Spy Book Notes: ‘Perfectly Seasoned’

Local Eastern Shore writers Kathy Bernard and Barbara Kline are —literally—writing their next chapter. After nearly a decade producing and hosting the nationally syndicated 2BoomerBabes Radio Hour, this dynamic duo is thrilled to announce the release of their first novel, Perfectly Seasoned.

Under the nom de plume Sarah-Jane Berklin, a combination of their mothers’ first names, Bernard and Kline have crafted a testament to the power of female friendship, with a playful sprinkling of seduction. Ranging in age from fifty-two to sixty, five best friends proudly call themselves “the babes.” Their days—and nights—are far from routine as they balance careers, empty nests, changing relationships, aging parents, and yes…plenty of steamy romance at midlife. As their individual journeys unfold, their intersections reveal startling surprises and women who are becoming perfectly seasoned…whether by setbacks or sparks.

“It was a heart wrenching decision to end our beloved show but we wanted to leave our listeners wanting more, not less. And what self-respecting middle-aged woman doesn’t have a bodice ripper waiting to bring out her inner novelist?” asks Barb.

Kathy Bernard and Barbara Kline

Kathy adds, “For years we’ve been flirting with a story about five great friends facing all kinds of trials, tribulations, joy and love at midlife. We decided it was time we put pen to paper—or our fingers to the keyboard— and each of us found ourselves tempted by the story we wanted to tell. It was a magical process.”

Perfectly Seasoned has already tantalized reviewers. Offering her praise, national columnist and best-selling author Kerry Hannon writes:

Boomelicious. Perfectly Seasoned plunges into the hearts of five women blazing through the uncharted years of midlife. Anxiety and deception blends with tenderness, the strength of friendship and a soupcon of sex. The irrepressible BoomerBabe brashly roll out a first novel that artfully captures the all-too-true reality ride through the piercing pain of crumbling marriages, caring for a parent wading through the devastation of Alzheimer’s disease, and the harshness of becoming invisible in the workplace with each passing year. The bottom line message resonates: What makes life worth living—like finding love again, or following your passion to launch your own business “is possible, at any age, if we’re willing to take a chance.” Biggest hitch: It ends too soon. More please.

Bob Morris, journalist and best-selling author adds:

Boomer women who don’t just have lunch regularly, but sex as well? This affirming, witty and pertinent novel celebrates the power of friendship and fortitude later in life. A sex blogger, southern optimist, former beauty queen, middle-aged Catholic school girl, and a powerhouse executive with an impossibly perfect dead husband, pull each other up in ways that are better than any facelift.

From 2BoomerBabes Radio Hour to their new, devilish dalliance into the romance genre, Kathy and Barb’s constant has been their decades-long friendship. The last line of the book’s dedication sums up the allure: “To our everlasting friendship, in hopes we’ll be sitting on Adirondack chairs well into old age, with drink in hand, thankful for each other, and laughing about our improbable adventures.”

Perfectly Seasoned is available at local bookstores or at Amazon here

Wye Financial’s Plein Air Best New Artist Award Goes to Jim McVicker

Oxford Water Tower by Jim McVicker

Wye Financial & Trust, a division of Shore United Bank and a member of the Shore Bancshares community of companies, sponsored the Best New Artist award for Plein Air Easton. Plein Air has been a local tradition for the past thirteen years and Wye Financial & Trust is excited to have been a part of the special event.

The Best New Artist award is presented to help celebrate and encourage new talent to join in the artistic competition. Jim McVicker, the painter of the Oxford Water Tower and recipient of the award, is from Loleta, California.


The Sounds of Racism by Fran White

The sounds of Racism resounds in the image above and if we add lyrics to this depiction of rage and racism, the following words from the production, SOUTH PACIFIC, could accompany the horrific concerto that was heard:

You’ve Got to Be Carefully Taught as sung by Ensign Cable in his role as the conflicted lover of a young Polynesian girl in Rodgers and Hammerstein’s production; You’ve got to be taught to hate and fear. You’ve got to be taught from year to year.”

These very enraged people in the photo, members of the KKK and other supporters of racism have been carefully taught to hate and fear others of different races, facial features, religion and sexual orientation. They are demonstrating a legacy passed onto them from their parents, grandparents, great-grandparents and on and on in the family tree.

