Archives for October 2017

Out and About (Sort of) Fabulous Fall by Howard Freedlander

Were I a poet or a writer blessed with the acumen to describe nature in a lyrical way, I would take my Yellow Lab (yes, the wonderful Sandy), venture into a wooded area for her to frolic and escape the alleys and streets of an urban environment and then describe the experience in lofty terms.

I did take Sandy for a walk in the woods. I am writing about it. But not splendidly.

Sandy Freedlander

Sandy and I, along with my wife, chose Pickering Creek Audubon Center as a venue for the three of us to enjoy an Eastern Shore treasure. A 400-acre working farm outside Easton, the center’s property offers a mature hardwood forest entwined with well-kept walking trails and small bridges over streams. Signage is frequent and discreet. Also part of this pristine and soul-satisfying property are fresh and brackish marsh, meadows, tidal and non-tidal wetlands, more than a mile of shoreline on a tidal creek and cropland.

Sandy—much-written about by this Spy columnist–loved walking amidst the trees and vegetation. Unlike most Labrador Retrievers, Sandy is very mellow, with no desire to jump into a stream or creek. In fact, she avoids water, even normally appetizing puddles produced by a rainstorm.

Pickering Creek is not new to us. It is easily accessible every day of the year, drawing birders, painters, naturalists—and dog owners who find the property a relaxing way to enjoy an outdoors experience surrounded by a natural setting. When we took our hour-long stroll, we were utterly alone., That’s not unusual.

Though not particularly adventuresome or even curious, Sandy continues to provide great joy to my wife and me. Now eight-years-old, she demands only love and attention. She gets both in large dosages.

During the same week, we enjoyed Pickering Creek, I attended OysterFest at the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum (CBMM) the past Saturday. A CBMM board member, I constantly am amazed at this event’s drawing power. It seemed as if a few thousand people partook of the sumptuous food, music, concessions and waterfront access.

From my perspective, the most popular attraction was the oyster-sipping contest. Every time I look, the line seemed to grow longer. When a friend asked me to join her in line, I declined; I don’t have the patience.

What also interested me was how few people I knew. Perhaps I should escape my cocoon. Or, just possibly, CBMM is a destination point for many residents in our region. A festival focused on Maryland’s iconic oyster attracts large crowds. St. Michaels and Talbot County attract increasingly large numbers of tourists.

My weekend ended with a political fundraiser where food, drink and schmoozing easily and comfortably blended. Unlike OysterFest, I knew lots of people. While oysters were available, they had to compete with delicious barbecue food.

Somehow, the political gathering seemed far removed from the verbal fisticuffs in our nation’s capital. Civility seemed the order of the day. Political animus was non-existent; as best I could tell.

As we enter the final two months of 2017, I look back on a year marked by outrageous behavior, feckless performance and fact-less statements made by our president. Any sign of statesmanship is fleeting. Empathy for others is outside the president’s skillset. His fitness and emotional stability to serve as our country’s top political leader is questionable every day of his wrenching term.

From strolling at Pickering Creek Audubon Center, enjoying the culinary delights of the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum’s annual OysterFest and then ending the weekend at a fundraiser filled with civility and good food, I become even more convinced that Fall is my favorite time of year.

A grandson turned seven on Sunday. Another grandson becomes 17 today. Their lives bring great happiness to me. And the Fall season continues to sparkles in its colors and opportunities for frolic.

Columnist Howard Freedlander retired in 2011 as Deputy State Treasurer of the State of Maryland.  Previously, he was the executive officer of the Maryland National Guard. He  also served as community editor for Chesapeake Publishing, lastly at the Queen Anne’s Record-Observer.  In retirement, Howard serves on the boards of several non-profits on the Eastern Shore, Annapolis and Philadelphia.



Senior Nation: Preparing for One’s Second Life with Transition Training

While the goal for many who have migrated to the Eastern Shore for retirement is to enjoy a more relaxed phase in their lives, the reality for many former professionals and business executives is that they are experiencing a significant transition in their lives.

In many cases, these men and women who enjoyed career success in their work lives, or thrived as volunteer leaders in their former communities,  are now confronted with how to constructively spend the next three or four decades.

That is one of the reasons the Spy has been particularly interested in life coaching that focused on this kind transition.  And we, therefore, took special notice when Gerri Leder, a resident of St. Michaels, alerting us to her upcoming workshops in St. Michaels and Oxford in November to focus on this very issue.

