The Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum in St. Michaels will continue its phased reopening from the COVID-19 pandemic by opening to members on Monday, June 29, and to the general public on Tuesday, June 30.
Under town law, face masks are required both inside and outside museum buildings and social distancing of six feet is mandated.
“We appreciate the support from our members and guests who continue to share their CBMM memories and welcome us into their homes with our new virtual programming,” said CBMM President Kristen Greenaway. “All of our guests have a very special connection to CBMM, and we are delighted to invite them to access in person our interpretive educational exhibitions and vast open spaces.”
CBMM has been closed since March 14 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Following the reopening of CBMM’s shipyard, museum store, and members only marina, CBMM has deliberately phased in its approach for the health and comfort of its guests.
During CBMM’s closure, all staff have been trained on updated policies and procedures in response to COVID-19.
Plexiglass sneeze guards have been installed at point of sale stations in the welcome center and museum store to protect guests and staff during contactless transactions.
Signage and floor markers have been positioned around campus to direct traffic flow, create appropriate distancing, and eliminate areas of congestion.
Motion sensors have replaced push button interactives in a number of locations across campus.
“Our top priority is to provide a comfortable environment for our members, guests, staff, and the community,” said Greenaway. “We are doing our part to prevent the spread of COVID-19, and we request that everyone visiting CBMM does their part as well.”
Several locations and exhibits will remain closed:
• The pilot house from the 1912 buyboat Thor will be closed until further notice, but guests may still play outside on it.
• The Boatshop mezzanine, Sail the Seas interactive, and the shipyard footbridge crossing will be closed.
• Only first floor access will be permitted in the Hooper Strait Lighthouse.
For membership contactless entry, please renew or purchase memberships online by visiting cbmm.org/membership. Additional information on CBMM’s enhanced health and comfort measures and operational changes for reopening can be found at welcome.cbmm.org.
CBMM’s 18 acres of wide-open space provides a park-like atmosphere for all to enjoy with ample outdoor seating, beautifully landscaped gardens, and serene waterfront views. Learn about the Chesapeake Bay’s history, traditions, and culture with the museum’s working shipyard, floating fleet of historic vessels, and outdoor exhibitions, all situated along the Miles River and St. Michaels Harbor. Outdoor exhibitions include the 1879 Hooper Strait Lighthouse (limited to first floor), Tolchester Beach Bandstand, Living Shoreline, and Watermen’s Wharf.
I was pleased to learn the Talbot County Council planned to vote on removal of The Talbot Boys statue from the Courthouse lawn, but disappointed to read that the resolution, if passed, would only require the top portion be removed. That is not a solution to the problem of a Confederate monument on property dedicated to administering justice. If expressed medically, the part (limb) removed would be considered a phantom limb since the amputee would continue to feel its presence. Is there a better analogy? All would forever still envision the full monument with the statue and what it represented. If the resolution remains as presented now, I encourage all county council members to vote no and to have a new resolution presented to remove the entire monument. If the intent is to truly allow monuments that name local persons who died in the Civil War, then build another monument with the names of all the persons who perished from both sides.
Except for quick and furtive trips to the grocery store I haven’t ventured off our street very much. The Covid-19 shutdown has curtailed our activities in so many ways. I haven’t strolled through any antique shops, weighed the life-changing pros and cons of various waterproof mascaras at Target, haven’t had a French 75 at our favorite bistro or visited a single book store. We do get outdoors in the garden, and Luke the wonder dog and I take our twice-daily walks, but this week we had a couple of rainy days, so Luke was reluctant to set his dainty paws onto the wet sidewalk. (I wonder how he can possibly enjoy diving into the river whenever he can, but I suppose there is a subtle difference that, as a human, I will never understand.) Once a week, though, I am sallying forth with my mask and my re-useable bags to the farmers’ market near us.
I like seeing the people who have been growing and harvesting fruits and vegetables. They are rightfully proud of their display of triumph over weather and market conditions. It’s nice knowing that the tomatoes gleaming in a homemade vinaigrette on our supper table came from a good home; that they were nurtured and fussed over. And they weren’t trucked in from California: buying local is virtuous – it lessens carbon footprints. Pat yourself on the back!
