When the Spy started to take shape in the spring of 2009, one of the first people I reached out to was Dennis Forney. We were not close, but as a member of Kent County’s large Forney clan, and as a brother of my local veterinarian, I knew that the founder and editor of the highly-regarded Cape Gazette in Lewes, DE would be moderately interested in the launch of the Chestertown Spy and offer some words on wisdom.
Dennis was someone I was eager to chat with. In addition to the hard labor of pushing out a newspaper, he was also the Delmarva Quarterly publisher, a regional periodical devoted to good writing and excellent storytelling. Given the Spy’s own news mission, including being a portal for the arts, I thought there would be an immediate connection.
And there was. Dennis did give good advice, and we did exchange emails over the years, but I was nonetheless surprised the other day when he told me that he and his wife had decided to semi-retire to Talbot County. Even more delightful was his interest in sharing with Spy readers his stories related to the Eastern Shore.
For over 40 years, Dennis has authored his own column named “Barefootin’.” Starting in the Cape Gazette, and now in the Spy newspapers, Dennis has used his lifetime experiences on the Eastern Shore, beginning as a child growing up on the Chester River, to document the life and times of Delmarva watermen, farmers, hunters, boatbuilders, duck cravers, poets, and naturalists from all walks on life.
The Spy is honored to have Dennis on the pages of the Spy starting today.
I’m also excited to note another new partner for the Spy. Starting this Sunday, the Spy will collaborate with Washington College’s Literary House Press to share cutting-edge poetry and literature from both national authors and promising undergraduates appearing in the Press’ Cherry Tree publication.
Over the last few years, the Literary House Press has gained national recognition in identifying an entirely new generation of writers, many of whom are on track to become some of the country’s most distinguished poets and authors. A case in point would be Sandra Beasley and her poem, “Monticello Peaches,” which will be shared in both text and video format this Sunday. This powerful reflection on Thomas Jefferson is a perfect example of the Cherry Tree’s editors, James Hall and Roy Kesey, special skill in finding this exceptional talent.
I would be remiss not to end my notes without noting the Spy’s Spring fundraising campaign is still underway. Please consider making a modest contribution here so we can continue to offer this unique alternative of what a daily newspaper can be.