For All Seasons Promotes Healthy Masculinity: Changing the Conversation

When Don McPherson, former Philadelphia Eagles quarterback, came to Easton to speak in November 2018, people in the audience engaged in the topic of gender-based violence like never before.  The presentation, titled “You Throw Like a Girl: A Conversation to End Sexual Violence,” encouraged those in attendance to get comfortable with an uncomfortable conversation.  As a result, Don is now working with Beth Anne Langrell, Executive Director of For All Seasons to create a dialogue across the Mid Shore regarding the culture of unhealthy masculinity at the core of all forms of men’s violence against women.

Gerson Martinez, Executive Director of Talbot Mentors (left) with Don McPherson.

Don observed, “When I was here in November, I saw the willingness for the community to have that conversation.  Beth Anne and I were on the same wavelength on how to make that happen.”

For more than 34 years, Don has used the power and appeal of sports to address complex social justice issues. He has created innovative programs, supported community service providers and has provided educational seminars and lectures throughout North America addressing men’s violence again women.

According to Don, the #MeToo movement presents a seminal moment in American culture that requires a collective community response commensurate with the overwhelming and pervasive nature of gender-based violence.  He wants to engage boys and men in the prevention of men’s violence against women by creating a cutting edge, community-wide and gender transformative approach that meets the broad challenges posed by the #MeToo movement.

He states, “Beth Anne’s leadership has created an ideal environment for a comprehensive community initiative to be successful.”  This was evident in the response to Don’s November visit.  He adds, “Remedies must be sustainable and replicable; engaging communities and individuals previously left out of the discussion to promote healthy relationships and proactively engage boys and men.”

The partnership between Don and For All Seasons will deliver proactive education that permeates the entire community, emanating from four primary engagement areas; 1) local businesses 2) community partners 3) schools (K-12) and, 4) higher education.  Training and educational materials and curricula are currently under development which will introduce “aspirational masculinity,” healthy relationships and bystander leadership with several integrated touchpoints in the communities served by For All Seasons.  The impact is three-fold; to engage those previously missed by outreach programs, coordinate common messaging throughout the community and establish sustainable, inter-generational dialog about healthy masculinity, relationships, and community.

Future outreach and engagement include providing sexual harassment training to employees who are also parents, neighbors, and members of youth activity organizations and faith communities, as well as community partners such as mentoring groups, youth sports groups and the faith community. For All Seasons staff has already begun training with Don, to deliver bystander behavior and leadership programs in schools (K-12) in conjunction with its role to provide support for “trauma-informed” classrooms. Finally, For All Seasons has a federally mandated MOU to provide services and resources to Chesapeake and Washington College. This relationship positions For All Seasons to serve as an educational provider for Title IX compliance which has been the focus of Don McPherson’s work for more than 25 years.

Don explains that because of the work women have done in raising awareness recently around the #MeToo Movement, there has been more progress toward promoting healthy relationships. He adds, “There needs to be discussion about masculinity, separate from the issue of men’s violence against women. The goal is to advance our understanding of masculinity beyond the narrow, and often destructive ways it’s currently defined. The blind spot of masculinity is rooted in the nobility associated with ignoring our pain and vulnerabilities and the silence of men that limits the true and whole understanding of masculinity for boys.”

A challenge facing communities today, according to Don, is that we have no central place where people can come together and have these conversations about gender. He states, “We are starting to share it one-on-one with community leaders and identifying people who want to make a difference. We intend to create a sustainable model that seizes upon that opportunity and can be replicated elsewhere.”

Since November, more men are asking ‘What can I do in the #MeToo movement that doesn’t perpetuate the problem and how can I be part of the solution?’

Derek L. Simmons, Ed.D., Director, Student Services, Caroline County Public Schools, comments, “I had the pleasure of meeting with Don to learn more about the work he is doing in partnership with For All Seasons. As a man, who also is blessed to be the father of two daughters, I engaged in deep conversation around the male social construct and issues of toxic masculinity. That dialogue opened my eyes to the realization that the women in my life navigate the world much differently than I, and that I have been preparing my daughters to do the same. This does not empower them but supports the current construct.”

He adds, “Don’s work along with For All Seasons has the opportunity to create a shift in our community that can raise the standard for gender equity. If we can adjust the accepted notion of masculinity, our daughters will not live in a world that attaches their value to objectification.”

For further information about For All Seasons’ Healthy Masculinity Project, contact Beth Anne Langrell, Executive Director at For All Seasons at 410-822-1018.