As a child I did not care for cooked vegetables, with the exception of corn and potatoes. And pizza. I have always preferred the crisp snap of fresh beans, the cool orbs of peas as they slide out of their pods, and cold, peppery radishes, floating in Pyrex bowls of iced water. It was probably part of my mother’s wily ways and means that my brother and I were assigned vegetable duties on the back porch steps in the summertime. It might take us forever to shell the peas, but we were quiet, and out of her hair. Even then we might not fill the cooking pot with peas, because we had gobbled a few handfuls as we performed our chore. It was a quid pro quo situation, one pea for me, one pea for you, one pea for the pot. The same fate met the string beans. Later, once Mom was assured that we wouldn’t slice and dice our fingers off, we graduated to a place at the kitchen table peeling carrots and trimming radishes. Do you remember mastering the vegetable peeler? Curling orange ribbons flew away from the carrots, and sometimes even into the trash can.
Last year we planted some beans in our raised garden bed. We had no idea what we were doing. The vines grew like crazy, like kudzu, with the velocity of a runaway train, up the strings, and over the poles, practically covering the neighborhood. And yet, all we harvested were about six bean pods. We did not plant green beans this year. We are relying on the agricultural skills of our farmer neighbors, to protect us from ourselves, and our utopian dreams of a suburban hanging garden of Nebuchadnezzar.
Beans are in season right now. Eat your way through the alphabet, and try some blueberries and then some broccoli, too. Work your way into zucchini season.
For the purists: https://farmfreshforlife.com/how-to-cook-fresh-green-beans/
Here is a tasty approach to having fresh, crisp green beans, with a good dose of bacon: https://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/green_beans_with_bacon/
Here’s one that big enough to share, if we ever get out of the house again: https://food52.com/recipes/72759-balsamic-green-beans-salad
“When they say every flavor, they mean every flavor- you know, you get all the ordinary ones like chocolate and peppermint and marmalade, but then you can get spinach and liver and tripe. George reckons he had a booger-flavored one once.”
Ron picked up a green bean, looked at it carefully, and bit into a corner.
“Bleaaargh- see? Sprouts?”
They had a good time eating the Every Flavor Beans. Harry got toast, coconut, baked bean, strawberry, curry, grass, coffee, sardine, and was even brave enough to nibble the end off a funny gray one Ron wouldn’t touch, which turned out to be pepper.”
― J.K. Rowling
As Talbot County again debates the propriety of maintaining a statue on the grounds of the county courthouse to soldiers who fought for the Confederate States of America, it may be illustrative to read the words of Frederick Douglass concerning the cause of the war and whether rebel soldiers deserved the same honors as Union veterans and war dead.
Douglass, arguably the greatest native of Talbot County, was born a slave and escaped north to became a world-renowned orator and statesman and a leading abolitionist.
In speeches during and after the Civil War, Douglass made it clear that slavery was the reason for the rebellion of southern states against the United States of America.
In a lecture delivered repeatedly in the winter of 1863-1864, Douglass said:
“We are now wading into the third year of conflict with a fierce and sanguinary rebellion, one which, at the beginning of it, we were hopefully assured by one of our most sagacious and trusted political prophets would be ended in less than ninety days; a rebellion which, in its worst features, stands alone among rebellions a solitary and ghastly horror, without a parallel in the history of any nation, ancient or modern; a rebellion inspired by no love of liberty and by no hatred of oppression, as most other rebellions have been, and therefore utterly indefensible upon any moral or social grounds; a rebellion which openly and shamelessly sets at defiance the world’s judgment of right and wrong, appeals from light to darkness, from intelligence to ignorance, from the ever-increasing prospects and blessings of a high and glorious civilization to the cold and withering blasts of a naked barbarism; a rebellion which even at this unfinished stage of it counts the number of its slain not by thousands nor by tens of thousands, but by hundreds of thousands; a rebellion which in the destruction of human life and property has rivaled the earthquake, the whirlwind and the pestilence that waketh in darkness and wasteth at noonday.
