Honor of Wendi Winters–Poem for Healing

A pro-active poem for healing

In honor of  Wendi Winters

By Nadja Maril

 

June 28th2018

The Facebook post says mark me safe

I’m safe, here in Annapolis Maryland

I’m safe, I’m safe

Did you hear the news?

White man with long gun and ponytail

An angry vigilante

Glass shattered at the newspaper office

Several people down, possibly dead

But mark me safe

 

Such a tragedy

Did you know anyone?

Do you recognize the names?

Five people killed, five souls

Did you know anyone?

 

Yes

My friend Wendi Winters

My writing colleague Wendi Winter

A  prolific and tireless journalist.

 

Wendi wrote about people

Happy people, lucky people,

People with a cause to promote

Houses, fashion, recreation, the arts

Teen of the Week

A Veteran to be honored

A spectacular home to admire

The United States Naval Academy

The Bay Bridge 10K Race

Sailing regattas, Parades and Fireworks

All part of Wendi’s beat.

 

Writer, photographer, Girl Scout leader

Publicity and Event Consultant

Former model and fashion expert

The woman who volunteered to chaperone

Just about every teenage event at our church

She served on multiple committees

Ushered, greeted and prepared snacks

The perennial volunteer who always showed up.

 

It’s not easy to be a newspaper journalist

Few jobs, long hours, low pay

No one bothers to read what you write

And now it’s downright dangerous

Grow a thick skin to shield you from criticism

And start wearing a bulletproof vest

You’re the one they’ll blame when truth is revealed.

 

 

Who will fill her shoes?

Tall, slim and fearless

Laughing at the challenges

Taking pictures, always taking pictures

Dramatic, chic, daring

Passionate about her children

About causes for social justice

Organized and precise

Never taking a vacation

Balancing a tight budget

Embarking on adventures

Savoring bread and wine

Music and beauty.

 

 

Mark me not safe

Not immune to crying

Mark me not safe

I’m sad and afraid

Of the destructive hate

Infecting the minds of those

Angry enough to hold a gun in their hand

Angry enough to take another’s life

Angry enough to think it’s okay

To steal a mother from a family

To steal the future from a child

To shatter a community with violence.

Wendi with Hat

Wendi Winters-, one of the 5 victims of the June 28th Shooting in Annapolis.

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California Graduation Visit Class of 2014

Like every campus, Cal Poly has a few traditions.  Girls are given a lei by proud parents rather than a bouquet of flowers. It is customary to lavishly decorate the top of your cap and go drinking the night before you “walk”.   A large breakfast is recommended during the wee hours of the night, prior to downing a few more stiff drinks at 6:00 a.m.  Some parents accompany their son or daughter to the bars. We didn’t. On Friday morning we were out scouting the campus to see where the big commencement was taking place  on Saturday morning while Alex was at a second job interview. That afternoon we went grocery shopping with the help of Alex and her boyfriend T.J. to prepare for a Graduation Eve barbecue for Alex and her friends.  They enjoyed our food and libations and we enjoyed meeting the friends who were in town. (Many not yet graduating had gone home for the summer or weekend).   Good news arrived for Alex. A job she wanted working as a patient care technician in a local dermatology office which will provide her with both steady employment and needed experience towards her goal of becoming a Physician’s Assistant (P.A.).  My dear friend Barbara, former college roommate and my West Coast sister, made the trip from L.A. with her husband Ron to be there on Alex’s special day. It was hot sitting up in the stadium bleachers and hot for Alex below. By the time she met up with us after the large ceremony she was grateful for water and a muffin.  (She was starving too.) After some picture taking, it was on to the smaller ceremony for the various departments, where the graduate’s  names are actually called and students are personally graduated by the head of their department. In Alex’s case, she graduated with a B.S. in Psychology from the College of Liberal Arts.  On her sheet she elaborated on her name by adding the words “Amazing” and “Meow”.  A few more photos and we returned to Alex’s house for brunch. (Plenty of food was leftover from the night before and just to make sure we had plenty, we stopped at the grocery with Ron & Barbara to buy more). There was time in the afternoon for rest and a swim before a celebratory dinner.  Sunday was Father’s Day. We spent the afternoon at Montaña de Oro State Park referred to in my captions as Los Osos, the community it is adjacent to on the coast. Monday, our last day with Alex, we spent part of the time at Avila a small beach front town 20 minutes away from San Luis Obispo and walked on the windy pier and beach.  Tuesday it was time to leave, early in the morning for a drive down the coast to LAX and our return flight. Hope to visit soon.

Shopping Three at graduation  Proud dadstadiumbefore  Los Osos Meow

Farewell to Blob’s Park; A Baltimore Legend and Annapolis Favorite Hang-out

Some "regulars" hanging out at the bar.
Some “regulars” hanging out at the bar.

Blob’s Park is closing in less than one month.   And I for one am going to miss its unique attributes. Where else could you go to get authentic German food, listen to live music, go waltzing across a dance floor and feel as if you’d stepped back in time to the 1960s?

Blobs

 In recent years, probably my husband Peter and I have not gone there nearly enough— but oh the memories!. A trip to Blobs Park, for many  patrons means polka dancing.  But there was so much else.  I remember visiting Blobs for an evening of dinner and dancing in the 1990’s and marveling at the wide variety of patrons. There would be women with beehive hairdo’s, men with rolled up short sleeves and crew cuts and entire wedding parties and anniversary parties set up at the various long banquet tables. Men and women still spry in their 80’s would be doing the jitterbug and the Lindy hop. Often I’d see small children sitting at some tables earlier in the evening, ready to dance along with Mom and Dad or not waiting and making up dances of their own.  On a Sunday afternoon there might be a band with an accordion playing  a variety of German and Polish folk dances and lots of folks out on the dance floor who knew all the patterns and steps.

