Archery enthusiast modestly takes a bow
As a champion archer he's traveled the United States competing in tournaments. Though he placed second in the Mid-Atlantic Regional Archery Championship this year and first in the Maryland competition, 51-year-old Haywood Nichols is modest about his achievements.
When called the "Best in Maryland," the White Marsh resident chuckles and praises other archers in the region.
Almost every day for the past 20 years, Mr. Nichols has practiced archery. A member of the National Professional Archery Association, he is devoted to the sport. Mr. Nichols, who works at the General Motors plant on Broening Highway, spends so much time on the archery range near his house that the site is like his second home.
"I enjoy the challenge and try to stay active," Mr. Nichols says.
The Baltimore native first became interested in archery when he was a boy. "When I was a child, I made homemade bows and tried to shoot them.
"When I became a man and got into hunting," Mr. Nichols explains, "I took an interest in archery because it gave me a longer hunting season."
An avid hunter, Mr. Nichols goes to the Green Ridge and Savage Mountains in Western Maryland or the Eastern Shore to hunt 30 or 40 times during the season.
The sport helped Mr. Nichols endure one of the most difficult times in his life, the death of his son six years ago. Over the years, he explains, "I've had ups and downs. Sometimes I try to forget, but through archery I feel more secure [about myself]."
Even at this high point in his life, Mr. Nichols has bigger plans for his considerable skill:
"One of my goals is to teach children archery," he says.
You can find several clues to Haydee Rodriguez's job in her City Hall office. The photo of her boss, Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke, with Henry G. Cisneros, secretary for Housing and Urban Affairs. The Spanish dictionary handy to her desk. And what may be the only copy of the Paginas Amarillas (Yellow Pages) in all of City Hall.
At 29, Ms. Rodriguez is the mayor's liaison to the Hispanic community, the only person to hold the position created four years ago. In another city -- New York, Washington, Los Angeles, Miami, San Antonio -- she would never be noticed. In Baltimore, the soft-spoken young woman is something of a standout, even if it has been her hometown for more than half her life.
She estimates the city's Latino population is 15,000 to 25,000; some activists put it as high as 40,000. It is, largely, an immigrant population, drawn from El Salvador, Mexico, Puerto Rico and other countries. Inevitably, translating is a big part of her job, whether writing a list of services or running a meeting.
Born in Guatemala City, the daughter of an attorney, Ms. Rodriguez was almost 13 when she arrived in Baltimore, the city where her grandmother had settled in the early 1960s. She spoke no English, so her Catholic junior high school became a de facto immersion program.
A voracious reader, she was one of the top students by year's end. After graduation from Seton High School, she stayed here for college, studying philosophy at Loyola.
She thought about pursuing an advanced degree in philosophy or joining the Peace Corps. But a job in the mayor's station in Highlandtown convinced her that a public-policy job combined the best of both worlds.
"Philosophy is about what it means to be human," she says. "I would like to think what I'm doing is making a difference, however slight."