Archives for October 2015

Second of Two Performances of Haydn’s Creation on Sunday

On Friday night the Easton Choral Arts Society performed its best concert ever. The music was Haydn’s The Creation and featured three outstanding professional soloists and two “choral scholars”. The professionals were first class. Danielle Talamantes, soprano, who performs with the Met understandably has a voice of operatic quality, and it was thrilling to hear her sing. Jason Rylander, tenor, and Kerry Wilkerson, base, were also very strong. The “choral scholars”, Hannah Zerai, soprano, and Michael Pistorio, baritone, were very pleasant additions. It is great to see young musicians given an opportunity to grow.

Under Artistic Director Wes Lockfaw’s baton, the chorus performed as never before. This group has steadily grown to higher and higher levels, and is a major asset to the wonderful array of cultural opportunities available to Talbot County residents.

The Creation will be performed again on Sunday, November 1at 4pm at St. Mark’s Church in Easton. Tickets are available at the door.

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Friday Morning Artists to Exhibit at Calico Gallery at Le Hatchery

The Calico Gallery at Le Hatchery is pleased to welcome Friday Mornings Artists as Friends of Le Hatchery for the month of November. There will be a special Open House on Saturday, November 14 from 10am-6pm.

Friday Morning Artists began some eighteen years ago when a prominent Easton artist/teacher invited a few local artists to spend time together to “talk art”. They began to meet each Friday morning at an Easton coffee shop. They called themselves the Friday Morning Artists. Over the years the group has grown to more than 50 members including painters, sculptors, potters, photographers and artisans of many disciplines. To this day, the group continues to meet informally to share their enthusiasm for art, exchange new ideas about techniques and discuss what is happening on the local art scene. Members of Friday Morning Artists continually contribute to the vitality and vibrancy of the local art community.

The Friday Morning Artists Organization, (FMA), provides numerous opportunities for artists to display their work. Most exhibit venues are in and around Easton, MD. Artists in the FMA group take turns displaying each month in all the various FMA exhibit opportunities. Each FMA venue is refreshed with a new display of several of its members art work on the first Friday of each month.

To become an active member just show up, introduce yourself and share your love of art. Benefits of membership include the opportunity to meet with and socialize with likeminded art aficionados, to show your work at local FMA venues and with your participation, make a positive contribution to the local art community. The group meets at Denny’s on route 50 in Easton, MD each Friday at 8:00 am.

The exhibiting Friday Morning Artists are:
Kevan Full, Mike Hemming, Steve Lingeman, Bob Manning, Achilles Fellows, Paul Winters, Curt Brandt, Ole Danielson, Ray Van horn, Cal Jackson, Margot Miller, Rose Poling, Ted Mueller, Maryetta Dynan, John Dynan, Joan Brown, Fran Taylor, John Kendz, Joe Soares, Janet Kerr, Mary Konchar, Rose Doster, Sarah Williamson, and Heidi Wetzel.

Le Hatchery is located at 125 Kemp Lane, Easton, MD. You can enjoy this exhibit throughout the Month of November and join us for our Open House, Saturday, November 14th from 10am to 6pm.

Check our website for hours of operation.

Food Friday: Cocktails from Beyond

At first I was going to put together a compendium of disgusting Halloween-themed cocktails that involved pumpkin flavored vodka, and chocolate martinis, olive and lychee eyeballs, and a lot of dry ice for special effects. Nonsense. I finally came to my senses when I wandered down the garden path of idle curiosity, which as you know, has a deleterious effect on cats. Instead I wondered about what we could offer to our favorite dead writers, should they come a-calling this Saturday night, when the adults will reclaim Halloween as their own. While not exactly the Proustian query posed by Vanity Fair every month, this is a broad survey of some writers I think would be amusing at a ghostly Halloween cocktail party.

Noel Coward said that the perfect martini could be made by “filling a glass with gin then waving it in the general direction of Italy”. Fill your glasses and join me on our ghoulish visit to a moonlight cocktail party. No enchanted cocktail hour would be complete without Ernest Hemingway, who tops every dead-writer-cocktail-survey I encountered. His poor mother. I have been to his house in Key West and skritched some of his cats with their polydactyl toes. The house has some admirable verandahs, which shriek out for a séance and Coward’s Madame Arcati inviting our favorite roués and decorous dead to join us once more for some ocean breezes and Bloody Marys.