For All Seasons serves Caroline, Dorchester, Kent, Queen Anne, and Talbot counties. For All Seasons Rape Crisis Center offers certified sexual assault victim advocates; counseling and support groups, free and confidential services in English and Spanish, support in the hospital, police department, and court, and referrals to social and legal services. For All Seasons English Hotline is 1-800-310-RAPE (7273) and Spanish Hotline is 410-829-6143.

Easton Middle School Musicians Benefit from Artist-in-Residence Program Returning

This past school year, band students from Easton Middle School (EMS) enjoyed having the University of Maryland’s Mid-Atlantic Brass visit them as part of the Talbot County Art’s Council’s ongoing Artist-in-Residence Program. The brass quintet made four visits to EMS, providing master classes with EMS band students. This year students in four sixth-grade band classes experienced World History with World Music in an effort to show the importance of the arts in societies around the world.  Each visit involved a 45-minute presentation by the quintet, as well as class time to help develop a meaningful relationship between quintet members and the students they mentored. In addition, seventh and eighth-grade band classes received master classes from the visiting artists.

According to Nancy Larson, representing the Talbot County Arts Council, “This latest project was initiated by members of the board of directors of the Talbot County Arts Council who were dismayed by the near total absence of young people attending Mid-Shore Area performances of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Mid-Atlantic Symphony Orchestra, and Chesapeake Music.  A study group concluded that younger people might begin attending if they could be introduced to classical music in various appealing forms at the secondary school level.”

L-R: Mid-Atlantic Brass members Lauren Patin (French horn), Matt Larson (trombone), Jisang Lee (tuba), John Walden (trumpet), and Dylan Rye (trumpet).

Don Buxton adds, “This opportunity enabled Chesapeake Music, who is a partner in the program, to enhance what our organization is already doing in the schools. Chesapeake Music’s YouthReach Program has introduced students to music through school assemblies and one-on-one residencies provided through the organization’s First Strings Program in Talbot County schools for many years. This year, through a generous donor we have been able to offer free tickets to come to concerts which was very well received.”

The objective of the program is to provide the student body a rare opportunity to learn from the skill and experience of graduate-level musicians, to both inspire a lifelong love of classical music among the general student body and allow music students to benefit from the skill and enthusiasm of young professional-level musicians, who are qualified as music teachers and who are participating as volunteers.

Donna Ewing, Band Instructor at EMS, comments, “The University of MD graduate students greatly enhanced our program, giving students a chance to hear and learn from accomplished musicians.  Having four sessions allowed The Mid-Atlantic Brass to get to know the students and the students eagerly looked forward to their return.  It was a joy to watch the interaction between our students and the Mid-Atlantic Brass and to hear the musical growth made over the four sessions!”

The Mid-Atlantic Brass asked students about which popular arrangements they would like to hear performed. Among the songs selected included “Star Wars March of the Resistance,” and Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody.”

Lauren Patin, the French horn player with Mid-Atlantic Brass comments, “We have definitely seen improvement being here all year. It’s been cool to be out of the University of Maryland bubble and be with students who don’t have access to something like this.”

Dylan Rye, trumpet player with Mid-Atlantic Brass, states, “The most rewarding thing was the one-on-one interactions with the kids.”

Trombonist Matthew Larson, adds, “It was fun when they didn’t know the trombone could do some of the things it did musically.”

Trombonist Matt Larson gives lessons to 7th-grade trombone players, L-R, Samuel Rogers, Johnny Galvez-Perez, Jaelynn Ashburn, Caleb Wooters, and Julian Hutchison.

Mid-Atlantic Brass, comprised of students from the University of Maryland (UMD) School of Music, has been performing around the DC metro area for the past two years. Last spring, they were recognized and invited to be a part of the UMD School of Music Honors Chamber Showcase. The University of Maryland portion of the initiative is being managed by Dr. Robert DiLutis, Professor of Clarinet and Director of the Community Engagement Office at the School of Music.

Talbot County Public Schools has been involved through the encouragement of former fine arts supervisor Dr. Marcia Sprankle and her successor, James Redman. The EMS component is managed by band director Donna Ewing with the assistance of chorus director CJ Freeman.  Chesapeake Music has been represented by executive director Donald Buxton and Hanna Woicke, chair of the YouthReach Committee. Participating Talbot County Arts Council board members are Nancy Larson and Bill Peak. Housing during the quintet’s overnight stays in Talbot County has been organized by Chesapeake Music president Courtney Kane, with generous hospitality provided by Hanna and Peter Woicke and Liz Koprowski.