And that was all it took for us to invite Gerri to the Bullitt House to talk about this process.

This video is approximately two minutes in length.

Midlife Transition Workshops in St. Michaels and Oxford are scheduled 2:00 p.m. on Thursday, Nov 9 at Etherton Hall, 103 Willow St., St. Michaels, or 10:00 a.m. on Monday, Nov 13 at the Oxford Community Center.  For more information go to here or call (443) 279-7901.

Spy Foodie Report: Mason’s 2.0 Selects a Chef

While Talbot County has been thrilled with the the news a few months ago that the greatly beloved Mason’s would be returning to Harrison Street soon, there was the lingering question of who would take on the challenging job of leading the kitchen of Mason’s-Redux.

The Spy has found the answer. One of our many agents has reported that Erin O’Shea, formerly a star at Rooster Soup Co. in Philadelphia will be moving down to Easton to be the new Mason’s culinary founding food guru.

While Rooster Soup Co. may sound like a modest venue, it was one of only a handful of places named by GQ as one of the best new restaurants in the country last year. And it certainly didn’t hurt the 100% of the restaurant’s profits were donated to hunger projects throughout the city.

Chance Negri, one of the partners of Mason’s, couldn’t be more pleased. “I am confident Chef Erin’s menu will spice and liven up the food scene in Easton, Talbot County and beyond…”

Mason’s is planning to formally open in the middle of November so stay tuned.




Spy House of the Week: “Tred Avon Manor”: Craftsman Elegance

The Eastern Shore has been the setting for several movies such as one of my favorite romantic comedies, “Runaway Bride”. Continuing this trend, “Tred Avon Manor,” a magnificent country estate in Royal Oak, was the setting for several scenes from the movie “Jackie”.  

When I first reviewed the pictures, I thought this was a new house. I was amazed to learn the original house dates from 1800 and that its exquisite craftsmanship is due to a meticulous and thorough renovation.  

I loved the architectural character of the front elevation with its twin dual gables inset with half-moon decorative attic windows, front porch with a smaller gable to mark the front entry and end wing with a large picture window and dormer above.  

The rear elevation is equally appealing with its porch that extends almost the length of the house for expansive views to the Tred Avon river beyond.  I loved the symmetry of the end bay windows with three sets of French doors in between.  I especially appreciated that the doors were truly “French”- no vertical mullions to narrow the views from within. The end wing has a picture window and dormer that is identical to this room’s front elevation.

The interior details such as the transom windows above the paneled doors and  moldings have been carefully restored to their original splendor. I loved the contrasting design elements in the kitchen with perimeter white cabinets and contrasting dark island cabinets, the white wood beamed ceiling above the darker wood floors and the crisp contemporary cabinet hardware with period pendant fixtures were all deft touches.

The serene master bath picture made me linger to “soak” in the details such as the arched ceiling over the vanity cabinet opposite the large shower and separate soaking tub.

The guest house has the same exquisite craftsmanship and details found in the main house with its porches, gable wall and dormer window. A truly one-of-a -kind property!

For more information about this property, contact  Cliff Meredith with Meredith Fine Properties at 410-822-6272 (o) 410-924-0082 (c), or, “Equal Housing Opportunity.”

Spy House of the Week is an ongoing series that selects a different home each week. The Spy’s Habitat editor Jennifer Martella makes these selections based exclusively on her experience as a architect.

Jennifer Martella has pursued her dual careers in architecture and real estate since she moved to the Eastern Shore in 2004. Her award winning work has ranged from revitalization projects to a collaboration with the Maya Lin Studio for the Children’s Defense Fund’s corporate retreat in her home state of Tennessee. Her passion for Italian food, wine and culture led her to Piazza Italian Market where she is the Director of Special Events, including weekly wine tastings and quarterly wine dinners.


Mid-Shore Pro Bono Executive Director to Receive William L. Marbury Outstanding Advocate Award

Mid-Shore Pro Bono Executive, Director, Sandy Brown, is a 2017 recipient of the William L. Marbury Outstanding Advocate Award from the Maryland Legal Services Corporation. The annual award is presented to a “non-attorney who has demonstrated outstanding service representing the civil legal needs of low-income Marylanders or by expanding access to justice.”

