Drone Camp at Easton Airport Not Child’s Play

It still stretches the imagination when thinking about the future use of highly dependable flying drones on the nation’s economy, but it’s fair to say it will be a major disruptive force in the way we get things done. From inspecting cell towers far too dangerous for humans to delivering fine linen bed sheets from Amazon, the world of using and programming drone activity is only getting more crowded with applications.

That all of that activity requires a workforce with the skill set to manage this new world order. Unlike the myth that the drone industry will take away human labor, the demand for technicians and pilots will only increase.

One place where this new future is well known is the Easton Airport. With increasing regulations from the FAA and other local municipalities, the airport has been front and center for more than a decade of drone use. But as the airport continues to define its educational mission, Easton’s new airport manager, Micah Risher, felt there was a real need to introduce regional youngsters to the promising career track.
With Micah’s recruitment of instructor Jeremy Vogel, founder, and president of Eastern Shore Dronography, the airport’s ACE (Aviation Career Education) programming has attracted more than a dozen young students to spend weeks in the summer learning how to plan and operate drone missions.

The Spy observed the Drone camp a few weeks ago and sat down with Jeremy to get the lowdown on this new era of aviation.

This video is approximately two minutes in length. For more information about the Easton Airport and its ACE program please go here.

Spy Minute: Artist Lesley Giles on her Moon Series

Lesley Giles is an English artist but that hasn’t stopped her from documenting one of America’s most remarkable accomplishments;  the conquest of space in the 1960s and 1970s. After moving to Florida with her husband, she became fascinated with the space rocket launches at Cape Canaveral, just miles away from where the couple lived. And the result of those experiences led her to capture iconic images from the USA’s mission to conquer outer orbit using her unique vision of space and time.

Giles is a graduate of the Royal College of Art and Goldsmiths’ College, London University. She has exhibited extensively in galleries and museums in the UK, Europe, USA and also in China following a Visiting Painter invitation to Urumqi, Xinjiang in 1996. Her work has been published by Harper Collins in “Watercolour Masterclass” and “The Challenge of Landscape” as well as being featured in several magazines.

The Spy spent a few minutes with Lesley at the Trippe Gallery in Easton to talk briefly about this special interest of hers, and how it has impacted her art in general.

The Art of Lesley Giles: Moon Series
For the month of August
Trippe Gallery 
23N Harrison St Easton

The Town Cobbler to Close His Doors

On August 15, a small iconic business, with over three decades of service to the community, will be shutting its doors for the last night time. Just a few blocks from the Talbot County Free Library, Caldwell’s Shoe Repair on West Street in Easton is ending a special era of sole repair.

It was founded in 1935 by Charles Caldwell after he trained in shoe repair in New Jersey. And since 1999, the shop has been managed by Leroy Potter and Ricky Caldwell, the nephew of Charles and Stanley Caldwell.

Spy Minute: The TAP Gang Prepares for “It Shoulda Been You”

The Tred Avon Players sometimes are the hardest folks for the Spy to interview. While its cast members have no hesitation in promoting the TAP’s theatrical offerings throughout the year, one topic that is forbidden territory is giving away too much of the plot.

That was certainly the case when actors Shelby Swann and Mike Sousa, along with TAP director Joe Tyler, came by for a visit to the Spy studio to talk about their most recent production of “It Shoulda Been You,” starting August 15 at the Oxford Community Center.

All three declined to give away many details about the story line, but so give enough hints to encourage the Mid-Shore’s theater crowd to make a special trip to Talbot County to catch this very funny original new musical.

It Shoulda Been You invites you to a wedding day that will be hard to forget. The bride is Jewish. The groom is Catholic. Her mother is a force of nature. His mother is a tempest in a cocktail shaker. And, when the bride’s ex-boyfriend crashes the party, the perfect wedding starts to unravel faster than you can whistle “Here Comes the Bride!” It’s up to the sister of the bride to turn a tangled mess into happily ever after in this musical comedy for anyone who ever had parents.