If the pilot program proves successful, it is hoped funding will be found to continue the initiative in future years at Easton Middle School and possibly expand the project to include other local schools. The program is made possible by a grant from the Artistic Insights Fund of the Mid-Shore Community Foundation, with funds from an Arts-in-Education grant from the Talbot County Arts Council, using revenues provided by the Maryland State Arts Council. Carpe Diem Arts also supported the program.

Channel Marker Cuts Ribbon on Regional Wellness Center

Channel Marker, Inc. has completed the final phase of its renovations of its 19,000-square foot Regional Wellness Center on Glebe Park Drive in Easton. The organization’s ribbon cutting celebrates the completion of a $2 million Capital Campaign to provide integrated services to people with severe and persistent mental illness in Talbot, Caroline and Dorchester counties.

Senator Addie Eckardt; Tolbert Rowe, Volunteer Executive Director of Channel Marker Foundation; Cathy Cassell, Channel Marker Program Director; Len Foxwell, Chief of Staff for Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot; and Danielle Williams, Clinical Coordinator, in the Channel Marker’s new fitness gym

The new building consolidates the administration and client programs, previously situated in rented properties and houses a dedicated medical wing for a Registered Nurse, Nurse Practitioner Consultant, and Psychiatrist. The program section of the new building offers two lounges for social activities – one for transition age youth (ages 18-25) and one for adults, a computer lab with work stations, a large teaching kitchen and pantry, a dining area, two large group activity rooms, and a fitness gym with exercise equipment. As visitors enter the building, they are greeted with a view of a lush courtyard, complete with a pond and garden, around which the building was constructed.

Johnny Mautz, Senator Addie Eckardt, John McQuaid, President of the Channel Marker Board of Directors; Debbye Jackson, Executive Director of Channel Marker, and Ryan Snow from Governor Larry Hogan’s office.

Chad Hill, Liz Freedlander, Development Director; and Scott Warner of Rural Maryland Council.

Debbye Jackson, Executive Director of Channel Marker, commented, “Our plans are to offer a wide variety of group activities in the new facility for all of our clients. Many Caroline and Dorchester county clients now receive services from their psychiatrist and therapist at the Regional Wellness Center. The organization also recently rebranded its public image, with a new focus on wellness for our clients.”

According to Jackson, who has been with Channel Marker for 34 years, Channel Marker, Inc. opened its doors in 1982, operating out of donated space in churches. Over time, the organization embarked on a campaign to build facilities to have a permanent place in communities in Talbot, Caroline and Dorchester counties. Channel Marker serves approximately 400 people annually, almost 50% of whom are under the age of 21. Channel Marker’s services increase social and problem-solving skills, job readiness, illness management, and substance abuse recovery. Services are provided in day and residential settings in all three counties of the Mid Shore by a dedicated staff of nearly 60 people who have a personal and caring relationships with the individuals who live with organic brain disease through no fault of their own.

During the activities to put the final touches on the client program spaces, in preparation for the building’s ribbon cutting, one client asked a staff member, “When the party is over, will this all be taken away from us?” Hearing that everything was for the permanent use of the clients, he replied, “Then this must be my birthday!”

Ceci Nobel, Debbye Jackson, Executive Director of Channel Marker; and Marti Reed in the new fitness gym.

Funding for Channel Marker’s work in the community primarily comes from Medicaid and the State of Maryland.  Support from generous members of the community and private foundations underwrites uncompensated costs for programs that are vital to clients’ well-being. A community of donors including government, private foundations and individuals participated in the completion of the recent Capital Campaign.

Donor Nancy Klein of Oxford commented, “Our foundation was pleased to contribute to Channel Marker’s Capital Campaign. Its mission to serve very vulnerable members of our community matches our philanthropic interests.”

Among the other donors to the Campaign are The Harry and Jeannette Weinberg Foundation, The Michael and Nancy Klein Foundation, Bruce and Sandra Hammonds, Maxine Whalen Millar, The Whalen Company and Craig A. Wanner in memory of Ronald J. Wanner, Dr. David Hill and the Hill Family, The George B. Todd Fund of the Mid-Shore Community Foundation, The Reynolds/Cristiano and Ferree Funds of the Mid-Shore Community Foundation, Wayne and Terri Cole and Win Transport, Amy’s Army, Tom and Cathy Hill, The Schulman Foundation, The Robert and Ruth St. John Foundation, John and Debra McQuaid, Phoebe Reynolds, C. Tolbert and Jeanne Rowe, The Van Strum Foundation, and anonymous friends.