Racism cannot be eradicated by legislation, nor the destruction of Confederate statues and monuments since these beliefs are so ingrained into the soul and collective unconscious of these racists. Only through their awareness of such destructive beliefs and the motivation, on the part of the racist, can this cancerous, destructive and hateful legacy be finally destroyed. This is a daunting and, perhaps, an unrealistic expectation since racist are so conditioned to believe and follow the expectations of generations of their families who have rewarded their behavior with love and encouragement.

Perhaps, if some of those photographed racists would be aware of the destruction of lives impacted by their irrational behavior and subsequently take ownership of the death of that beautiful young woman in Virginia who was attempting to peacefully change their generational beliefs, their hate, and fears. This quest to eradicate this embedded cancer of racism appears to be almost impossible since this evil has been with us since the beginning of time when human enslavement did accompany racist ideology, and this identical evil was exhibited in the concerto of rage orchestrated in Charlottesville, Virginia.

The cure for this social cancer is for each one of us to attempt to peacefully and cleverly teach, one racist at a time, one despicable deed at a time, not to fear and hate. Yes, this is a monumental task to “unteach” generational ideology and emotionally imbedded beliefs. We must first examine our own beliefs, words, and actions that may reflect unconscious suggestions of racism inherited from our own family of origin. Next, we must target those in our social or professional circles and gently open the channels of awareness within these observed and identified racists.

Change in behavior will never occur unless one is aware of that action or belief and is sincerely motivated to eradicate such offensive and destructive actions. The motivation to change that behavior which deeply offends you is dependent on the value that racist places on your friendship or professional association. Indeed, this is a daunting, overwhelming and highly time-consuming task but street demonstrations and protesting is risky and does not effectively change one racist at a time for a cumulative elimination of racism.

Dr. Fran White is a psychologist and marriage and family therapist who has been in private practice for over three decades. She was a columnist for her regional newspaper and has written about human behavior and problem-solving. Fran resides on the Eastern Shore with her husband, Tom, and is a grandmother of nine grandchildren.


Classic Motor Museum of St. Michaels Opens Its Doors

Visitors are now welcome to take a test drive of the Classic Motor Museum of St. Michaels.  The museum quietly opened its doors to the public with a soft opening last weekend and is now officially open three days a week.  Hours are 11:00 to 5:00 on Fridays and Saturdays, and 11:00 to 4:00 on Sundays.  It’s been a five year journey to the starting line, but the  road ahead looks wide open for the only museum of its kind on the Eastern Shore. Visitors are now welcome to take a test drive of the Classic Motor Museum of St. Michaels.  The museum quietly opened its doors to the public with a soft opening last weekend and is now officially open three days a week.  Hours are 11:00 to 5:00 on Fridays and Saturdays, and 11:00 to 4:00 on Sundays.

It’s been a five year journey to the starting line, but the  road ahead looks wide open for the only museum of its kind on the Eastern Shore. The Classic Motor Museum of St. Michaels is a jewel box collection of some of the finest examples of automotive engineering to hit the pike since motorized vehicles first arrived on the scene 130 years ago.  The collection ranges from a 1910 International Harvester pickup truck to muscle cars from the ’60’s and ’70’s.  It even includes gangster Chalky White’s Packard from the HBO series Boardwalk Empire.  And every return visit will offer something new since portions of the museum’s collection will be rotated every six months.

While the museum celebrates America’s love affair with the automobile, it is also providing valuable education opportunities for the young people of Talbot County through its First Gear program.  This past June, First Gear sent three St. Michaels High School students to summer camp at the Pennsylvania College of Technology to learn about the fine art of automotive restoration.  The First Gear students are also currently getting hands-on experience restoring  a rare 1938 Alvis convertible.

The opening of the Classic Motor Museum is the result of five years of hard work by scores of volunteers and generous benefactors. The museum is a non-profit organization and volunteers and docents are always welcome to come on board to help out.

 The Classic Motor Museum
102 E. Marengo Street
St. Michaels, MD 21663
410-745-8979 ​info@classicmotormuseum.org
​Friday and Saturday, 11-5 Sunday, 11-4

More information can be found on the museum’s website at classicmotormuseum.org.

Delmarva Review Selects Cover For Tenth Anniversary

Regional photographer Calvin “Cal” Jackson’s color image “Recycle” was selected for the tenth anniversary cover of the Delmarva Review, to be published on November 1.

“We’re excited to feature cover art from the strong work of regional artists, including photography and paintings,” said Emily Rich, editor of the review. “The richness of regional art provides a compelling folio for the quality of stories and poetry we publish annually.”

Cal Jackson’s cover image “Recycle” shows shucked oyster shells, in rustic bushels, to be spread on bay oyster beds, providing a solid hold for oyster larvae to grow into the future.

