Frederick Douglass Day Set for September 27


fred1The Town of Easton and the Frederick Douglass Honor Society invite you to celebrate F Douglass’ life and his powerful legacy during Frederick Douglass Day on Saturday, September 27. The celebration will feature a parade with bands, keynote address by renowned Douglass scholar, musical performances, children activities, food and retail vendors, a tour of “The Hill,” a historically-oriented scavenger hunt, oral history interviews and a free screening of “Twelve Years a Slave”.

Born into slavery in Talbot County, Maryland, Frederick Douglass became an eloquent author, human rights activist, teacher, and writer. His bronze statue, erected in front of the Talbot County Courthouse on June 18, 2011, continues to inspire thousands of visitors each year.

The day’s activities will begin with a parade. At 10:45 a.m., the Frederick Douglass Day parade will form on Glenwood Avenue, then march to West Street and Federal Street, ending at the Frederick Douglass statue at the Talbot County Courthouse lawn at about 11:15am. Eric Lowery, president of the Frederick Douglass Honor Society, will welcome attendees, present musical peformances, and a reading by the winner of the Frederick Douglass Essay contest.

“Frederick Douglass and African American history is part of us all,” Mr. Lowery said. “We hope the community and visitors will enjoy this incredible day of learning, celebration, and entertainment. One of my favorite Douglass quotes is ‘… it is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.’”

Easont’s Mayor Robert Willey echoed those remarrks. “We hope Frederick Douglass Day will inspire young children as they learn about his life and his challenges.”

Afterward, participants will stroll to the event’s central location on Dover Street, in thr parking lot next to the Talbot County District Court building. There will be live entertainment, food and retail vendors, and a knowledge village, where exhibitors from various organizations will share information on their missions and their histories.

From 11 a.m. To 12:30 p.m., Professor Dale Green will lead a tour of “The Hill,” an area in Easton recently discovered to be the oldest African American community in the nation, populated by free blacks and some whites, all living in relative harmony. Professor Green, who is chairman of the Historic Preservation Program at Morgan State University in Baltimore, has played an active role in archaeological digs in “The Hill” neighborhood. At 3 p.m., he will present an update on “The Hill” and its latest archaeological findings at the Talbot County Free Library.

At the Dover Street location from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., Kentavius Jones (“KJ”) and his band will perform live music. KJ, an Easton native and Washington College 2004 graduate, currently lives in Los Angeles but often is in his home territory. His icons are Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, Stevie Wonder, Miles Davis, and his own musician father. His brand of soulful rock moves people to his beat and onto their feet.

Other musical performers will include the Bay Country Chorus (the Easton chapter of the Barbershop Harmony Society); Gene Edwards, a master of the digital keyboard and a vocalist of a full array of favorite hits; and the SPAA Singers (Society for the Preservation of African American Singers), performing soulful sounds of gospel music from the past, while circulating throughout the site area.

At 1 p.m., keynote speaker, Professor David Blight will talk about material from his forthcoming book on Frederick Douglass’s life at the Talbot County Free Library. Blight, a respected Yale University historian, was at the unveiling of the Frederick Douglass statue on 2011. He is Director of the Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, and Abolition.

Hunting for answers during the scavenger hunt about intriguing places, times, and people can be accomplished by using your smart phone or the resources at the library. No previous knowledge is required; you just need a sharp mind and comfortable shoes. Participants can pick up the clues for the scavenger hunt at the Dover Street Scavenger Hunt booth.

Sanfoka Dance Theater will take center stage at 3:00 pm presenting world-class authentic African art in the form of dance, music, and folkways. Sanfoka reaches back into the rich legacy of African culture and history to move forward in greater awareness and sensitivity to the world community. They have performed for antional and international locations entertaining, enriching, and connecting with people around the world.

A free screening of “Twelve Years a Slave” directed by Steve McQueen and starring Chiwetel Ejiofor will be held 6:30 p.m. at the Easton Premier Cinemas. The film, based on an incredible true story about one man’s fight for survival and freedom, earned three Academy Awards – Best Picture, Best Supporting Actress for Lupita Nyong’o and the Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay for John Ridley.

On Friday, September 26, the Frederick Douglass Honor Society will host a fundraising event at the Avalon Theatre, with live music by the XPD’s. Their Motown, R&B, and funk tunes put people into the mood to clap and dance. Tickets are available on line by visiting Cost is $35 per person.