According to Tolbert Rowe, Volunteer Executive Director of Channel Marker Foundation, completion of Channel Marker’s Capital Campaign, “Opening New Doors to Wellness,” has enabled the organization to repay the Foundation’s loan to purchase and renovate the building. He added, “The Foundation is excited about our next project to improve services to youth in Caroline County, having just purchased the former Hospice House in Denton for this purpose.”

For further information or to tour the new Channel Marker facility in Easton, contact Debbye Jackson, Executive Director of Channel Marker, at 410-822-4619 or visit channelmarker.org.

Short-Term Rental Properties Licenses Required in Talbot County

If you have ever rented a home for a weekend or even a week, you have stayed in a short-term rental (STR). STRs are advertised on sites such as VRBO, HomeAway, Airbnb and other rental sites. For homeowners who rent their homes on a short-term basis, it’s important to know whether the city, town or county where it is located permits STRs, and if so, whether there are rules and regulations to abide by.

In Talbot County, a home can be rented short-term to visitors for a minimum three-night stay and the maximum stay cannot exceed 14 weeks. To lease a home on a short-term basis, homeowners are required to obtain a STR license through the Department of Planning and Zoning and pay the Talbot County Public Accommodations Tax; unlicensed short-term rentals are prohibited.

Talbot County recently contracted with STR Helper™ to monitor compliance in the County. Each week, a sweep of local and national online rental listing sites is conducted to identify property owners that are listing STRs. The sweep helps to identify listings that are advertising without a license. Even if an advertisement has been discontinued and moved to another site, the STR Helper™ system will track both the live and discontinued advertisements. County Code Enforcement staff are notified of the violation and enforcement actions are pursued.

In 2018, Talbot County updated the regulations for STRs as part of the update to Chapter 190 of the Talbot County Code (Zoning, Subdivision and Land Development). The updated regulations provided a six-month grace period for homeowners advertising and renting their homes on a short-term basis without a license to comply with the updated regulations.

The six-month grace period is ending soon. For current homeowners advertising and operating a STR without a license, it’s imperative that you obtain additional information on the program and apply for a license; anyone operating or advertising an unlicensed short-term rental (STR) after May 10, 2019, is subject to a fine of not less than $500. In addition, you cannot apply for a license for a period of 12 months from the date of the violation.

There are many steps involved with applying for a STR license, including notification to surrounding property owners, obtaining a satisfactory water quality report, and providing to-scale site and floor plans. Once the application is submitted, the home will be inspected for compliance with zoning requirements as well as compliance with safety requirements related to smoke alarm and fire extinguisher locations, emergency escape and rescue openings, and means of egress. If the home is on septic, the Talbot County Health Department will also inspect the property regarding the adequacy of the system. Once all the required materials have been submitted, and the inspections have been completed, the license application is scheduled for review by the County’s Short-Term Rental Review Board at a public hearing.

Information on the process and the license application can be found on the Planning and Zoning Department webpage located at www.talbotcountymd.gov. New licenses are eligible to be accepted in the upcoming months of July and August. In the meantime, you should not operate or advertise your STR until your license is approved. STRs operating or advertising without license approval are subject to penalties.

Further information or assistance may be obtained during normal business hours by calling the Planning Office at 410-770-8030.

At the Academy: Brad Ross and the Art of Teaching Art

Since 2016, Brad Ross has been offering painting and drawing classes at the Academy Art Museum, in Easton, MD. Learning the classical approach to drawing and painting through his studies greatly influenced what he paints today. While at Maryland Institute, where he completed a BFA in 1991, he studied portrait drawing with Abby Sangiamo and figure drawing with Peter Collier. Between 1994 and 1995 he took evening and summer classes at the Schuler School of Fine Art in Baltimore. There he experienced a classical approach to drawing and painting and a taste of the way all artists learned their craft prior to the twentieth century.  The Schuler School is also where he had some of his first experiences painting outdoors with noted watercolorist Fritz Briggs.

Ross states, “Drawing from plaster casts was the most important classical training I had and the concepts learned from them influence everything I do. . .  Most of my fine art training at Maryland Institute College of Art and Montgomery College was modern in philosophy, so my later exposure to the classical approach at the Schuler School broadened, refined and grounded the modern approach from those schools.”