“To make a pitcher of Blood Marys (any smaller amount is worthless) take a good sized pitcher and put in it as big a lump of ice as it will hold. (This to prevent too rapid melting and watering of our product.) Mix a pint of good Russian vodka and an equal amount of chilled tomato juice.
Add a tablespoon full of Worcestershire Sauce. Lea and Perrins is usual but you can use AI or any good beef-steak sauce. Stir. (with two rs) Then add a jigger of fresh squeezed lime juice. Stir. Then add small amounts of celery salt, cayenne pepper, black pepper. Keep on stirring and taste to see how it is doing. If you get it too powerful weaken with more tomato juice. If it lacks authority add more vodka.”

Bob your hair, rouge your knees, and get out your ropes of pearls. Scott and Zelda have arrived in Key West. The Fitzgeralds were very, very fond of Gin Rickeys. We can swoop around the porches, imagining our own jazzy music, swaying with the palm tress, drinking these sweet concoctions:–scott-fitzgeralds-gin-rickey-recipe-and-bukowskis-boilermaker-517940317 Whatever gin they have not reserved for their infant daughter’s night time bottle, we can spirit away to make Gin Rickey cocktails.

John Cheever’s specter conjures up a solemn progression of cocktails. Avoid him, because he will want to go swimming. Instead, let’s look for Evelyn Waugh, who is merrily mixing some of his favorite stingers at the bar. I can summon up the image of the angelic Cary Grant, ordering a round of them for the flock of church ladies, crowding his tête-à-tête luncheon with Loretta Young in The Bishop’s Wife. Stingers are deadly. Trust me. I have been stung.

Evelyn Waugh’s Stinger

2 ounces brandy
¾ ounce crème de menthe
½ ounce dry vermouth or bourbon

Directions: Shake with ice. Pour into a chilled martini glass or Old Fashioned glass.

Sad ethereal wraith Carson McCullers has been hard at it since breakfast. Her tea packs a deadly punch:

Long Island Iced Tea Recipe

1⁄2 ounce gin
1⁄2 ounce vodka
1⁄2 ounce tequila
1⁄2 ounce. light rum
1⁄2 ounce Cointreau
3⁄4 ounce lemon juice
Top with cola
Lemon wedge

Pour all ingredients except cola and garnish into a cocktail shaker filled with ice cubes. Shake, and then strain into a Collins glass filled with ice cubes. Add cola until color of tea. Garnish with lemon wedge. Serve with two straws.

Edna St. Vincent Millay was very fond of the Between the Sheets cocktail. This party could be getting interesting.

3/4 ounce brandy
3/4 ounce light rum
3/4 ounce triple sec
1/2 ounce lemon juice
Lemon twist for garnish

Dorothy Parker and the Algonquin set are cackling over a hot Ouija board in the corner. Their Whiskey Sours have been evaporating by the pitcher-ful. “I wish I could drink like a lady. I can take one or two at the most. Three and I’m under the table. Four and I’m under the host.”

Rushing out from the eternal New Yorker magazine offices in the sky, Mr. E.B. White shares his favorite Martini recipe: “Equal parts lime juice, apricot brandy, honey, and dry vermouth. Stir this all together (you only need a tiny amount of the whole business), then add 4 times the amount of gin. Plenty of ice, stir, and serve.” Wowser. Three martini lunches, indeed!

There is a whole lot of gin going on at this imaginary party. Since Halloween falls on a Saturday this year, Mr. Friday and I will chill a charming bottle of Prosecco, and sit on the balcony and watch the little hobgoblins and ghosts bob about in their Halloween euphoria. The ghostly writers and folks from my imagination are having a little shindig at the cemetery if you’d like to go out and meet them. They are just dying to see you.

