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.

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

Talbot County Notes: Avian Dogfight for the Ages

Last evening, an osprey flew by with a newly caught fish in his talons.

All of the sudden, he started squawking and I didn’t know why. In a flash, a bald eagle flew over me following the osprey’s flight path…and he was gaining fast.

Just like that, the eagle overtook the osprey and they wrestled over the fish in a burst of feathers and injurious indignation from the osprey. I couldn’t see if the eagle got the fish, or if it just dropped. Either way, the osprey no longer had it.

The eagle turned and started flying away with the osprey in hot pursuit and screaming bloody murder. I couldn’t tell if the eagle was slowed by a stolen fish in his talons, but this time the osprey was faster and more mobile than he.

The osprey kept up his screaming and dive-bombed the eagle. Then, another osprey heard the cries and came out to join the melee. All of the sudden, I realized that I was witnessing an aerial avian dogfight… the kind that has taken place for the thousands of years before man learned how to fly.

The two ospreys were relentless…they kept on dive-bombing the eagle, but he kept on dodging and getting away. Then, the eagle and ospreys disappeared behind the point. I don’t know if the eagle won, but I am sure that the ospreys lost

In the lens of my life, it was the Battle of Britain in 1939, in the lens of theirs it was the story of the ages.

And, then it struck me. We are temporal, but life is timeless.

Talbot Historical Society Project Rewind: A Jousting We Will Go

St. Joseph’s Jousting Tournament and Horse Show was held in Cordova, Md. “Attraction Magazine” shared some Maryland Jousting history in a recent article. It stated that in 1632 the first Lord Baltimore, Cecil Calvert introduced Jousting in Maryland and St. Joseph’s has been hosting Jousting tournaments since the 1870’s, except during wartime. This year was the 149th tournament at St. Joseph’s ! Have you ever attended this historic event? This 1930’s photo is from the Talbot Historical Society’s H. Robins Hollyday Collection.

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

Easton Sidewalks: Marc|Randall on Dover Street

For Marc Randall, the owner of Marc|Randall, a women’s apparel store on Dover Street, the bet has always been that will be a select group of women on the Mid-Shore who care enough about fashion and quality, and who also have the means to spend $250 for a sweater.

In fact, this business plan has been in effect for twenty-five years now. Starting in 1993, Marc, and three fellow investors, felt the time was right for a high-quality women’s clothes store in Easton. And on many levels, this calculation has turned out to be a significant success story. The store has attracted many patrons who are indeed willing to seek out exceptional quality and pay the relatively higher costs that go with its quality, as an extension of their sense of fashion and timeless appeal.

And this customer base has also been very devoted to Marc as well. Year after year, this unique band of loyalists, make it a habit to build seasonal wardrobes are built around Randall’s distinct sense of style. It is also not uncommon for Marc to experience the joy of seeing those sweaters and dresses passed down to daughters and granddaughters.

All of this should add up to a certain sense of security that the Marc|Randall store should be sustainable during this rapid change in the retail sector, but that doesn’t stop Marc from worrying that younger women will not carry on this tradition.  With consumers forgoing quality and seeking lower prices, he can only hope that this great history of fashion on Dover Street will continue.

This video is approximately three minutes in length. For more information about Marc/Randall please go here

Profiles in Spirituality: Unitarian Universalism with the Mid-Shore’s Reverend Sue Browning

According to the Unitarian Universalist Association’s own data, the U.U. Church currently has just under 200,000 members in the entire United States, and about two hundred of them attend church in Kent County or Talbot County on any given Sunday.

In comparison, the Episcopal Church, another relatively small denomination, has about 3,500 active members in the same region, while the Catholic faith comes close to having 7,000 adherents.

These numbers may suggest that the Unitarians represent a tiny part of the religious fabric on the Delmarva, but those statistics do not account for the extremely high level of activism these small congregations — one in Kent and the other Talbot County — participate in during the year in their communities. In fact, when one factors in contributions that the U.U. Church make locally in such critical areas of concern for social justice, immigration, and the environment, one then can one see the full impact of the Unitarian Universalists on the Mid-Shore.

And one person who sees that impact on an almost daily basis is the Reverend Sue Browning, who is in the unique role of being the minister of both the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship at Easton as well as the Unitarian Universalists of the Chester River in Kent County.

The Spy sat down with Rev. Browning to talk a bit about Unitarian Universalism as a faith, which is liberal by nature and characterized by a “free and responsible search for truth and meaning.” In other words, Unitarian Universalist members do not accept a creed per se but are unified by a shared search for spiritual growth.

