Scent of secession is in the air over closing of Spa Creek bridge


January 12, 1998|By Melinda Rice | Melinda Rice,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

THERE'S MORE THAN a saltwater tang in the air of Eastport these days. Visit the bay-front community, and you'll pick up the unmistakable scent of secession -- a whiff of eau de revolution.

Eastport, annexed by Annapolis in 1951, will "secede" from the state on Jan. 25 to protest a planned three-week closure of the bridge over Spa Creek.

Hours after the bridge is closed for repairs, a group of Eastport residents will declare the Maritime Republic of Eastport free of the bridge-closing tyranny of Annapolis and the State Highway Administration.

"Most other communities would panic when faced with this kind of situation," said Jefferson Holland, the republic's minister of propaganda. "We decided to rally together and help those businesses that are going to be hurt, that are going to lose foot traffic."

The mock secession is intended to draw people to Eastport via a circuitous Forest Drive route while the bridge is closed. It will feature events during the three-week closure that include an Independence Day rally, an armada to escort the new republic's ambassador to the mainland to attend an Annapolis city council meeting, a .05-K walk/run, and a reunification ball -- black tie and deck shoes required.

The "revolutionaries" have designed their own flag, composed an anthem, appointed government officials and designated a secret handshake. Passports will be issued that give discounts at 20 Eastport businesses.

Secessionist activities begin at 1 p.m. Jan. 25 on the Eastport side of the Spa Creek bridge. After burning copies of the $H annexation papers -- in effect, thumbing their noses at Annapolis -- revolutionaries and revelers will retreat to the Chart House restaurant for a benefit concert by Them Eastport Oyster Boys, the Eastport Chamberpot Orchestra and the Eastport Crabernacle Choir. The first day of secessionist activities will end by about 4 p.m.

"It's important that this be over in time to watch the Super Bowl," said Randy Morris, director of the Chamberpot group, which will perform at the reunification ball at 6 p.m. Feb. 13 at the Eastport Clipper restaurant.

Information: 410-268-6300.

First baby

Kalah Nicole Zeigler, the first baby born in Anne Arundel County this year, is home from the hospital and thrilling her parents each day.

"She's just developing so many different character traits -- it's amazing," dad Willie Zeigler, 38, collections manager for Annapolis Bank and Trust, said last week.

Kalah made her grand entrance at 8: 02 a.m. Jan. 1 at the Anne Arundel Medical Center's Rebecca M. Clatanoff Pavilion in Parole. She joins brother Keian Jamel, 4; her dad; and mom, Alicia Parker Zeigler, 34, a mortgage loan specialist with Columbia National Inc., at their Annapolis home.

Vacation prize

Annapolitan Virginia Birkett got a nifty Christmas present from .. Family Circle. The magazine notified her shortly before the holiday that she had won a four-day, three-night vacation for two to the 1998 Family Circle Magazine Cup Tennis Tournament in Hilton Head, S.C.

"It was a Christmas surprise," said the 12-year resident of Annapolis.

Birkett, 36, plans to take her husband, Dave, 61, and will pay the way for their 2-year-old son, Weston, and his baby sitter.

Pub Date: 1/12/98

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