Except for the fundraiser, all Frederick Douglass Day events and the screening of “Twelve Years a Slave” are free and open to the public. Follow the upcoming event activities and postings on the Frederick Douglass Day Facebook page.

Support for Frederick Douglass Day has come from the Artistic Insight Fund of the Mid Shore Community Foundation, APG Media of Chesapeake, Kathleen Linehan and Ed Gabriel, Out of the Fire, Mr. and Mrs. Paul B. Prager, Tim and Lisa Wyman, and other public and private partners.

For more information, please email or call 410-375-7879 or 410-463-5789.

Music at My Mother’s Funeral by Faith Shearin

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During the weeks when we all believed my mother
was likely to die she began to plan
her funeral and she wanted us, her children,
to consider the music we would play there. We remembered
the soundtrack of my mother’s life: the years when she swept
the floors to the tunes of an eight track cassette called Feelings,
the Christmas when she bought a Bing Crosby album
about a Bright Hawaiian Christmas Day. She got Stravinsky’s
Rite of Spring stuck in the tape deck of her car and for months
each errand was accompanied by some kind
of dramatic movement. After my brother was born,
there was a period during which she wore a muumuu
and devoted herself to King Sunny Ade and his
African beats. She ironed and wept to Evita, painted
to Italian opera. Then, older and heavier, she refused
to fasten her seatbelt and there was the music
of an automated bell going off every few minutes,
which annoyed the rest of us but did not seem to matter
to my mother who ignored its relentless disapproval,
its insistence that someone was unsafe.

American Life in Poetry is made possible by The Poetry Foundation (, publisher of Poetrymagazine. It is also supported by the Department of English at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Poem copyright ©2013 by the Alaska Quarterly Review. Faith Shearin’s most recent book of poems is Moving the Piano, Stephen F. Austin Univ. Press, 2011. Poem reprinted from the Alaska Quarterly Review, Vol. 30, No. 3 & 4, by permission of Faith Shearin and the publisher. Introduction copyright © 2014 by The Poetry Foundation. The introduction’s author, Ted Kooser, served as United States Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress from 2004-2006. We do not accept unsolicited manuscripts.

Maryland Health Exchange Coverage: Renew or Lose


Meredith Cohn at The Baltimore Sun writes:


“Maryland health exchange officials plan to contact every person who bought one of their insurance plans last year to get them to re-enroll in November.

Most of the nearly 79,000 people who gained private coverage in the state under the Affordable Care Act were subsidized, and they will lose that benefit if they don’t sign back up manually.”

Continue reading here.

“Shabbat in the Park” in Oxford Community Park Friday, Aug. 22


OXFORD MD – Temple B’nai Israel of Easton and Talbot Association of Clergy and Laity (TACL) are co-sponsoring an interfaith sabbath evening service, “Shabbat in the Park,” in Oxford Community Park this Friday, August 22 at 6 p.m. This free event is open to the public and to bring lawn chairs.

In case of rain, the service will be held at 7 p.m. in Temple B’nai Israel, 101 West Earle Avenue in Easton, adjacent to Shore Memorial Hospital Emergency Room.

Sub-titled “Together in Peace,” this informal service consists of sacred readings, prayers, hymns and poems read by members of Shore Abrahamic faith communities.

“We began to plan this service just after the kidnapping and murder of the three Israeli boys and the Palestinian boy and the Christian girls’ kidnapping in Africa,” said Rabbi Peter E. Hyman, rabbi of Temple B’nai Israel.

“When the warfare began,” added TACL president Bishop Joel Marcus Johnson, “we recognized the opportunity to wage peace here at home by praying and worshiping together. We expect this will be a spiritually invigorating event.”

Temple B’nai Israel is the center for Jewish life on the Eastern Shore, and is a member of the Union for Reform Judaism.

TACL is Talbot County’s interfaith organization of religious bodies and social service agencies, supporting education, relationship building and networking among its members.

Op-Ed: Dave Brubeck, Game Changer by Al Sikes

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My first real experience with jazz was promoting a concert at Westminster College in Fulton,
Missouri. Yes, I did play an instrument, the trombone. I did play it in a dance band (1950s lingo), but my talent was modest at best. So when my friend Rush Moody asked me to start a
jazz program for Chesapeake Chamber Music, my initial reflection took me back to the 1960s
when I helped produce a jazz concert featuring Dave Brubeck and his quartet.