It has planted agony at a million hearthstones, thronged our streets with the weeds of mourning, filled our land with mere stumps of men, ridged our soil with two hundred thousand rudely formed graves and mantled it all over with the shadow of death. A rebellion which, while it has arrested the wheels of peaceful industry and checked the flow of commerce, has piled up a debt heavier than a mountain of gold to weigh down the necks of our children’s children. There is no end to the mischief wrought. It has brought ruin at home, contempt abroad, has cooled our friends, heated our enemies and endangered our existence as nation.
“Now, for what is all this desolation, ruin, shame suffering and sorrow? Can anybody want the answer? Can anybody be ignorant of the answer? It has been given a thousand times from this and other platforms. We all know it is slavery. Less than a half a million of Southern slaveholders — holding in bondage four million slaves — finding themselves outvoted in the effort to get possession of the United States government, in order to serve the interests of slavery, have madly resorted to the sword — have undertaken to accomplish by bullets what they failed to accomplish by ballots. That is the answer.”
During the Decoration Day ceremony on May 30, 1871, at Arlington National Cemetery, Douglass continued to remind the nation that the war had been fought over slavery. He also made clear his thoughts that rebel soldiers — who had fought for slavery — should not receive the same honors as Union soldiers — who had fought for their nation and for liberty and justice.
Honoring the “Unknown Loyal Dead” buried at the cemetery, Douglass said:
Those unknown heroes whose whitened bones have been piously gathered here, and whose green graves we now strew with sweet and beautiful flowers, choice emblems alike of pure hearts and brave spirits, reached, in their glorious career that last highest point of nobleness beyond which human power cannot go. They died for their country.
No loftier tribute can be paid to the most illustrious of all the benefactors of mankind than we pay to these unrecognized soldiers when we write above their graves this shining epitaph.
When the dark and vengeful spirit of slavery, always ambitious, preferring to rule in hell than to serve in heaven, fired the Southern heart and stirred all the malign elements of discord, when our great Republic, the hope of freedom and self-government throughout the world, had reached the point of supreme peril, when the Union of these states was torn and rent asunder at the center, and the armies of a gigantic rebellion came forth with broad blades and bloody hands to destroy the very foundations of American society, the unknown braves who flung themselves into the yawning chasm, where cannon roared and bullets whistled, fought and fell. They died for their country.
We are sometimes asked, in the name of patriotism, to forget the merits of this fearful struggle, and to remember with equal admiration those who struck at the nation’s life and those who struck to save it, those who fought for slavery and those who fought for liberty and justice.
I am no minister of malice. I would not strike the fallen. I would not repel the repentant; but may my “right hand forget her cunning and my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth,” if I forget the difference between the parties to that terrible, protracted, and bloody conflict.
If we ought to forget a war which has filled our land with widows and orphans; which has made stumps of men of the very flower of our youth; which has sent them on the journey of life armless, legless, maimed and mutilated; which has piled up a debt heavier than a mountain of gold, swept uncounted thousands of men into bloody graves and planted agony at a million hearthstones — I say, if this war is to be forgotten, I ask, in the name of all things sacred, what shall men remember?
The essence and significance of our devotions here to-day are not to be found in the fact that the men whose remains fill these graves were brave in battle. If we met simply to show our sense of bravery, we should find enough on both sides to kindle admiration. In the raging storm of fire and blood, in the fierce torrent of shot and shell, of sword and bayonet, whether on foot or on horse, unflinching courage marked the rebel not less than the loyal soldier.
But we are not here to applaud manly courage, save as it has been displayed in a noble cause. We must never forget that victory to the rebellion meant death to the republic. We must never forget that the loyal soldiers who rest beneath this sod flung themselves between the nation and the nation’s destroyers. If today we have a country not boiling in an agony of blood, like France, if now we have a united country, no longer cursed by the hell-black system of human bondage, if the American name is no longer a by-word and a hissing to a mocking earth, if the star-spangled banner floats only over free American citizens in every quarter of the land, and our country has before it a long and glorious career of justice, liberty, and civilization, we are indebted to the unselfish devotion of the noble army who rest in these honored graves all around us.