“I began to think vodka was my drink at last. It didn’t taste like anything, but it went straight down into my stomach like a sword swallowers’ sword and made me feel powerful and godlike.”
― Sylvia Plath


Talbot Historical Society Project Rewind: Off to Celebrate Threshing Day

Screen Shot 2015-10-30 at 8.15.32 AM

Thank you Michael Mielke for sharing your family’s H. Robins Hollyday photo of threshing day in 1938 at Wye Town Farm. Mike identified Florence “Teddy” Mielke Shortall with the pitcher and her sister Dorothy Mielke Mullikin serving the African American workers after wheat threshing. Wye Town Farm’s original house off of Bruffs Island Rd. was built in 1810 and is on the National Register of Historic Places. The Lloyd family owned the property in the 18th and much of the 19th century. The Lloyds established the town of Doncaster or Wye Town as their shipping business center in 1707 at the mouths of the Wye and Miles Rivers. Wye Town Farm House is speculated to have been built as a residence of an overseer of the Lloyd’s agricultural activities.

Facts: National Register of Historic Places Inventory Nomination Form for Wye Town Farm 1980. Contact: Cathy Hill to share your old photos. Comment, Like our page and join THS!


Commission Works to Remediate Gerrymandering in Maryland

The Maryland Redistricting Reform Commission met Tuesday to craft recommendations for ways to fix gerrymandering in Maryland, focusing on establishing an independent group to redistrict both congressional and legislative districts.

The commission wrote intricate rules to limit partisan influence and ensure independence of the new panel, and is requiring it to apply state law to congressional redistricting.

When drawing congressional boundaries in the current system, Maryland’s governor leads the process, which follows a more general federal standard. These rules mandate that districts must be drawn with equal populations and in compliance with the Voting Rights Act, which prohibits racial discrimination in the voting process.

Members of Gov. Hogan's redistricting reform commission discuss the shape of a new independent process.

Members of Gov. Hogan’s redistricting reform commission discuss the shape of a new independent process.

But when drawing state legislative boundaries, under Maryland law, districts must be contiguous and compact, “with due regard for natural boundaries and the boundaries of political subdivisions”.

In the past, minority lawmakers and political groups have complained that minority populations are split up and grouped together to help keep incumbent Democrats in power.

The commission held five public regional meetings in different parts of Maryland, hearing from legislators and residents about their ideas on how to reform voting districts.

Hogan in August signed an executive order creating the commission to address gerrymandering in both legislative and congressional voting districts.

“Maryland is home to some of the most gerrymandered districts in the country, a distinction that we should not be proud of,” Gov. Larry Hogan, a Republican, said in a statement Aug. 6. “My administration’s goal is to reform this process and put Maryland’s redistricting process on a new path toward transparency, fair representation, and election integrity.”

Commission member Delegate Jason Buckel, R-Allegany, said during an Oct. 20 commission meeting that it is “pretty apparent that the status quo is unacceptable.”

To form the new, nine-member independent group, the commission is recommending that one judge from the Court of Special Appeals of Maryland and two from the Maryland Circuit Courts will be chosen at random to select the members of the group.

To apply to serve as member of this independent group, applicants must have been a Maryland resident for the past five years, they cannot have switched party lines in the past five years and they cannot have run for legislative or congressional office in the past five years.

The judges will choose 30 people — 10 Democrats, 10 Republicans and 10 independents from the pool of applicants — to possibly serve on the work group.

From those 30, nine individuals will be randomly chosen, with three from each political affiliation, to become members of the independent redistricting panel.

Sen. Joan Carter Conway, a member of the redistricting commission, said that focusing on the concept of creating an independent group to redistrict Maryland is improbable, as too many legislative stakeholders have an impact, such as the governor’s role of appointing judges.

Members of an “independent redistricting commission are as far from independent as the legislators are,” said Conway, D-Baltimore City.

Conway also said that the commission should do something to fix congressional districts but avoid the legislative districts.

In Maryland, redistricting occurs every 10 years following the results of the U.S. census. In 2012, Gov. Martin O’Malley, D, redrew the 6th congressional district, taking away conservative votes in order to oust a veteran Republican.

Registered Democrats outweigh registered Republicans in Maryland more than 2-to-1, according to eligible active voter data from the 2014 gubernatorial election.