Over the years, Ross has gained priceless drawing and painting knowledge by taking workshops with great artists like Carolyn Anderson, Tim Bell, George Strickland, Abigail McBride and Teresa Oaxaca. From 1995 to the early two-thousands, his professional work focused on still life painting in the classical tradition, maintaining a relationship with La Petite Gallery in Annapolis, MD and Renjeau Gallery in Natick, MA.

He adds, “Throughout this time, plein air painting, portrait and figure drawing remained avenues for skill-building and personal enjoyment.”

In 2012 he registered for his first quick draw competition at Plein Air Easton and has participated in several local plein air events since then, winning prizes in Chestertown’s quick draws three times, and being awarded Best in Show and Artist Choice Awards at Paint Berlin, MD, in 2018.  This year, he was juried into the 15th Plein Air Easton competition and will be competing in that premier event, as well as several others in 2019.

Ross comments about his plein air painting, “For most of my life I’ve been a very hesitant painter, taking a long time to finish work.  Plein air painting is a great antidote for that. Light changes frustratingly fast and forces you to identify important elements quickly and make decisions, then keep that concept in mind as conditions change.”

He adds, “Plein air was important in dispelling the misconception that an artist is recording or copying a scene.  In order to get faster you have to think on an abstract, conceptual level. This has strengthened my painting in general.”   

This spring, Ross is teaching a few classes at the Academy Art Museum, including “Drawing the Human Figure” on Wednesdays, May 1–29, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and a Two-Day Workshop: “Oil Painting: Color Crash Course” on June 22 and 23 from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. each day.

Ross says about his portraiture classes, “Getting a likeness is pretty essential to portraiture and because of that it’s more demanding than other genres.  I love the challenge of conveying a personality in a drawing or painting and I love helping people tackle that challenge.”

For further information about classes taught by Bradford Ross at the Academy Art Museum, call 410-822-2787 or visit academyartmuseum.org.

Senior Nation: Ellen Walbridge Turns 100

: Pictured is the Walbridge family. In the photo seated left to right: Ellen with daughter Lois Schall. Standing left to right son Gene Walbridge, daughter Carol Goss, her husband Jeffrey Goss, daughter Barbara McCann, and her husband Larry McCann

Ellen Walbridge of Easton turned 100 at The Dixon House on February 26, 2019. On her birthday she stated, “I never dreamed I would be 100! It is a blessing to celebrate it.” Ellen had several celebrations: a celebration at her church, the Church of the Brethren, the Dixon House Celebration, and dinner with family. She added, “Dixon House has kept me active. I walk around the block every morning with my son which gets things going for me.”

 

Ellen Walbridge with Director Linda Elben as she blows out the candles of her cake at her 100th Birthday Celebration at Dixon House

Ellen was born in West Virginia but had ties to the Eastern Shore. At age 15, she came to work at Fike Orchard in Skipton at the suggestion of her brother who knew the Fikes through church. While living here, she met Alvin Walbridge at a church social and the rest is history. Over the years, she supported her husband who started Walbridge Bros. with two of his brothers. Family is very important to her. She and her husband had five children, one boy, and four girls. She now has 10 grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren. Walbridge moved to The Dixon House in 2017 after living independently. When asked about the reason for longevity, she states that her brother lived until age 96 and she never drank or smoked. She was active in 4-H, loved to garden (she tends the flowers at The Dixon House), and enjoyed knitting, crocheting, and sewing. She also loves to bake, helping with the baking activities at The Dixon House, and lemon meringue pie is her specialty.

 

At her celebration at The Dixon House, Ellen received salutations from Governor Hogan and from the Eastern Shore Delegates. Pastor Joe Glass played her favorite hymns on the accordion. Mayor Robert Willey gave her a free parking card for the town of Easton. Sheriff Joe Gamble gave her a “Get Out of Jail Free” card, which gave her a laugh. She stated, “I will try and be good!”

The mission of The Dixon House is to provide high quality and affordable residential care to seniors in an enriching home-like environment. For further information, contact Linda Elben, Executive Director at 410-822-6661 or visit dixonhouse.org.

