Imagine photo of local heroes' fan here

Neighbors

July 19, 1999|By Jeff Holland | Jeff Holland,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

I'm glad this isn't one of those columns where they have a mug shot of the writer up by the headline. It seems as though the picture rarely matches what the columnist writes about. Sure, there's Dave Barry, whose goofy-looking mug is fairly consistent with his topics. One look at that face and you're not surprised to read about boogers and spontaneous livestock explosions. In fact, over time, you come to expect it.

But then there's a newspaper columnist known as "Dr. Laura," whose picture sports a grin that beams from ear to ear. Seeing that domineering smile, you'd expect to read nothing but cheerful, upbeat advice. Yet, that's not what you get all the time. Sometimes, Dr. Laura chooses serious topics to write about, and sometimes she seems downright cranky. At those times, the cheery face that accompanies the column seems oddly out of place.

Now, television news anchors have the advantage of being able to update their expressions to suit every topic. They all have Dr. Laura-style smiley faces for upbeat, happy news; but then they also have concerned faces for serious news, and downright frowny faces for really glum news. These expressive faces are important, because without them, the viewers might catch on to the fact that few of the stories they see on TV news shows are actually worth the time it takes to sit there and watch them.

Maybe columnists like Dr. Laura should take a hint from the TV people. She could provide several mug shots so the editor can select one with an expression that best suits the tone of her piece for any given day. That way, readers can decide at a glance if they want to take the time to read the column.

Now, if my picture were up there above this column now, you'd see a big bulge over one side of my beard from my tongue being planted so firmly in my cheek.

And then there would be a shamefaced mug shot of me for neglecting to mention deserving people in last week's column about the Fourth of July festivities in Annapolis.

Fred Paone, a state's attorney for Anne Arundel County, puts in countless hours of his own time making the fireworks happen every year. And Tom Roskelly, public information officer for Annapolis, works diligently to make the parade run smoothly. Then there were literally dozens of individuals like Doug Lamborne, who organized the Eastport contingent of the parade.

It's folks like that who, through their volunteer efforts, make America great.

A new-fashioned reunion

Claudia Evans of Eastport reports that she's going to welcome her long-lost Canadian cousins to America this weekend. After a separation of more than 50 years, she rediscovered them on the Internet.

"My father was one of six Dougherty kids whose father was an Irish immigrant to Canada," she says. "My father moved from Canada to the States in the late 1940s, and after that, we lost track of his siblings."

About a year ago, Claudia looked up the Dougherty family on the Internet, left a message on a message board and heard from a first cousin she never knew existed. "We've all been communicating by e-mail since then," Claudia says.

"We decided to have a reunion here in Annapolis. There will be about 30 of us gathering at Mear's Marina in Eastport. They're coming from as far away as Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal to meet me, my husband, Ed, our kids and grandchildren, and my brother, who's coming in from New Mexico."

Claudia says they call each other "cyber-cousins."

City Dock fun

Tom Wisner will appear with Them Eastport Oyster Boys at Annapolis City Dock at 7: 30 p.m. Wednesday for a concert of Chesapeake Bay songs and stories.

Tom is an award-winning educator and storyteller who uses songs to share his love of the bay and those who make their living upon it. His material is held in the archives of the Smithsonian Institution. Them Eastport Oyster Boys are banjo player Kevin Brooks and myself on the baritone uke.

The concert, part of the Wednesday evening Celebrate 350 Summer Concert Series, is free. It's set against the backdrop of the hundreds of sailboats participating in the Annapolis Yacht Club's Wednesday night races. Bring a lawn chair and enjoy the music and scenery.

Information: 410-222-1086.

Pub Date: 7/19/99

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