Seven of the state’s eight seats in the U.S. House of Representatives are held by Democrats.

When redistricting, according to Maryland’s constitution, the governor is required to hold public hearings to create a legislative district plan. The governor’s plan automatically takes effect 45 days into the legislative session unless the General Assembly drafts its own plan.

The Maryland constitution requires 47 legislative districts, with one senator and three delegates from each. It also requires that the districts must have roughly equal population, compact and contiguous.

Elbridge James of the NAACP said that voting districts in Maryland disenfranchise people of color because they lack equal representation.

“If the governor does not get it right, he does a disservice and disadvantage to all of our communities,” James said. “I need to have voices heard and redistricting allows voices to be heard.”

Senator Anthony Muse, D-Prince George’s, called past redistricting purely gerrymandering where the district maps did not accurately represent the people in their jurisdiction and said that there was not enough minority representation at both the congressional and legislative level.

The commission must submit a report to the governor, Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr., D-Calvert, Charles and Prince George’s, and House Speaker Michael Busch, D-Anne Arundel, by Nov. 3., and is slated to be formally disbanded on Nov. 8, 2016.

By Naomi Eide
Capital News Service


Upcoming Programming at the Talbot County Free Library in November

There are many programs and events for adults and children alike coming up at both the Easton and St. Michaels branches of the Talbot County Free Library in November. Learn more about these opportunities below. And remember, all library programming is free and open to the public.

Children’s Programs


Craft Explorers
Thursday, November 12, 2:00 – 4:00 p.m. Children of all ages are invited to see what they can create from a variety of materials.

Tuesday, November 17, 4:00 – 4:45 p.m. For ages 8 and up.

St. Michaels

Family Movies (For ages 6 and older)
Monday, November 16, 3:30 p.m. Ramona and Beezus

Family Unplugged Games
Saturday, November 21, (International Games Day!), 1:00 p.m. Board games and fun educational games for all ages. Children 5 and under must be accompanied by an adult.

Family Fall Crafts
Monday, November 23, 3:30 p.m. Fall Jewelry. Children 5 and under must be accompanied by an adult.

Adult Programs


Genealogy and Family History Workshop
Saturday, November 7, 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. Introduction to Genealogy; Library Resources for Family History Research; Researching African-American Ancestors; Researching Eastern Shore Families. This program is offered in partnership with the Oxford Museum. Pre-registration through the Oxford Museum is required.

Talbot Has Talent – Poetry and Music Open Mic Night
Thursday, November, 12, 6:30 p.m. Read and/or perform your own or your favorite poem, play an instrument, dance or impress us with your unique talent in front of an audience of your peers! Open to all ages!

Library Book Group to Discuss The Invention of Wings
Monday, November 16, 6:30 p.m. The Easton library book group will discuss Sue Monk Kidd’s The Invention of Wings.

St. Michaels

Library Book Group to Discuss: Shakespeare Saved My Life: Ten Years in Solitary with the Bard
Wednesday, November 18, 3:30 p.m.

The Talbot Boys Conversation: Talbot County Council Open Forum

The Talbot County Council continued to seek community input on the future of the “Talbot Boys” Confederate Veterans Memorial located on Talbot County’s Courthouse lawn. In their efforts to reach out for local views on what is to be done, or not done with the memorial, the council opened the debate for citizen comments last Wednesday with more than a hundred in attendance.

In all, twenty-six rose to make comments that were requested to be three minutes or less.

The Talbot Spy, in partnership with the Avalon Foundation, was able to record each speaker’s comments.

This video is approximately 75 minutes in length

Chesapeake College’s TPAC Launches New Season

The Todd Performing Arts Center at Chesapeake College is launching its 2015-2016 season with two exciting shows in November.

The season begins Wednesday, Nov. 11 when the U.S. Air Force Band takes the stage to perform an eclectic mix of jazz, popular and patriotic music. Showtime is 7 pm, and tickets are FREE and available at the door.