— Text of Douglass speech from Philip S. Foner and Yuval Taylor, “Frederick Douglass: Selected Speeches and Writings.”
Douglass also warned of the “Lost Cause” mythology developed after the war that the rebels had been fighting for states’ rights, not to preserve slavery. And he challenged the laudatory obituaries about General Robert E. Lee in 1870 and opposed any monuments honoring Lee or supporting the Lost Cause interpretation.
In 1989, historian David Blight wrote this about Douglass:
In the midst of Reconstruction, Douglass began to realize the potential power of the Lost Cause sentiment. Indignant at the universal amnesty afforded ex-Confederates, and appalled by the national veneration of Robert E. Lee, Douglass attacked the emerging Lost Cause.
“The spirit of secession is stronger today than ever …,” Douglass warned in 1871. “It is now a deeply rooted, devoutly cherished sentiment, inseparably identified with the ‘lost cause,’ which the half measures of the Government towards the traitors have helped to cultivate and strengthen.”
He was disgusted by the outpouring of admiration for Lee in the wake of the general’s death in 1870.
“Is it not about time that this bombastic laudation of the rebel chief should cease?” Douglass wrote. “We can scarcely take up a newspaper . . . that is not filled with nauseating flatteries of the late Robert E. Lee.”
At this early stage in the debate over the memory of the war, Douglass had no interest in honoring the former enemy.
“It would seem from this,” he asserted, “that the soldier who kills the most men in battle, even in a bad cause, is the greatest Christian, and entitled to the highest place in heaven.” …
As for proposed monuments to Lee, Douglass considered them an insult to his people and to the Union. He feared that such monument building would only “reawaken the confederacy.”
Moreover, in a remark that would prove more ironic with time, Douglass declared in 1870 that “monuments to the Lost Cause will prove monuments of folly.”
As the Lost Cause myth sank deeper into southern and national consciousness, Douglass would find that he was losing ground in the battle for the memory of the Civil War.
In 1894, in one of his last public speeches, Douglass continued to make the case that the American public should not forget that the rebels fought to preserve slavery and waged war against the nation.
“Fellow citizens: I am not indifferent to the claims of a generous forgetfulness, but whatever else I may forget, I shall never forget the difference between those who fought for liberty and those who fought for slavery; between those who fought to save the Republic and those who fought to destroy it.”
Among those debating the issue today, some still continue to believe that a major cause of the war was states’ rights, and not slavery. This view was expounded by Southerners after their decisive loss as part of the “Lost Cause” mythology of the war that included a romanticized view of the Old South and slavery itself. (For a synopsis of the Lost Cause ideology, see en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lost_Cause_of_the_Confederacy#:~:text=The%20Lost%20Cause%20narratives%20typically,superior%20military%20skill%20and%20courage)
Among those spreading the revised narrative after the war was Alexander Stephens, the vice president of the Confederate States of America.
Yet Stephens — just a few weeks before rebel troops started the war by firing on American soldiers at Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbor, S.C. — made it absolutely clear that he agreed with Douglass: The cause of the war was slavery and the Confederate states were founded on the idea of white supremacy.
In what became known as the Cornerstone Speech, Stephens — after highlighting what he cited as several improvements in the Confederate constitution over the U.S. Constitution — said:
The new constitution has put at rest, forever, all the agitating questions relating to our peculiar institution — African slavery as it exists amongst us — the proper status of the negro in our form of civilization. This was the immediate cause of the late rupture and present revolution. Jefferson in his forecast, had anticipated this, as the “rock upon which the old Union would split.” He was right. What was conjecture with him, is now a realized fact. But whether he fully comprehended the great truth upon which that rock stood and stands, may be doubted. The prevailing ideas entertained by him and most of the leading statesmen at the time of the formation of the old constitution, were that the enslavement of the African was in violation of the laws of nature; that it was wrong in principle, socially, morally, and politically. It was an evil they knew not well how to deal with, but the general opinion of the men of that day was that, somehow or other in the order of Providence, the institution would be evanescent and pass away. This idea, though not incorporated in the constitution, was the prevailing idea at that time. The constitution, it is true, secured every essential guarantee to the institution while it should last, and hence no argument can be justly urged against the constitutional guarantees thus secured, because of the common sentiment of the day. Those ideas, however, were fundamentally wrong. They rested upon the assumption of the equality of races. This was an error. It was a sandy foundation, and the government built upon it fell when the “storm came and the wind blew.”