You get the idea.

The Spy spent at few minutes with the TAP last week to at least wet our whistle for what will be another TAP crowd pleaser.

This video is approximately one minute in length. For ticket information please go here



Senior Nation: Ask Irma on the Link between Dementia and Depression

Senior Nation is committed to offering resources to help us deal with the challenges and opportunities of aging. To that end, we are launching a new monthly video blog called “Ask Irma” hosted by Irma Toce, C.E.O. of the Londonderry on the Tred Avon in Easton, where we will be exploring on all topics related to aging.

This month: the important link between dementia and depression.

This video is approximately one minute in length. For information about Londonderry on the Tred Avon please go here

Philanthropy: Qlarant Foundation Grants Spotlight Health Needs on the Shore

While it may have a new name, the Qlarant Foundation, formerly known as the Quality Health Foundation, has been providing significant grants in the field of healthcare since the grant-making institution began in 2003. In fact, the grant-making institution has just reached the $6 million mark after their last round of donations were released last month.

During the award ceremony, the Qlarant Foundation made close to $400,000 in grants to seventeen health organizations, many of whom directly serve the Eastern Shore.

And while the Spy could not profile each recipient, we did catch up with three local recipients, the leaders of  the Eastern Shore Wellness Solutions of Dorchester County, Rebuilding Together of Caroline County, and the Kinera Foundation from Queen Anne’s  to understand more about what these relatively new and not very well known organizations do to improve the quality of life their communities. We also talked to Qlarant Foundation volunteer chair, Dr. Molly Burgoyne-Brian, on its mission and decision-making process.

This video is approximately seven minutes in length. For more information about the Qlarant Foundation please go here.

Spy Maritime: The “Buyboats” are Coming to Chestertown and Oxford

The Chesapeake Bay Buyboat Association inaugurated its 2019 weeklong bay tour in Chestertown this weekend. Twelve buy boats from around the bay have joined the cruise that will continue on from Chestertown to the Kent Island Yacht Club Tuesday, the Oxford Yacht Club on Wednesday and will wrap up the tour in Cambridge starting on Friday.

“We have had a great weekend here in Chestertown,” 2019 organizer Dave Cantera. “Mayor Cerino, town council and staff have done a tremendous job with the marina project,” Cantera continued. “It is well suited to welcome larger historic wooden boats and we saw great numbers of visitors all weekend.” The CBBA thanked the Town for its hospitality with a community fish fry with live music on the Customs House lawn at the foot of High Street on Saturday evening.

The CBBA organizes the weeklong cruise in different parts of the bay annually to promote awareness of the buyboat’s history and role in the Bay economy for much of the 20th century before the coming of the two bay bridge spans.

“All of these boats plied the rivers and Chesapeake Bay delivering the bounty of the Chesapeake Bay and to Baltimore, returning with diverse backhauls that included barrels of household staples, ready to wear, tools, and empty cans from American Can Company bound for the Eastern Shore crab and produce processors,” Cantera explained. “The goal of this tour is to share this living history.”

Larry Chowning is the author of Chesapeake Bay Buy Boats, a history of the vessel published in 2003, has been following the annual buyboat tour on the Chesapeake since the first gathering of the CBBA in 2004 in Rock Hall. “These are fascinating vessels,” the author of 10 books commented.

Steve Bailey, captain of the Samuel M. Bailey, hails from St. Mary’s County. His vessel is the only known Bay buyboat to remain in the hands of the original owner’s family. “My grandfather had the boat built in 1957 and my family has had it on the water since,” Bailey shared. “I am proud to continue this Bay tradition.”

Kent County is the home of a number of buyboats, each one as unique as its owner. Cantera’s father Pat owned and raised his son around large wood boats on the Sassafras River. Cantera acquired his first buyboat in his early 20s. “Growing up, my dad taught me appreciation for the care of a wood boat,” Cantera mused. Cantera gives the greatest credit for the restoration of his flagship vessel, the Muriel Eileen, to Graham Ero of Still Pond, whose career is punctuated with many original and restoration showpieces.