On Saturday, Nov. 21 ventriloquist Sylvia Fletcher provides a comedy entertainment experience like no other. Fletcher dazzles with lively characters, inanimate objects and voice illusions. The popular performer will offer a children’s performance at 1 p.m., with a puppet-making workshop at 2 p.m. Show and workshop tickets are $20. Show-only tickets to the children’s performance are $15. At 7:30 p.m., Fletcher will give a performance for adults. The evening show tickets are $20.

Celebrate the holiday season with “Sleigh Ride Around the World” on Friday, Dec. 11 at 7:30 p.m. Experience traditions from around the globe through dance, stories and melodies. Enjoy a buffet dinner before the show at 6 p.m. in the TPAC lobby. Dinner and show tickets are $35 for adults and $25 for children. For the show only, tickets are $20 for adults and $15 for children.

Actress and historian Leslie McCurdy brings “The Spirit of Harriet Tubman” to Wye Mills on Friday, Feb. 19 at 7 p.m. The performance takes the audience through Tubman’s childhood, solo escape from slavery, and courageous work with the Underground Railroad. Tickets are $20 for adults and $10 for students.

Master Illusionist Lyn Dillies brings her captivating all-ages show to TPAC on Friday, March 4 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $25 for adults and $15 for children. The popular Murder Mystery Theatre returns on Saturday, March 19 with a wedding- themed whodunit. Enjoy a buffet dinner and be part of the mystery for $45. The event begins at 6 p.m.

The Peake Players will present the beloved musical “Gypsy” on April 15 and 16 at 7:30 p.m., with a matinee performance at 2 p.m. on April 17.

Additional Family Series shows will be featured in the spring including “Peter Rabbit Tales” on April 22 and “Chicken Dance” on May 13.

For tickets and more information, please call the TPAC Box Office at 410-827-5867.

The Shops at Sea Captain’s Cottage Opens in St. Michaels

The Shops at Sea Captain’s Cottage is the latest addition to the burgeoning collection of antiques, artisan craft shops and galleries in St. Michaels. Located on the corner of Talbot and Mulberry Streets, Sea Captain’s Cottage offers an eclectic mix of antiques and collectibles, country furniture, fine art and crafts, sculpture, photography, nautical accents and gifts, jewelry and home decor by various consignors. Owner Ilene Morgan and partner Margaret Henning opened the end of August.

Ilene Morgan and Margaret Henning with consignors, shown in front of the new Shops at Sea Captains at 305 St. Talbot Street in St. Michaels, Maryland. Sea Captain's Cottage features antiques and collectibles, fine art and crafts, nautical accents and gifts.

Ilene Morgan and Margaret Henning with consignors, shown in front of the new Shops at Sea Captains at 305 St. Talbot Street in St. Michaels, Maryland. Sea Captain’s Cottage features antiques and collectibles, fine art and crafts, nautical accents and gifts.

“We’re excited to be a part of the growing arts-based retail community in St. Michaels,” said Morgan, “and this beautiful building is the perfect back drop for the creative, tranquil atmosphere we strive to provide to our customers.”

Formerly a Bank of America branch, the building dates back to 1806 and is one of the few remaining federal era structures in St. Michaels.

Morgan has been a Talbot County resident for over 30 years, and most recently owned and operated a shop in St. Michaels for 13 years. Henning has owned and operated antique and artisan consignment venues in St. Michaels and Pennsylvania.

Current consignors in addition to Morgan and Henning include: Jane Bollman, Paula Bounds,
Norma Jean Bradley, Deb Calloway, Chris Conner, Barbara Cook, Carolyn Councell, Leigh Creighton, Ruth Culver, Laurie Crouch, Perry Foster, George Hamilton, Janet Hibbs, Janet Kerrr, Kathy Kopec, Rikk Jacobs, John Iverson, Dottie Kumstadt, Karen Lordi, Barbara Martin, Rebecca Miller, Niambi S., Natasha Nash, Joan Nubie-Miscall, Nancy O’Brien, Patti Parks, Cindy Pease, Jack Sealman, and Joe Soares.

The Shops at Sea Captain’s Cottage, located at 305 S. Talbot St. in St. Michaels, is currently open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and open by chance on Sunday. For more information, call 410-253-4578.