“I am honored and deeply touched to have been selected for this award,” Brown said. “It is a reflection of the progress our staff, volunteer attorney network and community partners are making to improve access to justice for the most vulnerable populations of the Eastern Shore. Mid-Shore Pro Bono is often overlooked simply because we aren’t in the mainstream. I feel the most important part of my job is to be an advocate for residents of this great community.”

Brown has served as the Executive Director of Mid-Shore Pro-Bono since 2008, and has grown the organization and its impact during her tenure. Under her leadership, Mid-Shore Pro Bono was awarded Non-Profit of the Year in 2014 by the Talbot County Chamber Commerce, and in 2015 received the same recognition by the Caroline County Chamber of Commerce. In 2012, she was selected to participate in the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Fellows Program. Brown has been nationally recognized by the American Bar Association and serves as a trainer to assist new Legal Services Pro Bono Program Managers for Rural Areas.

Brown will receive the award on Monday, December 4th at the Lord Baltimore Hotel in Baltimore, Md. For more information about the award and the Maryland Legal Services Corporation, visit 

About Mid-Shore Pro Bono

Mid-Shore Pro Bono Mid-Shore Pro Bono connects low-income individuals and families who need civil legal services with volunteer attorneys and community resources. The organization serves citizens across 2,000 square miles in Kent, Queen Anne’s, Caroline, Talbot and Dorchester counties. For more information or to make a donation, call Mid-Shore Pro Bono at 410-690-8128 or visit

Restoring the Restorable from the ReStore Store with Terri Griffin

Once a month for the past couple of years, Terri Griffin leaves her studio in and drives to the ReStore store on Commerce Drive in Easton and identifies some of the worst candidates for furniture restoration.

Typically these are old, but solid bureaus, chests, coffee tables, and nightstands that may date from the World War II era and were undoubtedly functional in their day, but were never would be considered a decorator’s first choice.

That’s when Terri works her magic. Using material that she’s collected from books, postcards, wallpaper, and even nautical maps, she restores these pieces into entirely different pieces new furniture.

Once done, she returns the furniture to the ReStore for resale with the proceeds going to Habitat for Humanity Choptank.

In her interview with the Spy, Terri confesses that her passion for this form of restoration comes in part from coming from a family that tried never to throw anything away, but also the enjoyment of seeing once-abandoned furniture have a new life with young families starting out (her regular work costs is a fraction of what it may run to buy a similar piece of furniture at Ikea), while also giving back to Habitat.

This video is approximately two minutes in length. For more information about the Habitat ReStore please go here 



Semper Fidelis by David Montgomery

My less conservative friends sometimes tell me “how Europeans think about the United States,” usually mentioning that we are obsessed with sex and more recently claiming that we are war-mongers intent on global dominance. The claim about sex (from the French, of all things!) most often refers to the adherence of many American Evangelicals and Catholics to traditional Christian teaching about abortion, divorce, homosexuality, and the nature of marriage. That is true, and the comment is only interesting because of what it reveals about the state of Christianity in Europe.

The European view of America as a militarist society intent on global domination is false and offensive, and therefore deserves a response from all of us who know how wrong it is.

A recent article in the usually level-headed Economist magazine is typical, though it is more personal and offensive than most in its derogation of the character of the men and women who serve in our armed forces. Its author uses the pseudonym “Lexington” (appropriate as the place where British fired on American militia) and claims to have been a war correspondent. To deepen the insult, the title he gave the article in the print edition was “Semper fidelis.”

The article itself is a lengthy recital of the author’s prejudices about American military personnel and the present Administration. “Lexington” accepts uncritically every accusation leveled at American forces or President Trump and invents whatever “facts” his ideology tells him should be true.

“Lexington” makes two idiotic claims: the American public suffers from a romantic illusion about the character of American soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines, and we irrationally support the intention of our government to dominate the world through military force.

A few excerpts will convey the tone, without subjecting my readers to the sick entirety of the article.

“No soldier expects the beloved chumps back home to understand what he gets up to. He just needs to feel appreciated.”

This based on Lexington’s dismissal of the cards and letters posted on bases in Iraq thanking our soldiers for “being over there to keep us safe.” He calls their senders “chumps” on the grounds that ISIS and Al Qaeda are fighting a defensive war, not threat to us a home. The vulnerability of all of the Levant to jihad, and its meaning for the West, seems never to have occurred to him.