The photographer, from Easton, is exhibiting at the BWI Airport gallery, by the International Terminal, and in a Maryland Federation of the Arts “Global Perspectives” online collection during August. His photos are among exhibits at galleries in Easton, Cambridge and Chestertown, Maryland, as well as Brooklyn, New York.

Mr. Jackson is a retired accountant and former audit manager for information technology with the U.S. Army.

Freedom Rowers Accepting New Members

The Freedom Rowers will be hosting their information and registration for the upcoming fall season Thursday, August 24th from 7 – 8pm at the Evergreen Cove practice location.

Students and their parents will get an overview of the sport of rowing as well as a chance to see the boats in the water with current team members. Freedom Rowers is a coeducational rowing program open to all students ages 13 – 18 in schools from Talbot, Caroline, Dorchester and Queen Anne’s Counties.

The fall season will run from September through the beginning of November. Evergreen Cove is located at 770 Port Street in Easton.

For further information please visit the website at: www.freedomrowers.org or call Coach Gill at 410-253-6851.

Teachers Investigate Human Impacts by Land and Sea at Pickering Creek

“Every time I do a workshop with Pickering Creek it’s always diverse, interesting, and hands-on,” Cathy Bornhoeft, Environmental Science teacher at North Caroline High School, said after participating in the two-day Audubon Watershed Experience teacher professional development workshop this summer.

Now in it’s fifteenth year, the Audubon Watershed Experience (AWE) program, funded by Chesapeake Bay Trust, has connected thousands of high school biology and environmental science students to local conservation efforts on the Eastern Shore through hands-on and investigative in-class lessons and field experiences at Pickering Creek. Although the students are the focus of this successful program, another equally important and engaged group at the program’s center – teachers – experienced their own exciting and experiential AWE program this summer.

Environmental Science teachers from Talbot, Wicomico, and Caroline Counties look on as Dr. Dave Curson, Director of Bird Conservation for Audubon MD/DC, demonstrates a bird monitoring protocol

The theme of 2017’s summer workshop was “Investigating Human Impacts by Land and Sea.” Day One took place at Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge and focused on the impacts of rising seas on critical habitat for bird populations that rely on local salt marshes. Throughout the day, teachers from Wicomico, Caroline, and Talbot Counties played interactive games, practiced using data and scientific evidence to support arguments, and took home hands-on activities and resources to use in their classrooms.

Dr. Ariana Sutton-Grier, Director of Science for the Maryland/DC chapter of the Nature Conservancy and an Associate Research Professor at the University of Maryland, presented her research on “blue carbon” and salt marshes. In the afternoon, Dr. Dave Curson, Director of Bird Conservation for Audubon MD/DC, toured the teachers to several Refuge areas where Audubon is working closely with Refuge staff on projects to help local salt marshes adapt to a changing climate and rising seas.

With strong coffee in hand, the teachers started Day Two at 6:00 AM for a trip to the Chester River Field Research Station in Chestertown to experience bird banding up close. Maren Gimpel, Field Ecologist for Washington College’s Center for Environment and Society, toured the group around the 228-acre Chino Farms migration banding station; demonstrated how birds are caught, banded, and released; and shared research findings from the banding station’s records. Similar to Pickering Creek Audubon Center, Chino Farms has a long history of agriculture and a recent history of conservation and restoration efforts to improve and protect bird habitats.

Maren Gimpel shows teachers a recently banded Blue Jay at the Chester River Field Research Station

Using data collected from the banding station, teachers practiced a lesson investigating the impacts of weather, land management, and local habitat changes on Northern Bobwhite Quail and Grasshopper Sparrow populations. Following their morning at the banding station, the teachers boarded Washington College’s research vessel Callinectes for an afternoon on the Chester River. Emily Harris, Watershed Coordinator for the Chester River Association (CRA), demonstrated water sampling techniques for fresh and brackish water; discussed restoration, behavior change, and policy initiatives to reduce pollution; and introduced projects CRA works on with landowners, homeowners, and legislators to improve local water quality.

Teacher professional development workshops with Pickering Creek Audubon Center introduce teachers to new activities, resources, and lessons for their classrooms, and connect teachers directly with scientists working in the field. When asked what they found most valuable about the two-day workshop, one teacher commented, “Interacting with the scientists and hearing first hand the importance of the experiments they were conducting. This allows me to better explain these things to my students and show actual work.”

