For Bob Jackson, true success is often measured by the 0) yard
For Bob Jackson, there's pleasant living in the Wilderness.
His wilderness, however, happens not to be Daniel Boone territory but a landscaping business in Finksburg named after the great outdoors.
"Landscaping is what I've loved since I was a kid," explains Mr. Jackson, 36, president-elect of the Landscape Contractors Association, a trade organization of 350 concerns in Maryland, Washington and Virginia.
Praised throughout the industry for his creativity, he gives much of the credit to his mother, who allowed him to use her Rodgers Forge yard as, literally, his testing ground.
He planted rose bushes there, built a brick patio and tore up the lawn, all in the name of learning his craft. At 17 -- armed with a lawn mower, his Towson High diploma and $3,600 -- he ventured out on his own.
Today, annual revenues exceed $1 million and 22 employees juggle dozens of projects.
Working sunup to sundown, however, leaves him little time to relax with his wife or tinker in the perennial garden of the couple's Owings Mills home.
"It's in full bloom," he says proudly. "Oh, I could go on for hours about it."
Dianaruthe Wharton describes her work as "think music with a beat."
With her debut album, "African Pop from the New World," the singer-composer-producer gives listeners plenty to think about. Through a style blending jazz, blues and pop, she takes on life's thornier subjects: drug addiction, teen pregnancy, parental guilt.
"Everything I'm saying is food for thought, but there are rhythms there," says Ms. Wharton, who in the youth-oriented music market keeps mum about her age.
After graduating from Howard University in Washington with a music degree, she wrote music for the Broadway production, "For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow Is Enuf."
But by the early '80s, she had tired of New York and left for Senegal to study music and get "a very big dose of African roots."
She has returned to her own West Baltimore roots now, where she lives with her husband and 4-year-old daughter. Next month, she'll be performing at Artscape, and this fall she begins a 10-city tour.
Have someone to suggest for Sunday Snapshots? Write Mary Corey, Baltimore Sun, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore, Md. 21278, or call (301) 332-6156.