Characters

Berlin Character of the Day: Linda Harrison

    The Sun and Surf Cinema in Ocean City has slated a bit of Way Back Machine fun for the evening of Wednesday, July 27, 2016. They will be screening the classic 1968 version of “The Planet of the Apes,” starring Charlton Heston, Roddy McDowell, Kim Hunter, and Linda Harrison. That last name may not be as familiar to some of you as the…
CharactersWay Back Machine

St. Michaels Character of the Day: The Crazy Life of James Michener, Millionaire & Cheapskate

  The novel Chesapeake was published on June 12, 1978, which makes the weekend when I am posting this piece the 38th anniversary of its appearance. By the time that book appeared, James Michener was already famous the world over. We are talking here about a guy who sold 75 million books during his lifetime. His works were translated into 50 languages. He gave a $13 million gift…
CharactersWay Back Machine

The “Socialite” Whose Art Celebrates the Life of Eastern Shore African Americans Back in the Day

    Ruth Starr Rose The story of Ruth Starr Rose is full of bold and interesting turns. Born in the Midwest in 1887, she moved to the Eastern Shore at twentyish years old when her parents bought a dilapidated wreck of a mansion called Hope House in Talbot County. The place was chock full of history—members of the Lloyd and Tilghman families had called it…
CharactersWay Back Machine

The Story Behind Wild West Sharpshooter Annie Oakley’s Time on the Eastern Shore

    Sharpshooters Annie Oakley and Frank Butler were already famous stars by the time they found their way to Maryland’s Eastern Shore back in 1912. In fact, they were ready at that point to call it a career and retire altogether from the traveling-Wild-West-show business. From what I’ve read, it was Butler’s idea to settle on the Shore. After visiting Cambridge on one of their…
CharactersWay Back Machine

Uncle Nace’s Day: A Shore Tradition for 151 years and Counting

    There are a couple of different places along Route 50 between Easton and Cambridge to stop and consider the fascinating life of Nathaniel “Nace” Hopkins, a native son whose journey began in slavery and included stints in jail and the Union Army before he launched one of the oldest and sweetest civic traditions on the Delmarva Peninsula—Uncle Nace’s Day. Click on the cover…
CharactersNatural Wonders

Who could mistake a manatee for a mermaid? Capt. John Smith, for one.

    On July 12, 2015, there was a confirmed manatee sighting in the coastal waters off of Ocean City. That was the first such sighting in nine years, according to experts at the National Aquarium. Manatee sightings in the waters of the Chesapeake Bay are more frequent, usually coming in at the rate of one every year. These cuddly-looking mammals have been compared by some…
CharactersWay Back Machine

CHINCOTEAGUE CHARACTER OF THE DAY: Decoy-Carving Legend Miles Hancock

The amazing life that Miles Hancock led could never have unfolded the way it did if he had lived anyplace else in the world. Born in Williamsville, Delaware in 1887, he was one of four children in a farming family. When he was seven, his parents moved to Chincoteague.   Miniature Black Duck by Miles Hancock That’s when things got tough. First, his mother died.…
CharactersDestinations

The Freedom House in Cambridge

The story of this fabulous piece of folk art begins with my friend Branden Spear. A young home-improvement contractor in Cambridge, he got locked up in a dispute with the officials on a local historic-preservation board about whether he could use a certain type of window on the hard-to-see back side of this house. First, the decision got delayed over and over and over again.…
December 5, 2014