest is great fun to watch, and participate in,” said TWA President Jeff Harrison. “Last year, we had Maryland Governor Larry Hogan on board one of the boats, and while we won’t have Edgar Hansen with us this year, we’re looking forward to having Governor Hogan back with us again this year.”

The opportunity to meet the Chesapeake’s watermen, along with local steamed crabs, beer, and other food and beverages continue to highlight the waterfront festival.

Starting at noon, the day’s catch of steamed crabs—served by watermen—will be available for purchase, in addition to beer, water, soda, hot dogs, hamburgers, ice cream, and more. Steamed crabs will be sold by the dozen, with pricing set by July 28 and posted at cbmm.org.

“We’ve consistently been able to sell a dozen steamed crabs with corn on the cob at $25,” said Harrison. “We’re hoping this year’s market will allow us to do the same.”

Also beginning at noon, live music with Bird Dog and the Road Kings from the historic Tolchester Beach Bandstand will have people tapping their toes and dancing along CBMM’s waterfront.

Children and families can enjoy games and activities offered throughout the day. Later in the day, children’s on-the-water activities include a Pot Pie skiff rowing competition, with prizes awarded.

During Watermen’s Day, event-goers can take part in a silent auction, with Chesapeake-related items available to the highest bidders, including work by noted Chesapeake photographer Jay Fleming. The auction takes place in the Small Boat Shed, with bids taken until 3:00 p.m., and all proceeds supporting the Talbot Watermen Association.

While at CBMM, guests can explore all 12 exhibitions buildings and see progress on the log-hull restoration of the 1889 bugeye Edna E. Lockwood, now underway in the boatyard through 2018. Special exhibitions include Potomac Waterfowling: Gunning the Nation’s Rivers; Log Canoe Racing: Photographs by Morris Ellison; and Robert de Gast’s Chesapeake, featuring 80 photographs curated from the more than 10,000 by de Gast in CBMM’s collection.

Admission to the 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. rain or shine event includes the boat docking contest, live music, numerous family activities, entrance to all CBMM exhibitions and historic structures, and is set at $18 for adults, $8 for children 6-17, with all children five years of age and under admitted free. CBMM members along with licensed watermen and their immediate families get discounted admission at $10 per adult, and $6 per child ages 6-17.

Advanced admission tickets can be purchased online at bit.ly/watermensday, with tickets also sold at the door the day of the event. Discounted watermen’s tickets will be available at the door the day of the event, with an active watermen’s license shown. Boat rides, steamed crabs, beer, and additional food and beverages will be available for purchase. Free event parking will be available at St. Michaels High School, with a complimentary shuttle service to CBMM running throughout the day.

For safety reasons, non-service dogs need to be kept home during CBMM festivals, including Watermen’s Appreciation Day. Leashed dogs are only permitted on CBMM’s campus during regular operating hours. Carry-on alcohol from dock or land is prohibited.

See photos from last year’s event at bit.ly/watermenphotos. For more information, visit cbmm.org or call 410-745-2916.

Food Friday: Easy Peasy Pasta

Here we are smack in the middle of a blazingly hot summer. I am still trying to keep my distance from the stove. But sometimes, even I realize that we cannot live on watermelon alone. Sometimes we need to feed the pasta craving. And for that, we need to boil water.

Last weekend we found a way to enjoy wonderfully gooey gobbets of melty mozzarella without compromising my seasonal standards. We did not dine on a wintery lasagne, which delivers molten strings of ropey cheese in a very satisfying fashion – albeit after much time is spent cooking in the oven. Instead we tossed hot fusilli into a large bowl over the nest of fresh burrata. Then we added a few fistfuls of fresh-from-the-back-porch basil and another of mint, with a smattering of crunchy pine nuts and a satisfying jolt of garlic, and topped it with some fresh grated Parmesan cheese. Wowser. Fantastic. This has been added to our summer repertoire.

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/14/dining/pasta-herbs-and-plenty-of-melting-mozzarella.html?_r=0

There are so many tomatoes tumbling off their vines right now. We have a small bowl on the kitchen counter, spilling over with the daily harvest from our own modest tomato farm. Since you are a better gardener, you must have truckloads of the ruby red fruit ! And look at the wonderfully arranged pyramids and cardboard containers of tomatoes at the farmers’ market. Outstanding. You will have to remember these glorious days of summer when winter comes, when all that will be available to us in the grocery store will be weak, watery, hot house tomatoes.