“In 1990, 40% of young Americans had a military veteran for a parent; in 2014 only 16% did. But this dissonance has not, as the general implied, caused Americans to underappreciate the forces. To the contrary, it has encouraged, as [General Kelly’s] remarks also indicated, a highly romanticised view of military service, which is inaccurate and counter-productive at best.”

The romanticized view being that soldiers risk their lives and perform heroic actions for our benefit. Not denying that this is what soldiers in fact do, “Lexington” attacks their motives:

“Members of the armed forces are often patriotic. But many see their service primarily as a way to make a living…”

After all this denigration of the American soldier, Lexington does an about-face to express outrage at President Trump’s (quoted without context) words to the widow of a Special Forces sergeant killed in Niger. What I hear in the now famous phrase that “he knew what he signed up for” is President Trump paying the ultimate compliment to Sergeant Johnson’s courage and sacrifice – he knew that he might die and he went anyway. But Lexington’s bias makes him hear it in the worst possible way.

“Lexington” then claims that what he views as “uncritical soldier worship” and “America’s unthinking reverence for its fighters” lets our generals and politicians plan for global domination:

“Most obviously, it gives the Department of Defence an outsize advantage in the battle for resources with civilian agencies. Today’s cuts to the State Department, whose officers are not noticeably less patriotic or public-spirited than America’s soldiers, are a dismal case in point.” Nonsequitur of the first order, but a nice revelation of bias.

“The fact is, America’s foreign-policy doctrines envisage a degree of global dominance, based on military might….”

Thus a European intellectual looks down on the American public as romantic fools demeans our military as no better than mercenaries, and then plays to the prejudice of his European readers by confirming their suspicion that we aspire to create a new Roman Empire with our mercenary legions.

The Catholic Church is not immune to this disease. A disturbing article recently appeared in the Jesuit magazine La Civita Cattolica, written by its editor and another close associate of Pope Francis. The Jesuits make the same broad accusations about how we start wars and plan to dominate the world, but blame it on an alliance of Protestant fundamentalists and wayward Catholics.

The authors claim that “Religion has had a more incisive role in electoral processes and government decisions over recent decades, especially in some US governments. It offers a moral role for identifying what is good and what is bad” and has led our government into a moral crusade against Islam.

They blame this development on “evangelical fundamentalism” to which American Catholics have become allied. Though I am a Roman Catholic now, I was brought up in that tradition, and I can state with confidence that their account of its history and leaders is completely fictional. Nor can I figure out how to reconcile the claimed political dominance of evangelicals and orthodox Catholics like me with our inability to stop abortions, redefinition of marriage, etc.

Nevertheless, the authors go on to describe the terrible effects of our domination of American politics. They accuse us of “stigmatization of enemies who are often ‘demonized’” – in particular, “the migrants and the Muslims.” Further, “Within this narrative, whatever pushes toward conflict is not off limits. It does not take into account the bond between capital and profits and arms sales. Quite the opposite, often war itself is assimilated to the heroic conquests of the “Lord of Hosts” of Gideon and David. In this Manichaean vision, belligerence can acquire a theological justification…”

Here we see two common prejudices of the European intellectual community. First the Marxist view that our military ventures are really being arranged by capitalists to profit on arms sales, and have nothing to do with actual defense of the West against Islamic terrorists and jihadists. The fundamentalists and their Catholic allies help convince the masses to support this military expansion by giving it a religious justification.

The authors in the Jesuit magazine conclude their diatribe with “We must not forget that the geopolitics spread by Isis [sic] is based on the same cult of an apocalypse…. So, it is not just accidental that George W. Bush was seen as a ‘great crusader’ by Osama bin Laden.”

Thus we end with the conclusion that there is no real difference between Islamic terrorists and U.S. foreign policy. Sadly, the liberal Catholic magazine Commonweal endorses the Jesuit’s article, characterizing it as “giving voice to how non-American Christians and Catholics around the world are perceiving the U.S. situation.” Another European point of view is revealed.

Were it not for the position of the authors in the informal hierarchy of the Vatican, the silliness, inconsistency and historical inaccuracy of the article would make it just another example of bad editorial judgment in the world of Jesuit publishing. As things stand, the article serves as another example of the depth and pervasiveness of prejudice against America among the European intellectual elite.