Our new government is founded upon exactly the opposite idea; its foundations are laid, its corner-stone rests upon the great truth, that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery — subordination to the superior race — is his natural and normal condition. [Applause.] This, our new government, is the first, in the history of the world, based upon this great physical, philosophical, and moral truth.
— Excerpt from https://www.owleyes.org/text/the-cornerstone-speech/read/text-of-stephenss-speech#root-38
Saturday, June 13, will mark the 5th Annual Chesapeake Children’s Book Festival (CCBF), which will be held virtually this year with children’s authors reading live on Facebook from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Children’s author and CCBF founder Timothy Young remarked, “We couldn’t imagine cancelling the Festival, so we’re hosting it live on the Talbot County Free Library’s Facebook page. Now more than ever, children need opportunities to be engaged, and we’ve worked hard to put together an exciting program for families that will offer a full day of reading fun.”
Some of the authors on this year’s roster include Susan Montanari, Brian Wray, Syl Sobel, and Jennifer Swanson. Picture books for children up to age eight will be read from 9 a.m. until noon. Middle grade books for ages 8-12 will be read in the afternoon. For a complete listing of the authors reading visit chesapeakechildrensbookfestival.com/authors.
During the Book Festival, the Library will launch its 2020 Virtual Summer Reading Fun program. Children and teens will be encouraged to pre-register using Beanstack, an online platform for earning badges by reading which can be used to enter a grand prize drawing of $529 in a Maryland 529 College Savings Plan. Virtual Summer Reading Fun is designed for children ages birth – 18 and runs July 1 – August 31. A link to Beanstack can be found on the library’s website at tcfl.beanstack.org, with instructions for how to use the app.
In addition to the Chesapeake Children’s Book Festival and the 2020 Virtual Summer Reading Program, the Talbot County Free Library continues to offer a number of ongoing innovative virtual programs this spring for children and adults.
Tune in to Live Virtual Story Time with Ms. Laura and Ms. Amy on the library’s Facebook page every Tuesday and Thursday, 10 a.m. in June, Tuesdays only in July and August. This is a fun activity for families with children up to age five.
Join Ms. Stav for Mindful Start Kids Yoga every Thursday at 10 a.m. for the months of July and August. Gallop through an imaginative journey that includes kid-friendly yoga poses, puppets, parachutes, sensory jars, social emotional learning, and relaxing rest time. Perfect for children up to age five.
Local children’s author Tim Young will continue to offer Creative Fun with Tim Young via the Library’s Facebook page Live on Wednesday, June 3 and 17, at 10:30 a.m. Recommended for ages eight and older.
Read Along With Me! Live every Wednesdays at 3 p.m. on the Library’s Facebook page. Ms. Laura will read a children’s chapter book. Recommended for children ages seven and older.
For more information about the Chesapeake Children’s Book Festival visit chesapeakechildrensbookfestival.com, call the Talbot County Free Library at 410-822-1626, or email email@example.com. For questions about the Library’s 2020 Virtual Summer Reading Fun, visit tcfl.beanstack.org or call or email the Library at 410-822-1626 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Commissioners of St. Michaels issue the following statement
The Commissioners of St. Michaels unanimously condemn the actions of the Minneapolis Police that caused the death of one of their citizens, George Floyd. We call on police departments and public safety organizations across the country to adopt policies of inclusion, engagement and most importantly respect for its citizens.
