It doesn’t take much to get Phil Hesser to tell stories about ‘Bob Random,’ the pen name for an early Baltimore Sun correspondent sending dispatches from all over Delmarva. “I came up with the idea for this “happy hour” program when I was looking at a back issue of the Baltimore Sun,” explains Hesser. “This ‘Bob Random’ did a whole series in 1845… a correspondent’s report of his travels throughout Delmarva. Hesser has a simple explanation for his interest in Delmarva and in Bob Random. “Since I’ve moved to the Eastern Shore, I have been caught up in the life, livelihood and landscape of Delmarva.
The happy hour will allow us to look for clues that we will assemble like the famous detectives of the past – even using a board to compile the information. One important clue, for example, is his noting which taverns serve alcohol and which do not at a time when the temperance movement was becoming a major force in U.S. public life.
Hesser concludes, “We’ve got our work cut out for us in this happy hour to unveil who Bob Random was and do it in a short time – no longer than the detective show episodes we see on television. What makes him tick? What makes him say those awful things about Delmarva? Pour yourself a glass of spring water (or a glass of something stronger). I promise you that you will quench your thirst not only with what you drink, but also with what you learn about Bob Random and Delmarva history of the mid-1800s – a period of great changes for Delmarva and the nation.” Hesser will send out advance copies of ‘Random Readings’ columns for participants to read in advance of the course. This Zoom class meets on Thursday, October 8th at 4:00pm. Go to www.chesapeakeforum.org to register $5.