Where for Lexington it was our “uncritical soldier worship” that supports imperial ambitions, for the Jesuit authors it is the power of fundamentalist religious leaders. That smart Europeans could be so deluded about the United States is a staggering thought.

I write on this topic today to urge my readers not to be deceived by these European prejudices or to see European disdain for American values and accomplishments as a sophisticated worldview worthy of emulation. Europe as a whole is in decline, and the moral basis of its decline is clearly apparent in these attitudes toward all things American.

We are an exceptional country, with not only the most effective and disciplined but the most generous fighting forces in the world. Even when misguided, as it may have been to intervene in Vietnam and Iraq, there is no notion of world domination behind our use of military force. Perhaps an unrealistic belief in the power of democracy to improve the lives of citizens of every nation, but not a wish to rule them.

Our military personnel face fear, hardship, and death in order to protect the innocents in the countries where they serve from Islamic terrorists and tribal warlords. They provide humanitarian aid while watching their backs, and must distinguish instantly between whom to protect and whom to kill. And they are our first line of defense against militant and expansionist Islamic movements and countries. European second-guessers who question their motivations and self-sacrifice deserve only our contempt.

We need to celebrate the sacrifices and accomplishments of our Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, and Marines — and remember them when we stand up for the National Anthem on November 11.

David Montgomery was formerly Senior Vice President of NERA Economic Consulting. He also served as assistant director of the US Congressional Budget Office and deputy assistant secretary for policy in the US Department of Energy. He taught economics at the California Institute of Technology and Stanford University and was a senior fellow at Resources for the Future.

November is National Hospice & Palliative Care Month

In recognition of National Hospice & Palliative Care Month in November, Talbot Hospice will offer two Lunch & Learns at the Easton and St. Michaels locations of the Talbot County Free Library. Presentations will be held Monday, November 13, 12 p.m. at the St. Michaels branch and Wednesday, November 15, 12 p.m. in Easton.

The educational presentations – Hospice 101: Debunking the Myths – will dovetail with this year’s NHPC Month theme “It’s about how you live.” According to Talbot Hospice Executive Director Vivian Dodge, hospice is about how you want to live the last chapter of life. “Our goal is to educate the community that hospice is not just for the last days or week of life,” said Dodge. “Hospice is a system of care and support for both the patient and the family. It’s not a place or our building on Cynwood Drive. In fact, most of the patients we serve are in their homes. I hope individuals will put aside their preconceived ideas about hospice and their reluctance to talk about death and dying and come hear about the uplifting and important work we do.”

For more information, or to register call Talbot Hospice at 410-822-6681.

Won’t You Be My Neighbor by George Merrill

I’ve been around and on the water most of my life. I was born on an island, vacationed on another. Now I live on the Eastern Shore that is surrounded by water and for all practical purposes, is an island.

I’ve been seasick twice. The first time was crossing the English Channel from the Hook of Holland to Dover and the other sailing off Tortola in the Virgin Islands. Being seasick is a miserable experience. You think you’ll die and at times, wish you would.

A seasoned sailor once told me that the best way to stave off seasickness is to keep your eyes fixed on the horizon. As tumultuous as the sea can get, the horizon will appear steady and affords a stabilizing orientation that helps to make us feel balanced when everything around us is heaving.

I think of the socio-political climate I live in today as heaving. I feel tossed this way and that. It’s as if I spend my days trying to stave off the queasiness that frequently arises in my stomach when I look at my country and a world that seems to be going mad. It’s as if we were on a ship with a malfunctioning compass, a contentious crew and an ailing captain. We’re sailing under a cloudy sky that occludes the sun or stars so we can’t orient ourselves. I sometimes feel frightened, uncertain, lost.

As I write this, next to me sits a copy of The Week magazine. Like many magazines, the last page (The Last Word, this magazine calls it) offers reflective columns that deal with human-interest issues. The October 20th edition ran a piece on Mr. Rogers of the famous Mr. Rogers Neighborhood series that first ran on television in 1968. A picture of Mr. Rogers accompanies the article. He’s in his cardigan sweater, seated, smiling, as he puts on his sneakers. Rogers radiated an aura of benevolence that was infectious and from all accounts he was in real life the same kind, gentle, and caring man, as he appeared to be in his programs. He is an example of how character counts and how it can make all the difference in the lives of others. He had been a part of that horizon we seek as the world pitches and roils around us.