Dave Brubeck, encouraged by his wife Iola, toured college campuses with his band in the 1950s
and 60s. His band included the incomparable Paul Desmond on alto sax, Gene Wright on bass,
and Joe Morello on drums. I know that when I heard “Take Five” in person, my music world
changed. I listened to almost no rock music after that sublime moment.

Dave Brubeck lived to his 92nd the late 90s. On December 5, 2012 this is the way The New York Times began Dave Brubeck’s obituary:

“Dave Brubeck, the pianist and composer who helped make jazz popular again in the 1950s
and ’60s with recordings like “Time Out,” the first jazz album to sell a million copies, and “Take Five,” the still instantly recognizable hit single that was that album’s centerpiece, died on Wednesday in Norwalk, Conn. He would have turned 92 on Thursday.”

Early in Brubeck’s career he graced the cover of Time. It was 1954 and the inscription was “The joints are really flipping.”

At this year’s Monty Alexander Jazz Festival in Easton, MD, we will salute Dave Brubeck at the
Avalon Theatre on Saturday, August 30 at 2 p.m. The salute will be led by Bobby Militello who
became Brubeck’s alto saxophonist after Paul Desmond’s death. The joint will be flipping.

Time will pass but Dave Brubeck’s contributions will not be forgotten by jazz historians. For me there is something special about this salute. And for all of us there is something special about celebrating the life and music of an icon while our memories remain vivid.

We hope you will join us at this year’s Monty Alexander Jazz Festival at the historic Avalon
Theatre in Easton. In addition to the salute to Dave Brubeck, there will be performances by trumpeter Etienne Charles, Monty Alexander and his trio, along with Allan Harris, James
DeFrances, and tenor saxophonist Houston Person; and jazz/gospel vocalist Dee Daniels. Tickets
are going fast. Visit

Eastern Shore Regent Receives National Honor From DAR

Lynn Forney Young, President General; Sue Brenchley; Diane Brannum Hammill, Chairman, Volunteer Genealogy Committee
Lynn Forney Young, President General; Sue Brenchley; Diane Brannum Hammill, Chairman, Volunteer Genealogy Committee

Lynn Forney Young, President General; Sue Brenchley; Diane Brannum Hammill, Chairman, Volunteer Genealogy Committee

Sue Ann Brenchley, Regent of the General Perry Benson chapter of Daughters of the American Revolution in Easton, received the Outstanding Volunteer Genealogist award for her work involving the research and preparation of applications for membership to the Daughters of the American Revolution at the 2014 Continental Congress, the annual gathering for members from around the world.

The contest for the Outstanding Volunteer Genealogist is open to members who have completed genealogy training courses through the national society, and actively conduct lineage research workshops that open up new lines for membership in DAR by proving new patriots and proving lineages through different children of established patriots.

Listed among Sue’s DAR accomplishments for this award: she has proven 66 new lines, conducted 13 workshops during 2013, assists developing applications for 3 chapters in Maryland, has proven 17 of her own ancestor’s, both men and women, for patriot service during the American Revolution.

With a membership of over 170,000 ladies worldwide, being named for this honor seems a remarkable accomplishment, and requires research, organization and communication skills.

While based in Easton, the membership extends throughout the counties of the Mid-Shore region: Dorchester, Talbot, Caroline, Queen Anne’s, and Kent.

Anyone interested in becoming a member of DAR is encouraged to contact Dianna Betsch at or the national society at


MRYC Foundation Grant App. Due Oct. 15


ST. MICHAELS, MD – The Miles River Yacht Club Foundation is encouraging eligible non-profit organizations to apply for grants in its Fall 2014 grants cycle. The deadline for Fall applications is October 15, 2014, with the next deadline being April 15, 2015.

The Foundation gives grants of facilities, equipment, scholarships and general support to organizations that sponsor competitive sailing, rowing and swimming, and other maritime educational programs in the Chesapeake Bay region. It has given grants totaling $134,292 to 21 area non-profit organizations in its first three years of grant-making. Organizations who have received prior grants must wait a year before reapplying for support.