Talbot County Prepares for Winter Snow Storms

We haven’t gotten hit yet with a big snow storm, but Talbot County Roads Department is ready with material in the Salt Barn for when it happens. Talbot County has over 374 miles of roads which need to be cared for throughout the year. This includes programmed and routine maintenance, paving, ditching, tree removal, and culvert replacements. But it is winter, that is especially a busy time when the county’s 24 employees cover 13 snow routes, pre-treating, salting, sanding, and removing snow until the event is over and all the roads are clear.

Caption: The 24 employees of the Talbot County Roads Department are ready to care for over 374 miles of roads when Talbot County gets its first major snow storm of the season. Pictured front row, left to right, are: Matthew Dunn, Efrem Murray, Kevin Wilson, Milton Cornish, Ray Kinsey, Michael Potter, Warren Edwards, Superintendent for Talbot County Roads Department, Dwight Warrick, Brandon Brewer, and Autumn Finch. Pictured back row, left to right, are: Taylor Lowery, Michael Steenken, Dean Samuel, Arthur Kellum, John Bechtel, Ben Cannon, Michael Dulin, Tim Holland, John Asche, John McNair, and Jerry Butler. Absent from the photo are employees Lois MacDonald, Office Manager, Richard Harmon, and Michael Carroll.

According to Warren Edwards, Superintendent for Talbot County Roads Department, “My biggest advice when bad weather hits, is to be patient, don’t tailgate our equipment, and try and stay off the roads if you possibly can, so we can get the roads cleared.”

Edwards, who has over 38 years of experience with road construction, has been with the county for four years. Each of the county’s 13 routes has at least one truck, and sometimes two to three trucks depending on the route. Talbot County Roads Department has 14 trucks and has hired three additional trucks with plows and salt spreaders to meet the needs of the county snow removal. Private contractors are hired for designated routes based on need.

He adds, “With snow storms, Talbot County offers assistance to all municipalities in the county, as they do us, as well as to the State Highway Administration.”

But it’s the dedication of the county’s 24 employees that often goes unnoticed. More than half of the staff of the Roads Department have over 20 years of experience. For a storm which puts down three inches of snow, it can take eight to 10 hours to complete the snow removal and 12 inches of snow can take up to 30 hours to remove.

Edwards comments, “Our employees are experienced, diligent and seasoned employees. They know their jobs and they do them well. We work straight through these storms, staying in radio contact with drivers every four hours to be sure everything is alright on the routes. They work until the event is over.”

The Roads Department is in contact with Talbot County Operations Center throughout weather events to clear roads for ambulances and fire equipment. The agency also reaches out to each of the towns in the county to offer help. In the case of a whiteout, snow removal trucks are stationed at the local fire departments throughout the county to work with them in opening roads in the case of emergencies.

“The roads are a necessity that people tend to forget,” Edwards adds.

Edwards points out that customer service is the most important thing in his business. He points to more and more weather seasons where there are drainage issues affecting the roads and where infrastructures are failing. Talbot County Roads Department employees are on call from 3 hours to 35 hours a week all years long handling the effects of wind, hurricanes, storms and culvert failures throughout the county.

Talbot County Roads Department gets between 110 and 160 road complaints a month, in addition to routine maintenance issues. Every complaint is logged into a card system so that the department can address all citizen concerns. Edwards comments, “We have to prioritize the complaints based on the need, but we want citizens to report their concerns so that we can get ahead of issues that do occur.”

The number to call at the Talbot County Roads Department for concerns is 410-770-8150.

 

Senior Nation: The Dixon House 99ers by Amy Blades Steward

When you meet Ellen Walbridge and Helen Crow, residents of Dixon House in Easton, you won’t suspect that they are both 99 years old. Both women are vibrant and enjoy recalling their full and rich lives. This is the case for several residents at The Dixon House in Easton.

According to Linda Elben, Executive Director, “We are seeing more and more residents coming to us later in their lives, in their 90s, still very active and living quality lives. Most just need to simplify their living and have less responsibilities.”

She adds, “These two women are remarkable. They join a number of our residents who are centenarians or who approaching 100 years of age. It is a testament to them living active lives surrounded by family and friends.”

Ellen Walbridge, a resident of Dixon House, will turn 100 in February 2019.

Ellen Walbridge, born in West Virginia, had ties to the Eastern Shore. At age 15, she followed her brother, who came to work at Fike Orchard in Skipton. While living here, she met Alvin Walbridge at a church social and the rest is history. Over the years, she supported her husband who started Walbridge Builders. Family is very important to her. She and her husband had five children, one boy and four girls. She now has 10 grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.