When I first saw the column I wondered, why now? Rogers died in 2003 and, although his program was shown for some years after his death, I assumed that he had become more like an old attic piece that may once have been loved and treasured and then wound up tucked away and forgotten. His reemergence is prophetic.

Prior to seeing this recent article, Mr. Rogers first came to my attention at the time of the Boston Marathon bombing in 2013. The horror of that senseless slaughter rippled through the country and it was front-page news for weeks.

At that time someone posted one of Mr. Roger’s comments online, a comment made years before on one of his programs. In his skillful way, he was discussing with his television neighborhood how when scary things happen and we feel all alone, it is not the end of our world. “My mother would say to me,” he told the children, “Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping. To this day, especially in times of disaster, I remember my mother’s words and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers –so many caring people in the world.”

The post reportedly went viral. It must have generated interest for millions in the country. The comment captured the national imagination. I believe it spoke to a deep need and a national hunger. It was an inspired statement from a man long gone, a statement recalled in the fullness of time, as if, as they say of angels, that the wounded and needy were being ministered to by messengers of God. America is facing ugly and scary things. We are reminded that there are helpers, people who are there for us in the darkest hours to aid and comfort us.

I remember at the time of the bombing there was a lot of television coverage focusing on people who suddenly appeared from nowhere to be available and help. One physician – perhaps participating in the marathon, ran to the hospital to make himself available to the wounded.

Anthony Breznican, the author of The Week article, recalled Rogers speaking those words of assurance when he had been a boy. Years later he found solace in those words as he struggled through personal crises of his own in adulthood.

I was curious that the journalist would write about Mr. Rogers now in the present atmosphere where threats of nuclear war and the mass shootings are the norm. We’re not having wonderful days in the neighborhood. There’s the bellicose rhetoric coming regularly from Washington. The recollection of Mr. Rogers was as if Breznican looked at the distant horizon and saw the person of Fred Rogers, and he felt calmed in the storm.

Loving-kindness will orient us in tumultuous times. Caring gets easily eclipsed in the tempests roiling in our world today. I suspect Mr. Rogers is speaking to his neighbors again, a voice beyond the grave, pointing us to the horizon of hope and comfort, the way prophets’ voices once spoke to a people who’d lost their way.

His message is as eternal as it is simple:

“To this day, especially in times of disaster, I remember my mother’s words and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers –so many caring people in the world.”

There are a lot of good people left in our neighborhood.

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.

Gunston Sends Balloon into Near Space

On Friday, Oct. 20, the Gunston Science and Engineering Club launched our fifth mission to “near space”—the region above where aircraft fly, but below the orbits of satellites. The payload included cameras, tracking devices, and instrumentation to measure temperature and pressure. A weather balloon was used to carry the payload to the stratosphere. The balloon then burst as expected and the payload returned gently to Earth by parachute. The balloon was launched from the Gunston campus and landed near Laurel, DE a little more than 2 hours later.

Balloon looking down on launch team

The balloon reached an altitude of 19.44 miles, a record high altitude from past missions. The lowest pressure measured was less than 1% of the barometric pressure at the Earth’s surface. Preliminary results indicate that the science payload detected the tropopause with a temperature around -70 degrees Fahrenheit. The balloon was approximately 6 ft in diameter when launched and 20+ ft in diameter when it burst.

Dr. Mariah Goodall and Mr. Tom Chafey led two chase cars that beat the payload to its landing site, enabling them to observed the payload descending on its parachute—another Gunston first. Mr. Dale Wegner, father of Gunston alumni Jay Wegner, set up the tracking for the chase cars and several tracking stations for students who were not part of the chase.

The science and engineering club is led by Alli Webb ‘18 President, Jack Morrison ‘18 Vice President, and Garrett Rudolfs ‘18 Secretary. The Mission Commander for the balloon launch is Brynne Kneeland ‘19. In total, 21 students assisted in preparing the payload, launching the balloon, and recovering the balloon. They divided up into seven teams for different jobs: launch, payload, imaging, science, trajectory, tracking, and recovery. The club mentors are Dr. Ken Wilson and Dr. Mariah Goodall.