We also talked to Sue about the important role that faith, unconventional as it may be in the U.U. Church, plays in the life of its members, the spiritual dimensions of aging, and the need to exercise one’s compassion and gratitude like a muscle which will only gets stronger with time.

This video is approximately four minutes in length. For more information about the Mid-Shore Unitarian Universalist Churches, please go here for Chestertown and here for Easton




Spy Eye: Checking in on the Oxford Races

It’s hard to imagine that Oxford has seen more races and sailors this year than over the past last weekend. Starting with the Race to Oxford – PHRF competition, followed by Robert K. Robson Memorial Race, Log Canoe Regatta, and the One Design – Junior and Adult challenge,  Talbot County’s small waterside town has been packed with enthusiastic sailors and their mates for these annual events.

The Talbot Spy’s reconnaissance photographer captured some of the fun over the last a few days:


Talbot Historical Society Project Rewind: Finding the Regatta Party

The Tred Avon Yacht Club & Chesapeake Bay Yacht Club sailboat Regatta is in Oxford, Md this weekend! This Talbot Historical Society H. Robins Hollyday Collection photo is of an undated Regatta sailboat party from the past! Looks like fun accompanied by big cans of pretzels and an assortment of unknown drinks, most definitely including beer!

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

Easton Sidewalks: Downtown’s Safeway Comes to a Sad Ending

Hundreds of downtown Easton residents found out some unfortunate news yesterday. According to the Star-Democrat, Safeway has decided to close its food store on Washington Avenue this September.

Considered to be one of Easton’s best-kept secrets, which is perhaps one of the reasons Safeway decided to close it, with short lines, friendly service and long hours, the Washington Avenue store was accessible by foot for many lacking cars or other transportation means to do their food shopping.

Even with its unique charms, the Safeway never really caught up with the changing times.  The store was small, and there was never a real investment by the parent corporation to upgrade its deli, improve its bread selection, or get on board will high quality prepared foods.

Perhaps there will be the silver lining in all this bad news. The current store and location would make an ideal spot for a Trader Joe’s or a small Whole Foods. We’ll need to wait and see, but given its location and the important role of providing downtown residents with access to a food store without needing a car, we hope this is only a temporary setback.

End of SOS Sink or Swim 2017 Season

Hundreds of SOS swimmers and their families celebrated the end of a very successful SOS Sink or Swim 2017 Season with a big party Friday evening at the George Murphy Pool in Easton. It was a beautiful warm summer evening to cool off in the pool, eat pizza and Popsicles and have a good time.

This year, the generous contributors to SOS provided more than 1,100 free swim lessons at the Murphy and the Bay Hundred Community Pools. is The St. Michaels Community Center provided the administrative support and the Talbot County Parks and Recreation Department supplied the instructors and the pool time. Since it was started four summers ago, the SOS Sink or Swim charity has funded more than 2,500 swim lessons for Talbot County children.   

SOS provides three, two-week-long series of swim lessons for children ranging from 18-months to 18-years-old. Skill levels varied from beginners to junior lifeguards. It costs just $50 to teach a child to swim. To make a tax-deductible contribution to support SOS’s mission to teach our children to swim and be safe in the water, go to and click on DONATE or send a check to SOS Sink or Swim, 606A N. Talbot Street, Suite 109, St. Michaels, MD 21663. SOS is docked at the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum.

Shedding Light on the Great Total Solar Eclipse of 2017 by Greg Mort

A total solar eclipse is an exotic event disrupting the normal routine of our celestial drama. This extraordinary event evokes the same kind of wonder as the appearance of a comet or a meteor shower. Throughout history, cosmic occurrences have ignited inspiration as well as consternation. Historically before eclipses were understood or predicted, ancient people were terrified.

Today we have the benefit of centuries of scientific knowledge to our diminish fears and enrich our experience. However, I would like to propose, to more fully enjoy the Great Total Eclipse of 2017 that you witness it as purely as possible by simply using all your five senses.

The morning of August 21st a total solar eclipse will race across the continental United States drawing an unprecedented amount of public attention. Our first truly transcontinental total solar eclipse in nearly 100 years and the first since the inception of the Internet we will have the ability to instantly communicate personal expression/interpretation and information. Even viewers clouded out or not in the direct path of totality will be able to share the event via live-feeds on many social media platforms.

As an artist and an astronomer who has logged as many hours at the telescope as at my easel, my suggestion is to view this once in a lifetime event free from our normal appendages of multi sensorial devices such as cameras and or communication devices.