Friends Doug and Wendy enjoying a dance!
Friends Doug and Wendy enjoying a dance!

Max Blob, opened Blob’s Park in 1928 as a private gathering place (think Speakeasy) It opened to the public in 1933.  He was known affectionately as “Onkle Max. “ In recent years Blobs has hosted Latin Bands, Country Music, and last Friday night it was a 1940s style Swing Band.  Unfortunately, despite the good music, the hall has become increasingly empty.

But that’s not why they are closing.

December 2012  and January 2013, 29 acres of Blobs Park land was sold to the Catholic Archdiocese of Baltimore. The plan is for a church and school to be built on the land but the current owner/manager Max Eggerl, who is a grandson of Max Blob, the original founder , thought he had a verbal agreement to keep occupying the Hall for a few more years. Evidently that is not to be. Blob’s Park will be closing at the end of the month. The last event at the hall that has seating for 1000 people, will be  “Our Last Polka and will feature Mike Surratt and The Continentals on March 30th

In the last few remaining weeks that Blob’s Park remains open, make a  pilgrimage and walk around the place. A bit of the spirit of “Onkle Max” still remains.

Blobs Park is located at the Intersection of the Baltimore-Washington Parkway and Route 1765 in Jessup, Maryland; just a short drive down the highway from the entrance to Fort Meade.   As the western part of Anne Arundel County continues to grow in density, another little piece of history is lost.Bar Band

Last DInner?
Last Dance at Blobs?

Annapolis April walking adventures

The tire tracks and the “X” for an eye seem to be appropriate for the chicken now positioned in the former location of “Chicken of the Sea” which has evidently been driven over too many times by negligent motorists to make a comeback. The next time you take a walk in Annapolis’s Arts and Entertainment District, keep your eyes on the lookout for added chickens. This project, sponsored by the Anne Arundel County Arts Council, is designed to raise awareness of the arts and ultimately to help raise more funds to support the arts in our schools.   It is probably not too soon to mark your calendar for the Walk in the Woods, an annual event that is co-sponsored by the Scenic Rivers Land Trust and the Anne Arundel Department of Recreation and Parks. Dogs on leashes are welcome after 10 a.m. and if you are looking for another dog walking opportunity attend the annual Walk for the Animals this weekend at Quiet Waters Park. Finally, if you haven’t visited my new Baltimore Girl Cooks by the Bay blog, check it out and sign up for an RSS feed. I’ll be posting delicious recipes and sharing colorful stories once a week.

The artist decorated chicken now on West Street near Lafayette Avenue
The artist decorated chicken now on West Street near Lafayette Avenue

the Scenic Rivers Land Trust is taking a hike at SERC ie the Smithsonian Evironmental Reserach Center in Edgewater. That’s the same trail I blogged about in January. Scenic Rivers Land Trust is a great organization and if you haven’t hiked the trail yet… you can join them  at the Contee Watershed Trail at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center (SERC) in Edgewater on Saturday, March 16th from 10 am to 11:30 am.
Stay and plant trees if you have time. The group has been invited by SERC to stay after the hike, or whenever it fits your schedule, for volunteer tree planting. SERC is seeking volunteers to plant an experimental forest called “BiodiversiTREE.”

Like the Scenic Rivers Land Trust on Facebook.  

“Looper” an excellent movie to rent

With so many great movies released in 2012, it is not surprising that there may have been a few gems that were overlooked. Probably one of the most original screenplays of the year, if you are a fan of science fiction and time travel, Looper was quickly cast aside after its release in September and is now readily available via blue ray and DVD.  I highly recommend it, and have already watched it twice, as there are many plot intricacies to ponder. So while you may be scrambling to see some of the 2012 Oscar winners still playing at the cinemas, you can see Looper at leisure while sitting on your couch.

While Looper was marketed by Sony as a Sci-fi action film, there are interesting nuances addressing culture and family relationships. Set in the future by just a few decades, everyone other than the homeless. own a gun and they use those guns to protect their home, cars, and anything else they value.  It’s too bad the film was not released closer to our current debate on gun control legislation. It’s every person for themselves in a society that ingest drugs through eye drops and lives for present self-gratification. But there is still the human desire for lasting love and commitment.  Written and directed by Rian Johnsons, lead actors include Bruce Willis, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and Emily Blunt. I highly recommend this film.

Car choice post accident…

Trying to choose a car...
Trying to choose a car…

It’s the first day of the month which should be a good thing, but evidently it is not a good thing if you are planning on buying a car. Did you know that the best time to buy a car is the end of the month when dealers are trying to reach their sales goal for that particular month? We learned that important fact yesterday, when my husband Peter Crilly and I  made a visit to our local Toyota dealer to look at cars.   There are many negatives to being in a major car accident and having your car totaled, one of which is having to go through the process of picking out a car when you had what you thought was a perfectly good vehicle, and in this case a vehicle less than one year old.  One thing I do not want to do is rush the process. This is a big decision.

I thought the mini cooper was awfully cool and cute and I do give it credit for withstanding the front end impact of a pick-up truck turning into it head-on at approximately 40 miles per hour, however my husband Peter has still not fully recovered from his head concussion and I certainly do not want him driving around in such a little car again. So we have been researching mid size cars, including the new larger size Prius. But then there is the price tag, with virtually no wiggle room.  I want him to look at a Jetta station wagon and he also wants to consider the Honda Cross Tour as well as look at some Fords and Chevrolets.  Everyone has an opinion, of course of which car is best.  The one requirement that Peter has, in addition to safety, is  that the car must be available in a bright popping blue. The reason for that is so he can decorate it again with the Nationwide Insurance logo. Advertising does work when cleverly used.

Trying to choose a car…