The Foundation’s signature project is “SOS: Sink or Swim”, an initiative whose goal is to teach all Talbot County children under 15 how to swim. This summer, in partnership with the St. Michaels Community Center, approximately 300 non-swimming children from the Bay Hundred region learned how to swim through the program at the Bay Hundred Community Pool in St. Michaels.

Other grants are provided to programs that teach children to be good stewards of the Chesapeake Bay, and that grow leaders and team players for life through competitive maritime sports.

Grants applications can be accessed and downloaded at, by telephoning 410-921-6792, or by writing MRYC Foundation, 606A North Talbot Street, Suite 115, St. Michaels, MD 21663.

The MRYC Foundation receives support from its Spring and Fall annual fundraising events, and from several hundred individuals, businesses, companies and foundations.

The MRYC Foundation has underwritten youth sailing programs at the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum, Annapolis Community Boating, Miles River Yacht Club Junior Sailing Camp, Chesapeake Region Accessible Boating and St. Mary’s College of Maryland sailing team.

The MRYC Foundation has underwritten youth sailing programs at the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum, Annapolis Community Boating, Miles River Yacht Club Junior Sailing Camp, Chesapeake Region Accessible Boating and St. Mary’s College of Maryland sailing team.


TCPS Releases 2014-2015 School Bus Routes

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The 2014-2015 school year is just around the corner. Talbot County Public Schools has released its bus routes, which will be updated weekly until the first week of September. You can find all of the routes here.


Chesapeake Film Festival Opens With Beatles Documentary


FredaThe Chesapeake Film Festival will return to Easton, Maryland, September 19-21, 2014 with more than a dozen inspirational films.   The festival began in 2007 and won the “Best New Event” award for the State of Maryland and Tourism.  The festival annually brings an interesting and diverse selection of films to Talbot County during a three-day extravaganza, which kicks off with an exclusive opening night party, panel discussions and the screenings of award-winning films.

For opening night, the festival is screening “GOOD OL FREDA” – the tell-all documentary of Freda Kelly, a shy teenager from Liverpool asked to work for a young local band hoping to make it big.  Freda finally tells her tales for the first time in 50 years.  Critics say it will definitely make you feel “Glad All Over!” [Bellbottoms optional].

The festival will shine the spotlight on a local success story from a family with more than one star. “MOVEMENT AND LOCATION” is written by and starred in by Alex Orban (now known as Bodine Boling), the granddaughter of a Caroline County native, Aubrey Bodine, a very prominent Baltimore Sun photographer.  It’s a “gentle” sci-fi story about a new arrival from 400 years in the future to today’s Brooklyn, NY.  Attempting to make a new life for herself, the heroine is thrown into turmoil when she discovers other visitors from the future, including her husband.  Her choice is between her new life and the past she left behind in the future.

Major film festivals don’t suddenly appear on the silver screen by magic, of course. From screenings in Los Angeles, New York, Cannes, Toronto and Sundance, the festival’s savvy programmers have gathered the best-of-the-best independent and foreign films, many of which have subsequently been nominated for Oscars.  Responding to previous year’s audience suggestion, this year’s festival will also feature a classic film, to be announced soon.

The festival will welcome viewers to the historic Avalon Theatre for three days of outstanding films, as well as to the Talbot County Library, where there will be special free films for kids. Check out the powerhouse festival lineup and purchase tickets on line for our 7th annual event

See you at the movies!

New Archery Facility To Open at Bolingbroke Park


archery1The new archery facility of the Izaak Walton League’s Mid-Shore Chapter was introduced at the monthly dinner meeting held on Thursday, July 31 at Bolingbroke Park. Members were invited to try their skills with the Chapter’s archery equipment.

Sam Duerner, Past President and instructor with Tuckahoe Bowmen, spoke briefly about the history of the sport.  He has been interested in archery since he was nine years old, eventually building his own arrows and stringing his own bows.

Mr. Duerner stresses that this is a “sport” and is not just about hunting. Archery is a growing competitive and recreational pastime.

Recently there has been a renewed interest in archery. This is attributed to the popularity of The Hunger Games books and films with a heroine who is remarkably talented with a bow and arrow.  All of this has led to greater interest not only by boys and men, but also by girls and women.

The Mid-Shore Chapter is planning for events and instruction at Bolingbroke Park, its 55-acre wooded property in Trappe. If you have a group that might be interested in learning more about archery, call Calvin at 410.820.8935.