While I compose these thoughts several weeks before the big day, many folks have made their travel plans, booked hotels, campsites, rented RV’s, imposed on relatives or strangers in the path of totality. A grand chorus of news coverage, endless but important safety warnings and equipment sales of all sizes and costs have already begun. In fact, if you are just now considering your battle plan, you are behind the curve by quite a bit. Still, don’t despair there is hope. Even if your hometown lies beyond the path of totality, a partial eclipse can be memorable if you take the time to enjoy the spectacle on multiple experiential levels.

Throughout a total solar eclipse and depending upon your location and good fortunate with the weather gods our sun will be partly or entirely blocked out by the moon passing directly in front of it. The moon’s close proximity to Earth allows it to appear to cover (eclipse) the solar disk even though it is hundreds of times smaller than

Greg Mort eclipse watching. Note solar discs projected on the ground.

our sun. As the moon’s shadow travels across the earth at over 1000 miles an hour (due to the moons orbital motion minus the Earth’s eastward), the viewer will witness the gentle lunar dance lasting about two hours from start to finish. The sky will slowly darken; temperatures will drop as the air under the shadow cools causing winds to dissipate transforming the landscape with an eerie stillness. One should not expect the sky to appear uniformly dark.

The area closest to the sun will be darkened, and as we gaze toward the earth’s horizon, it will appear lighter. The highlight, (total coverage of the sun) will only last a little over two minutes. During these tantalizing few moments, the jet-black disk of the moon is directly over the sun. A breathtaking sun-lite halo called the corona (Latin for crown) surrounding the disc. Then as the dance progresses light streaks through the valleys of the lunar mountains in a brief sparkling phenomenon known as “Baily’s Beads.”

Be open to all of the unique qualities a solar eclipse has to offer. There is a fascinating list of observations you can witness aside from following the disc of the moon as it crosses over the sun. For example, since the entire event spans about two hours make a note of how the quality, tone, color or transparency of light around you change. From my experience, wondrous and unusual lighting effects are parts of the drama of any total or partial solar eclipse. In general, the tone of what would normally be a sunny bright day gives way to an ever-changing palette of “silvery” light. Some observers have also reported a “green-ness” as the light diminishes.

Those viewers in the direct path of the moon’s shadow will also enjoy the brief appearance of several planets and bright stars. Starting at about thirty minutes before totality the planets Venus, Jupiter, Mars, and Mercury will gradually come into view. The brightest star in our sky, Sirius along with Arcturus, Capella and Regulus will add to the spectacle.

Please remember that no matter how much of the sun’s disc is covered it is always advised to use proper protective eye shielding at all times. Inexpensive Mylar solar filters and glasses are available from many sources.

To photograph or not to photograph is a very common and important question. I was confronted with the same choice during my first artistic commission as a NASA artist. The veteran members of the Shuttle Art team who had portrayed earlier missions wisely suggested not wasting valuable time snapping pictures. Rather they recommended focusing on a real-time emotional eyewitness record.

I failed to heed their warning and purchased a camera that could take continuous frames. Fortunately, as Sally Ride became the first American woman to orbit the Earth, I was able to take a number of images and watch at the carry any of the impact of the brilliant light, thundering sound, earthquake like vibration, smell of the rocket fuel or the sensation of the infrared heat hitting your face even at three miles from the launch pad! In the end the artwork that I produced for the NASA Art

The program came entirely from the overpowering emotional impact of witnessing this powerful event. Photographing was a total waste of time and a major distraction.

For photographs of this eclipse, I plan to depend upon the thousands of professional images taken by people well versed in recording such a rare event that will be instantaneously available to the public via the Internet, journals, and magazines. My first priority will be to savor each aspect of the spectacle, first-hand, record it via the mind’s eye, and use all five senses to totally absorb the atmosphere.

However, if it is just too hard to resist the temptation to capture the event electronically, here are a few simple tricks that should produce positive results. Use a tripod to hold your cell phone or camera for hands-free operation. Set up and test your equipment in advance and practice the steps you will follow to confirm smooth functioning. Making your technical process as “automatic “ as possible should allow you the freedom to enjoy the eclipse on a high tech as well as sensorial level.

Finally, I would also encourage watching the eclipse with others. The more perspectives and memories you rally together, the better your chances are to notice a discrete aspect or unique interpretation of the phenomenon. After the show has come and gone it is particularly wonderful to discuss and relive the event with your fellow eclipse companions.

Then, you can all start planning for the next eclipse adventure

Greg Mort is an internationally recognized contemporary artist who is represented by the Carla Massoni Gallery, a passionate amateur astronomer and member of the NASA Shuttle Art Team who serves on the board of the Lowell Observatory. He is traveling to Madras, Oregon to view the eclipse with family and friends.