We believe that if police departments across the country adopted the approach to public safety that has been implemented in St. Michaels, MD, this terrible result and others like it could be avoided. Our town’s public safety is led by our Chief Anthony Smith. He has spent his entire adult life in law enforcement, 25 years with the Maryland State police and 14 years with St. Michaels. He believes in and strictly enforces the concept of community policing and he is always vigilant and will not tolerate any form of racism within our police department. He and all of his officers know our residents personally. They work with our youth on a daily basis and as a result have developed a trust within the community. They run programs, such as SMYLE that is funded by the town and its residents, that engage our young people with the police. Arrest or detention is always the last resort. As a result, St. Michaels has one of the lowest records of arrest of many towns in Maryland.
We believe that all police should interact with citizens and visitors at a personal level and that treating everyone with dignity can co-exist with law enforcement.
By Authority of Commissioners of St. Michaels
Town of St. Michaels, 300 Mill Street, P.O. Box 206, St. Michaels, MD 21663
With St Luke’s United Methodist Church as the backdrop, hundreds of St. Michaels residents and visitors gathered on the sidewalks on Talbot Street to pay homage to George Floyd and walk for unity during this troubling time in America.
As Christ Church, from across the street, filled the gathering with spiritual tones to support the theme of unity, demonstrators prepared to make a solemn walk through this historic town.
A Spy was there to record part of this historic gathering.
This video is approximately two minutes in length
’Tis the season! I might be grasping at straws, but last weekend found me rejoicing, because it is grilling season. The hot, splattery world of cooking is moving outdoors. And while we are not singing around the campfire just yet, it feels like we have turned a little corner in our Covid-narrowed world. Maybe there is some relief ahead of us. I’ll wave to you over the back fence.
A year ago we became a Farm Family, buying a subscription to a small local poultry farm, which provided us with a whole chicken and 2 dozen gorgeous eggs every month. It’s not that we knew these chickens personally, but we feel a closer connection, and take more care when thinking about preparing them. Roasted chicken is my go-to meal – I could be happy with roasted chicken and rice every night of the week. But during the warmer months, when I happily cede cooking rights and privileges to Mr. Friday, we experiment.
Last Saturday night we spatchcocked that chicken. Spatchcocking makes it easier to grill a chicken in one layer, without overcooking or undercooking. Spatchcock is said to be shorthand for “dispatching the cock” – which means to open and flatten the chicken in order to cook it. I had to avert my eyes for the final, bone-crunching crack of its back, coward that I am. Julia Child would be disappointed in me, I know. But she would have poured Mr. Friday another glass of wine, and marched him off to the grill. This is a handy-dandy video: https://www.saveur.com/how-spatchcock-chicken/
I suspect that Mr. Friday chose this Grilled Spatchcocked Greek Chicken recipe because it came up first in his Google search, but it was quite deelish. https://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/food-network-kitchen/grilled-spatchcocked-greek-chicken-3364920 It took more time to hunt and gather the ingredients than the time spent actually grilling. We had to take two masked trips to the market because dried oregano is just not the same as fresh. Nor is dried dill acceptable when you can fill the air with roughly chopped dill aroma as you whip up the marinade. Note: be careful not to grate your fingertips along with the 3 cloves of garlic.
After spatchcocking the bird we poured half of the marinade mixture (and the chicken) into a large plastic bag, and popped the bag into the fridge for an hour. Assiduously, Mr. Friday set the timer. And when the bird came out of the fridge, it sat, patted dry, at room temp, for half an hour. During the timed intervals we washed the asparagus, made a green salad, and whipped the cream for a chocolate cream pie for dessert. Remember, I warned you last week that everyone is going to gain 5 pounds during this quarantine period.
Mr. Friday prefers a gas grill, and used a meat thermometer to be sure he was following directions. I was busy adding green onions and the dill to the remaining marinade, which drizzled nicely over the well-cooked, and rested, spatchcocked chicken. We added the asparagus, candles, wine and Red Granger Radio. And then there was pie. Welcome summer grilling!
The folks at Bon Appétit have the added flourish of cooking a spatchcocked chicken using 2 bricks to keep the chicken flattened. This seems excessive to me, but you might enjoy yourself. https://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/chicken-under-a-brick
“One can follow the sun, of course, but I have always thought that it is best to know some winter, too, so that the summer, when it arrives, is the more gratefully received.”
― Beatriz Williams