Out and About (Sort Of: Bits and Pieces By Howard Freedlander

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With a large number of community activities typically happening in the fall, I will comment on a few, admitting that I have a personal interest in some due to my board memberships. At the same time, these activities add to, if not enhance the joy of living in the Mid-Shore area, specifically in Talbot County.

About a week ago, at its annual boating party on picturesque Navy Point in St. Michaels, the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum (CBMM) honored Judge and Mrs. John C. North II with its Heritage Award for their contributions to the preservation of the culture and maritime history of the Bay. The Norths are the sixth recipients in 23 years of this award, joining such people as the author James Michener for his insightful novel, Chesapeake; former CBS news anchor and Bay sailor Walter Cronkite and William Warner, whose Pulitzer-Prize winning non-fiction book, Beautiful Swimmers: Watermen, Crabs and the Chesapeake Bay, so perceptively captured the essence of Eastern Shore life among those who make their living off the water.

Judge North is a renowned log canoeist and the last surviving founding member of CBMM, as well as past president. Ethel North, long active in Talbot County community activities, including the St. Michaels branch of the Talbot County Free Library and the Talbot County Garden Club, for which she served as a past president, also supported her husband’s many log canoe races by feeding over the years a slew of hungry and thirsty sailors.

I have had the privilege in recent years to get to know Judge North and admire his dedication not only to log canoeing but to the heritage of Talbot County. Also, it takes little time to appreciate his keen sense of humor—as exhibited during a ceremony at CBMM when he bemoaned that museum curator Pete Lesher, who introduced him, failed to mention the judge’s resemblance to the actor, Robert Redford. I then looked more closely at Judge North as he spoke to discern any similarities, and I must say that I couldn’t. Nonetheless, I enjoy the judge’s always endearing sense of humor.

One last comment: Judge and Mrs. North are most worthy recipients of the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum Heritage Award; they epitomize the friendliness and charm of Talbot County.

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As part of its annual fundraising Party to Preserve (P2P), the Eastern Shore Land Conservancy (ESLC), is doing something, under the leadership of Bill and Meta Boyd, that I believe provides a meaningful celebration of the land, towns and people of the Caroline, Cecil, Dorchester, Kent, Queen Anne’s and Talbot counties. It is offering a Shore

Talks series through the spring of 2016, comprising 12 lectures/conversations about topics such as The Hermitage, an historic farm outside Centreville; songbird banding, at the Chester River Research Station in Chestertown; water quality, at Bonate House in Talbot County; Eastern Shore canneries, at Turkey Creek Farm, outside Easton; Quaker history, at the historic Third Haven Meeting House in Easton and an evening with Captain Andy McGown, a Chestertown legend.

For sake of space, I didn’t list all 12 talks (see www.ESLC.org), each equally fascinating and tied to ESLC’s mission to highlight and appreciate the land, towns and people of its six-county area. Each carries a price of admission. As further illustration of land conservancy’s focus on land preservation and improvement of life in Eastern Shore towns and cities, this year’s event will be held at Duvall Farm, near Oxford, a lovely and pristine wildlife preserve created by Chip and Sally Akridge.

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On Thursday, Sept. 24, 2015 at the old Maryland National Guard Armory in Easton, the Horn Point Lab will be presenting its annual Chesapeake Champion award to Albert Pritchett, a longtime president of the Waterfowl Festival and Waterfowl Chesapeake. Albert Pritchett, whom I have known for several years, is a person absolutely and selflessly dedicated to conservation and community service (www.umces.edu).

Like the preceding winners, Amy Haines and Chip Akridge, Albert is a recipient who well deserves the award.
Following in a long family tradition of volunteer community participation, Albert Pritchett strongly believes that the future of the Eastern Shore as an alluring place to live, work and play is highly dependent on the attention given not only to wildlife conservation but to the land that sustains the birds that grace our skies and fields.

A short time spent with Albert Pritchett reveals his humanity and humility.

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