Walbridge moved to The Dixon House in 2017 after living independently. When asked about the reason for longevity, she states that her brother lived until age 96 and she never drank or smoked. She was active in 4-H, loved to garden (she tends the flowers at The Dixon House), and enjoyed knitting, crocheting, and sewing. She also loves to bake, helping with the baking activities at The Dixon House, and lemon meringue pie is her specialty. She comments, “I don’t feel real young, but I don’t feel 99.” She will turn 100 in February 2019.

Helen Crow, a resident of Dixon House, will turn 100 in April 20.

Born in rural Ohio, Helen Crow was always physically active. Her father, a builder, was also a physically active person. Helen recalls doing handstands and headstands when she was young. Today, she doesn’t miss an exercise class at The Dixon House. She and her husband, Elmer, nicknamed “Amo” married after Amo served in the Army’s 17th Airborne Division as a paratrooper during World War II. The two had three children, and today she has three grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren. Amo had a career as a master craftsman, training many young men who entered the flooring trade, while Helen did office work for a law firm, then a refinery.

Both Helen and Amo participated in an activities group for art in Cincinnati, where Helen enjoyed oils and watercolors and Amo enjoyed stained glass, caning, and pottery. The two also enjoyed music, attending Cincinnati Symphony concerts for 40 years. The couple retired to Florida and then to Easton, where their son, Roger and daughter-in-law Heather live. The two then came to live at The Dixon House in 2014. Crow comments, “Easton is a nice town. We were amazed at the quality of friends we have made at Dixon House.” She adds, “I have had a good life.”

The mission of The Dixon House is to provide high quality and affordable residential care to seniors in an enriching home-like environment. For further information, contact Linda Elben, Executive Director at 410-822-6661 or visit dixonhouse.org.

Senior Nation: Dixon House’s Hazel Newnam Celebrates 100 Years

Pictured back row, left to right: Granddaughter Sheila Herbert, Sheriff Joe Gamble, Mayor Robert Willey, Senator Addie Eckardt, Delegate Chris Adams, Delegate Johnny Mautz, grandson Cooper Towers, and Wendy Towers. Pictured front row, left to right: Granddaughter Courtney Springer, daughter Debbie Kudner holding great-granddaughter Elisabeth Claggett, Hazel Newnam holding great-grandson Gabriel Claggett, grandson Bo Claggett holding great-granddaughter Francesca Claggett. Absent from the photo is great-grandson Cruz Springer.

She credits her long, healthy life to a good attitude, good friends and her Christian faith. Hazel Newnam, age 100, a resident at Dixon House for the last three years, embraces life. Fiercely independent, Hazel managed to live alone until coming to Dixon House. She had visited a friend at Dixon House for years and when it came time to make the transition to assisted living herself, Dixon House seemed like the logical next step. She recently gathered with family, friends and dignitaries to celebrate her 100th birthday. Newnam was honored with proclamations from Governor Hogan, the Maryland Senate, the Maryland House of Delegates, the County Sheriff’s Department, the Town of Easton, and even a letter from President Donald Trump. Music was provided by Cabaret-style singer Daryl Grant Lindsay.

She commented at the event, “It was so wonderful to celebrate with family. I think it’s wonderful they all remembered me.”

Newnam was born on August 2, 1918. A native of Clairton, PA, she met William “Bill” Newnam while he was working construction in Pennsylvania and after he had graduated from the Pittsburgh Aeronautical Institute. The two were married in 1940 and then Bill became a Marine and flew Corsairs in Japan as part of the U.S. peacekeeping efforts during World War II. The couple lived in Oxford in the late 1940s after the war ended. Bill brought a Corsair back to Talbot County to sell war bonds. Soon after, he purchased Maryland Airlines, a private charter business, where he continued his love of flying.

Bill imparted his love of flying to Hazel by teaching her how to fly when she was in her 50s. She comments, “The opportunity was there and I took it. I felt like I was doing something special and I enjoyed the whole experience. Knowing I could fly gave me confidence and Bill was really proud of me.”

The couple ran Maryland Airlines until the 1990s and during this time Bill also managed Easton’s Airport. They had two daughters, Suzanne Towers (now deceased) and Debbie Kudner. Today Hazel has four grandchildren and seven great grandchildren.

After her husband died in May 1991, the Airport name was changed to Easton Airport/Newnam Field, in memory of Hazel’s husband, Bill.