I read a story this week about the musician Gillian Welch. She compared vinyl recordings of music to digital recordings as being like, “fresh basil and dried basil.” Suddenly, I understood her perfectly. Fresh basil for me, please. https://www.wsj.com/articles/why-vinyls-boom-is-over-1500721202

In the summer we are devoted to three ingredients: tomatoes, fresh basil and garlic. Vampires shun us. This recipe involves a little more time spent standing and stirring at the stove, but it is worth the effort. And why else did I buy a comfort mat to put on the floor in front of the stove? So I could whine as we sit down to a wonderful dinner that took a few minutes of my time. Sheesh. It’s not like I was kneading bread for hours. Or piping dozens of perfect macarons.

https://food52.com/blog/11127-michael-ruhlman-s-pasta-with-tomato-water-basil-and-garlic

There is a recipes from Martha that has been in our summer rep for years: http://www.marthastewart.com/904229/pasta-fresh-tomato-sauce I cook the pasta in the morning before the world heats up, and add the rest of the ingredients, and then let them all stew together all day long. By dinner time it is a magnificent melange of richness, redolent of garlic, which, to quote Martha, “Is a good thing.” Add some bread and butter, a small green salad and lots of cool cheap white wine. Winter is coming.

“You know, when you get your first asparagus, or your first acorn squash, or your first really good tomato of the season, those are the moments that define the cook’s year. I get more excited by that than anything else.”
-Mario Batali

Mr. Friday is whisking me away on vacation next week, so I will be reaching into the Spy Way Back Machine for a suitable column for your edification and enjoyment. Happy August!

Talbot Historical Society Project Rewind: Goes Sailing on the Miles

Three types of one design class sailboats were most likely being sailed out to their race courses set up by the Miles River Yacht Club in St. Michaels, Md. circa 1950’s! To the left is the 18 foot long Hampton created in the 1930’s. Next is the Penguin designed in 1938 measuring 11 feet in length. Far right is the 16 foot Comet designed in 1932 by C. Lowdes Johnson for Talbot County. Mrs. Elliott Wheeler for her sons!! The one design class sailboats may change a bit over the years but St. Michaels and Oxford are still the sites of beautiful sailboat races in the summer!! Photo from the Talbot Historical Society H. Robins Hollyday Collection.

Contact: Cathy Hill cvhill@atlanticbb.net to share your old photos. Comment, Like our page and join THS!

Talbot Schools Receive Positive Behavior Interventions Program Recognition

At a recent conference held at Wor-Wic Community College in Salisbury, awards were given to Maryland schools for achieving success with school-wide Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS) systems during the 2016-2017 school year.Easton Elementary School, Easton Middle School, Easton High School, and Saint Michaels Elementary School were among those recognized for their PBIS system results.

School-wide PBIS is a system of support that involves proactive strategies for defining, teaching and supporting appropriate student behaviors to create positive learning environments. Through PBIS, a continuum of positive behavior support is implemented for all students in both classroom and non-classroom settings.  Teaching behavioral expectations and rewarding students for demonstrating them is a much more positive approach than just reacting to misbehavior with discipline.  The purpose of school-wide PBIS is to establish a climate in which appropriate behavior is the norm.  (www.pbis.org)

A School-Wide Evaluation Tool (SET)assessment is required and a certain score must be obtained in order to earn one of the PBIS Recognition Awards.  The SET reports were completed by outside PBIS evaluators from Wicomico County. For GOLD, the school PBIS team must achieve an overall SET score of 90% or above.  For SILVER, the school PBIS team must achieve an overall SET score of 85% or above.  For Bronze, the school PBIS team must achieve an overall SET score of 80% or above.  Easton Middle School was awarded GOLD, Easton High School and Easton Elementary School earned SILVER, and St. Michaels Elementary School was awarded BRONZE.

Dr. Kelly Griffith, Superintendent, attended the presentations.  “This is a tremendous achievement on the part of these four schools.  They have made a commitment to their PBIS interventions and strategies, and they have closely monitored their outcomes,” she said.  “PBIS initiatives help create a positive learning environment indicative of high student achievement and these schools should be very proud of their caring, nurturing atmospheres.We will see more of our schools recognized in this way in the future.”

Johnston Earns Registered Holy Yoga Instructor Credential

Phyllis Johnston, owner of Every Body Yoga in Centreville, MD completed training to become a registered Holy Yoga Instructor (R-HYI).  The 95 hour program included a week long training in Arizona.

Johnston offers Holy Yoga classes on a donation basis at her Centreville studio. Classes are held on Tuesdays at 6 pm.  All are welcome, beginners and experienced.

Holy Yoga is an experiential worship created to deepen people’s connection to Christ. Our sole purpose is to facilitate a Christ honoring experience that offers an opportunity to believers and non-believers alike to authentically connect to God through His Word, worship, and wellness. Holy Yoga exists to carry the gospel to the ends of the earth through the modality of yoga.