The CBBA cruisers depart Chestertown on Tuesday morning.

Two Friends Talking: Resilience Part Two

Editor’s Note: Welcome to the Spy’s most recent effort in using the podcast model as one of our many tools in telling stories. While we welcome our readers to watch these broadcasts, they have been created with listening in mind, without significant editing, and to be enjoyed as a long-form presentation.

And that is undoubtedly our intention here as the Spy starts a new series entitled “Two Friends Talking.” Knowing of the joy, humor, and a good bit of wisdom that comes when two close friends sit over coffee and chat about a serious subject, the Spy was eager to find some way to share the remarkably educational moments that come with that exchange. Beyond the hard talk of local politics or neighborhood chatter, these conversations can unexpectedly drift from the mundane to the intellectually-demanding task of understanding the meaning of words like faith, compassion, death, kindness or forgiveness.

While many nationally-broadcast programs bring well-known personalities together for such dialogues, the Spy wanted to bring this kind of exchange to the local level; respectfully listening to, and learning from, the heart-to-heart talks of those in Talbot County known in the community as being both wise and candidly self-aware.

Two of those that truly fit that bill are Amy Haines (founder and owner of Easton’s Out of the Fire) and her friend of many years, Mid-Shore artist and educator, Sue Stockman. And with the Spy’s eternal gratitude, these fearless two have agreed to be part of this experiment.

Once a month, Amy and Sue will randomly select a word out of a large bowl filled with dozens of words that the two agreed in advance on as worthy of a conversation. All of which was to take place one Sunday every month in Amy’s cozy basement.

Beginning each program with the aromatherapeutic benefit of burning a bit of palo santo, Amy and Sue plop down on the sofa with that one word for thirty minutes for thought-provoking, humorous, and sometimes touching moments of reflection.

This month: Resilience (part two)

This video is approximately twenty-five minutes in length.

Part One


After the First Decade: Upper Shore Aging’s ​Brookletts Place Celebrates Ten Years

As the Spy celebrates its tenth year of operation, it dawned on us that there were quite a number of enterprises on the Mid-Shore that started at the same time as the Spy.

Ranging from bakeries to nonprofit businesses and buildings, dozens of small businesses opened their doors amid a significant economic recession, relying on instinct and confidence that their services would be sought after, no matter the current business climate.With that in mind, the Spy has decided to interview many of these brave entrepreneurs and leaders over the next year for them to reflect on their experiences.

We continue with our chat with the staff, designers, and volunteer leaders who made Brookletts Place, Upper Shore Aging’s senior center for Talbot County, a reality ten years ago.

This video is approximately four minutes in length. For more information about Brookletts Place please go here.

Four Poets and a Family Farm: Wendy Ingersoll Perry on “Walking the Sunken Boards”

For ten years, four Delaware poets, who collectively have had seven books published, and received five Delaware for the Arts grants, five Pushcart nominations, two “Best of the Net” nominations, and one new best poet award, descend on one Wendy Ingersoll Perry’s family farm not to far from Quaker Neck Landing near Chestertown.

During the summer weeks, the poets spend most of their day writing by the Chester River and use their evenings to read some of their day’s labor. It is one of the highlights of the year for these four friends who have formed a unique bond through the power of words and And last year, the four came up with the idea that this decade of material would make a fine book to honor the sense of place they have received from the Ingersoll family farm.

And just recently that book, entitled Walking the Sunken Boards by Linda Blaskey, Gail Braune Comorat, Wendy Elizabeth Ingersoll, and Jane C. Miller, has been published with a book celebration set for the Bookplate in Chestertown on July 12 with an introduction from local writer Amanda Newell.

The Spy couldn’t resist finding out more about this unique project and sat down with Wendy before the kick-off event to get the lowdown and hear one of her poems.

This video is approximately three minutes in length. For more information and to purchase the book please go here

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