She states, “I tried to live the right kind of life. I stayed active with the Oxford Methodist Church, sang in the choir, lead the MYF, and served as a member of the WSCS. I also served a number of years as a volunteer for the Memorial Hospital Auxiliary.”

Hazel’s daughter, Debbie Kudner, recalls, “Mother was totally independent and had lots of friends. She used to load up the Cadillac, which I called the ‘Gospel Bus,’ and take trips up and down the East Coast with her church friends.”

Today, Hazel’s days are a little quieter, but she still enjoys getting out. The recent celebration at Dixon House was a testimony to her love of a good time.

Spy Food: Brightwell’s Brendan Keegan Moves to Mason’s

The changes at Mason’s will get even better now Brendan Keegan has recently joined as Executive Chef. Keegan was most recently Co-Owner and Executive Chef at Brasserie Brightwell in Easton and was also Co-Owner and Executive Chef at 208 Talbot. Prior to coming to the Eastern Shore, he worked in some of the best restaurants on the East Coast, including Prune Restaurant in New York, NY and Kinkead’s American Brasserie in Washington, DC. He was trained at L’Academie de Cuisine in Gaithersburg, MD.

Brendan Keegan

Owner Chance Negri comments, “Brendan’s innovative and progressive cooking style coupled with honoring Eastern Shore food traditions will align with the vision for Mason’s of serving Modern American Cuisine.”

Mason’s Redux is so expanding its food offerings this summer with foods you know and love, reimagined with bold and distinctive flavors.

Chance comments, “People made suggestions and we listened. The response has been overwhelmingly positive to the changes we have made.”

Its expanded lunch menu now includes favorites like the Rachel Sandwich made with all-natural roasted turkey, Boursin cheese and homemade collard slaw, which rounds out its zesty flavor. Crab bisque with a pinch of old bay and touch of sherry, a salmon burger, braised roast beef cheese melt, Niçoise and Chef Salads are just a few of the other highly popular new offerings on Mason’s lunch menu. Mason’s Lamb Burger with homemade Tzatziki Sauce remains one of the restaurants best sellers. Sandwiches are now served with the popular Terra Chips and the dessert menu has added homemade ice cream from Nice Farms Creamery in Federalsburg for the summer season. Bob Miller and his family say, “We make ice cream the old-fashioned way, on their farm, ‘from cow to cup’ – rich and creamy, no preservatives, just pure delicious flavor.”

For dinner, Mason’s is offering a steak feature with different cuts of beef changing weekly, such as hangar steak, rib eye, tenderloin, and New York strip. Look for savory sauces such as watercress mayonnaise, horseradish, port and mushroom, roasted red pepper, or salsa verde to accompany the steak.

Sunday brunch is served from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and includes omelets/eggs served with sautéed fingerling potatoes, Strata, Mason’s legendary Cinnamon French Toast and Buttermilk Silver Dollar Pancakes with Grade A cardamom maple syrup. Savory additions to the brunch menu include Shaved Country Ham, salads and sandwiches, as well as the Lamb Burger. Libations include house made Blood Mary’s, White Peach Bellini’s, and Mimosas.

The bar menu has also been expanded to include mezze platters and small plates made for sharing, including lamb meatballs w/eggplant sauce, grilled shrimp w/chermoula sauce and a cheese course, as well as larger fare if patrons want a late lunch or light dinner. The wine list is diverse, and the bar is now offering Lyons Distillery Rum, a local favorite.

Pictured left to right are Chance Negri, Owner of Mason’s Redux 2017, with Zach Ray, Mason’s Manager, in front of the restaurant’s new signage.

Seasonal offerings, sourcing foods from local farmers and purveyors when possible, makes Mason’s dining experience even more memorable. Local tomatoes, corn, and berries will highlight the summer offerings.

Mason’s hosts private and corporate events and rehearsal dinners in its private rooms upstairs or in the garden.

Chance adds, “The old Mason’s was well-respected and well-known in the community with a loyal following. We have brought our own creative culinary twist to Mason’s and the response has been very positive.”

He adds, “I want to surprise people in a culinary way and provide a memorable dining experience, not just have the same old thing. I like to say, come to expect the unexpected and it’s good . . . very good!”

 

Mason’s is open for lunch from 11:30 to 2 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Sunday brunch is from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. The bar menu is offered between 3 and 6:30 p.m. daily. Dinner is offered on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Sundays from 5:30 to 9 p.m. and Thursday through Saturday from 5:30 to 10 p.m.

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