For more information on Pickering Audubon Center please go here


Senior Life: Dixon House on the Trail

It It doesn’t matter how old you are when it comes to enjoying a perfect summer day. The Spy found that to be true when spotting some of the residents of Dixon House on the Easton Rails to Trails the other day soaking in the sun.

While the average age at Dixon House is close to 95 years old,  the residents and staff don’t hold back when it comes to getting out for some fresh air and frequent trips to area restaurants for lunch.

For more information about Dixon House please go here.

Just So You Know… Sobriety Checkpoint Planned for August in Talbot County

Law enforcement agencies and Maryland State Highway Administration from throughout Talbot County will join forces to conduct a sobriety checkpoint.  The operation will be conducted with the five States and the District of Columbia campaign, “Checkpoint Strikeforce”.  The goal is to reduce the number of drunk and drugged drivers on Talbot County roadways.

Law enforcement agencies and Maryland State Highway Administration from throughout Talbot County will join forces to conduct a sobriety checkpoint.  The operation will be conducted with the five States and the District of Columbia campaign, “Checkpoint Strikeforce”.  The goal is to reduce the number of drunk and drugged drivers on Talbot County roadways.

From South of Left Field: Bandaids and Broomsticks by Jimmie Galbreath

So much has been put out about Health Care it seems a difficult subject to open any new ground. From the south side of left field, however, something is clearly amiss in all the articles, speeches, announcements and memes, something vital.

To begin with, Health Care in America is first, foremost and always a ‘for profit’ undertaking. Turning that around, if the Medical Industry/Insurance/Hospital/etc. can’t make a profit treating you then they don’t want to treat you. How would you feel seeing someone sick and unwanted? How would you feel if it was someone you knew? When I lived in Mississippi with a wife and two small children, I was confronted by a ‘medical’ decision, delivered by the family physician we had used for nearly 15 years. Our life had taken a bad turn, we had lost our medical insurance, and we were no longer welcome. Please find another doctor. Offering to pay in advance for my children wasn’t good enough, go away. This aspect of medical care in America is real; it was real 20 some odd years ago, it is more real today.

Over the years the cost of anything and everything medical, including profits, has risen faster than either inflation or general income. Medical treatment just like the cost of college is becoming unaffordable to an ever growing portion of the American public. Medicare and Medicaid were created to provide government help to those without any other hope of medical treatment, but the numbers left out in the cold continue to grow, and the coverage has not kept up.

Then the ACA, Obamacare, was created as a vehicle for the government to help the uninsured by providing government payment toward the medical insurance premiums. The ACA didn’t stop there; it added financial penalties for those who didn’t sign up for an insurance policy. Of course, the insurance companies continued to demand ever larger premiums while arguing to be allowed to offer fewer services for the premiums. When they couldn’t get enough money, they quit offering policies. Please understand, this is what a business does. It doesn’t have anything to do with humanity and never will.

We Americans have been taught by business to believe no one does anything and everything better than business does. In truth, the only thing business does make is profit, everything else is secondary – period. We have also been taught by the same pundits that Government can’t tie its own shoelaces and business can improve on everything government does. Let me repeat myself; the only thing business does make is a profit. If you can’t pay for it, you can’t have it.

Now we come to the crux of the matter. Today America stands for the sick and dying only getting the care they can pay for themselves. PERIOD. This is America today. We do not believe a life is worth saving if it is American and poor. This is the message from Washington; this is the message from Wall Street, this is the America others see every day as our politicians quibble and dither and accomplish nothing of worth.

Americans will donate to overseas disasters, politicians spill our blood, dollars, and lives all over the world every day for various causes. We ship food all around the world, but a poor American isn’t worth a Bandaid here at home. The vital piece that is missing is a sense that all Americans are worth caring for. The broomstick? The broomstick should be used to sweep away the politicians struggling mightily every day to protect the medical industry rather than us. So far it only gets used to sweep the suffering under the rug. If this truly is America, it is no wonder we aren’t Great. Greatness begins with the people. Where is our Greatness now?

Jimmie Galbreath is a retired engineer originally from a small family owned dairy farm in Jefferson County, MS. He earned a B.S in petroleum engineering from MS State University, accumulating 20 years Nuclear experience at Grand Gulf Nuclear Power Station and Calvert Cliffs Nuclear Power Station. Along the way he worked as a roustabout on an oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico, served 3 years active service as a Quartermaster Officer in the US Army, Supervised brick kilns first in MS and then in Atlanta GA and whatever else it took to skin the cat. He now lives on the Eastern Shore of Maryland.