Every Body Yoga has been serving the mid-shore since January 2000 with group and private yoga instruction, stress management and wellness workshops and the only registered yoga teacher training program on Maryland’s Eastern Shore.  Johnston is an Experienced Registered Yoga Teacher (E-RYT) with 30 years of yoga study and practice.

All are welcome.  For more information, visit www.everybodyyoga.biz.

Stars at Inn at Perry Cabin Wins Prestigious Award for Fine Dining

Inn at Perry Cabin by Belmond’s flagship restaurant Stars has long offered one of the finest dining experiences on the Eastern Shore, not to mention incredible views of the Chesapeake Bay, and now it joins only 671 other restaurants across the continent to earn the Distinguished Restaurants of North America’s (DiRōNA) Award of Excellence.

The award acknowledges quality of cuisine—including creativity of dishes, variety of cooking techniques and quality of ingredients—as well as the property itself, décor and customer service. It is one of the most respected awards in the dining and hospitality communities, and DiRōNA has been the authority for excellence in distinguished dining since 1990.

Every ingredient Chef Ken MacDonald and Food and Beverage Director Samir Dhir feature on Stars’s menu is sourced within 150 miles of St. Michaels, and with Farm Manager Phal Mantha on board, that radius is rapidly shrinking. In fact, Inn at Perry Cabin is poised to launch its own farm-to-table menu this year. Through alliances with Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch Program, Chefs Collaborative, Fish2Fork and the Oyster Recovery Partnership, among others, the property also is committed to helping protect seafood populations and support Chesapeake Bay watermen.

Guests of Stars will recognize this commitment in popular starters such as the Jumbo Lump J.M. Clayton Crab Chowder and Seasonal Choptank Sweet Oysters, and in iconic entrées such as the Wild Local Long Line Caught Rockfish and J.M. Clayton Crab Macaroni and Cheese. Chef’s Daily Ravioli is packed with produce harvested right outside of the kitchen, breakfast is available all day, and features such as the Char Grilled Local Farm Berkshire Pork Chop, Roasted Organic Peri-Peri Marinated Chicken and Creekstone Beef Hanger Steak show off Chef MacDonald’s pedigree.

Stars is open seven days a week for breakfast, lunch, dinner and afternoon tea. It’s located at 308 Watkins Lane in St. Michaels, Maryland, and reservations can be made at www.opentable.com/stars or on (410) 745-2200.

Living Oyster Bed Created at CBMM

The Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum in St. Michaels, Md., now has its own living oyster bed, thanks to a generous donation from a local oyster farm dedicated to building a sustainable oyster population in the Miles River.

Mudgies Oyster Farm donated the oysters and labor to CBMM to help build a foundation for a living bed at CBMM’s Waterman’s Wharf. On July 20, Greg Kemp Jr., third generation waterman; Billy Adams, multi-generation waterman and board member of Talbot Seafood Heritage Association; and Stuart Dawson, farm manager of Mudgies Oyster Farm LLC, laid green shell foundations in the waters off Waterman’s Wharf. Tred Avon Treats supplied shells, TSHA supplied the labor, while Mudgies supplied the oyster seed and spat on shell.

Stuart Dawson, Greg Kemp, and Billy Adams recently donated oysters and labor to help CBMM build a foundation for a living oyster bed next to its Waterman’s Wharf exhibition.

“We enjoyed seeing this project get started, and look forward to the living bed growing oysters to help the Bay as well as educate the public,” Dawson said.

“CBMM is excited to be collaborating with local organizations to educate our guests with living exhibitions,” said CBMM Director of Education & Associate Curator Kate Livie. “Oysters are a large part of the Bay’s history, as well as the history of CBMM, and creating this living oyster bed adds authenticity to a fun and educational experience.”

Waterman’s Wharf is a re-created crabber’s shanty where CBMM guests can try their hand at many of the seafood harvesting activities of a Chesapeake Bay waterman. Outside the shanty are Chesapeake Bay workboats—the Hooper Island draketail Martha, the Pot Pie Jackson skiff, the 1912 tugboat Delaware, and Volunteer, a replica Smith Island crab scraper.

The living oyster bed is completed just in time for the 8th annual Watermen’s Appreciation Day, which takes place on August 13, and features a spirited boat docking contest, steamed crabs, live music, and more. The fundraising event is organized by CBMM in cooperation with the Talbot Watermen Association, with proceeds benefiting both organizations. For tickets and more detailed event information, visit cbmm.org. To learn more about Mudgies Oyster Farm, visit mudgiesoysterfarm.com.