Spy Maryland Journal: 50 Years of Running for the Byrons at the JFK Challenge


Editor’s note: Even the Spy knows it can be a healthy thing to leave the Eastern Shore once in awhile to understand the unique character and personalities of the entire State of Maryland. We’ll therefore be periodically driving over the Bay Bridge to do just that to see what’s happening on the other side.

In many ways, Kimball Byron’s attempt last weekend to complete his 50th year running all 50 miles in the John F. Kennedy Memorial Challenge had very little to do with winning or finishing one of this country’s most grueling competitions. While that might have been his desired outcome, the passion for this run, named after the former president’s physical fitness challenge to complete a 50 mile trip in less than 12 hours, the real reason the Washington College graduate, and now a commercial airline pilot, makes run each year is all about honoring his family.

Starting in 1967, when his father Goodloe, then a Maryland State Senator, first ran the race, the Byron family has made the JFK Run a family tradition. This ritual began in 1968 when the father and son started running the race in 1968 when Kimball was only twelve years old.

Sadly, Goodloe Byron, then a US Congressman for Maryland’s 6th District, was the victim of a massive heart attack in 1978 at the age of 49 years old. The continuation of the racing tradition only grew stronger with his son over the next forty years, even to the point of getting special leave for a few days during the first Gulf War, where he was on active duty with the U.S. Air Force.

And over the years, Kimball also encouraged his own two sons (with wife Hannah serving as the support team) to join him on the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal Trail, and the oldest, Phillip, joined his father last week in Western Maryland to run with him for the 5oth anniversary.

The Spy talked to Kimball a month before the November race on running the punishing race as a boy, the challenges of JFK Run, and the subtle pride he has in keeping the Byrons in the Race.

This video is approximately four minutes in length.

Mid-Shore Health: The Goal of Control at the End of Life


There is little doubt that one of the paramount issues for those facing the last phase of their lives is one of control. From such things as pain management to document the end of life wishes with family members, the patient is eager to control as much of the process as possible.

And one of their primary allies in maintaining that control is working with their local hospice as early as possible. That is the central message we received when talking to Talbot Hospice’s medical director, Mary DeShields, and its executive director, Vivian Dodge when talking to the Spy the other day.

With the national average hospice care period lasting only two to three weeks, the options and time for solid planning are minimal. That is why Mary and Vivian are strong advocates for patients and families to enter into hospice care almost immediately after a terminal diagnosis, which allows up to six months for them to prepare appropriately and guarantee the most comfortable end of life strategies possible.

This long-range approach also applies to palliative care which takes of those between acute care and end of life care. This stage for those with a chronic illness this is likely to result in death also requires a multidisciplinary management approach that, like hospice, is directed around the wishes of the patient and dramatically improve their day-to-day quality of life.

That is the primary reason that Talbot Hospice has been taking steps this year to strengthen their palliative care role with a new initiative to work more closely with community physicians and their patients.  By adding the local hospice team, both doctors and those under their care can greatly benefit patients with symptoms, and the emotional side of these serious chronic conditions.

The Spy sat down with Mary and Vivian at Talbot Hospice last week for a brief discussion of these issues.

This video is approximately seven minutes in length. For more information about Talbot Hospice please go here

Mid-Shore Careers: Mental Health Careers Found at Channel Marker


While the demand on the Mid-Shore to fill skilled job openings has never been higher, especially in such fields as cyber-security, healthcare, or a range of traditional trades from welding to culinary management, it was interesting for the Spy to note that there are still career openings for what is known as generalists. These well-educated, “jacks of all trades, masters of none” young people have demonstrated their ability to achieve in their coursework in education, but sometimes not with a clear vocation in mind when it’s completed.

But one option open to many that fall into this category is in the growing field of mental health, and that is indeed the case with Channel Marker, Inc. which serves the Mid-Shore region helping those suffering from a variety of these conditions.

The Spy sat down with two of Channel Marker’s staff who have found themselves in a profession they have not only grown to love but offers significant opportunities for career advancement. Heather Chance, a residential coordinator with the organization, and Kelly Holden, its HR and training director, to talk about their rewarding careers helping those with these afflictions navigate back into being productive citizens in the community, their professional growth, and the opportunities that await other to follow in their footsteps.

This video is approximately five minutes in length. For more information about Channel Marker and review the list of job openings go here


Mid-Shore Arts: Troika Gallery’s Laura Era on Starting Anew


The common Russian definition of the word “troika” refers to three horses abreast pulling a sleigh. That seemed to be the perfect name for Laura Era, her mother Dorothy, and their artist friend, Jennifer Heyd Wharton, when the trio opened their gallery in Talbottown twenty-one years ago. Since that time, the Troika Galley has become one of the great success stories of downtown Easton with their remarkable display of fine art from some of the country’s leading artists.

But like all things in life, let alone in the art gallery world, things do change, and the Troika Gallery was not spared that fate when Laura Era had to work through the almost simultaneous death of her mother and Jennifer’s decision to give up her share in the gallery since retiring to South Carolina. Within the span of less than two weeks, Troika had actually become a one-horse tarantass or a single horse-drawn carriage in Russian.

Nonetheless, with store manager Peg Fitzgerald at her side, Laura decided to keep Troika Gallery’s doors open. And, as she notes in our recent Spy interview, it was not a hard decision given what the three partners had achieved; a space of unique serenity, a remarkable collection of artists, and a gathering space for collectors and art lovers alike.

The Spy sat down with Laura this week to get an update.

This video is approximately two minutes in length. Troika will have a special anniversary group show opening and reception on November 9. For more information please go here


LVW Forum: Colvin vs. Harris vs. Martin


There was only standing room only at the Talbot County Free Library auditorium Sunday afternoon as the League of Women Voters hosted a lively forum with the major candidates in the 1st Congressional District race. Democrat Jesse Colvin, incumbent Andy Harris, and libertarian Party Jenica Martin gathered in Easton for the second face-off sponsored by the nonpartisan voter education organization.

The Spy was there to capture the complete answers to LWV questions as well as submitted questions from audience members. As with all LWV forums, there were time limitations placed on all candidate answers and participants were asked in advance to restrict their remarks to those questions rather than address/attack their opponents.

This video is approximately one hour and three minutes in length

Academy Art Museum Craft Show 2018 Preview: Chestertown’s Rob Glebe


One of the challenges of covering the annual Academy Art Museum Craft Show is the mere fact that they have well over seventy participants on display. And this makes it nearly impossible to describe the range and unique work that will be shown in Easton form October 19 to October 21,
All one can humbly do is to grab a few of these gifted artists for short chats about their work in the hope that putting the spotlight on just a few may help the Spy reader begin to understand the remarkable work the AAM show attracts every year.
So the Spy just did that. In this case, we grabbed artist Rob Glebe in Chestertown at his shared gallery space at Create to talk briefly about his work and his journey from being a tool and die maker to the creator of elegant art and sculpture.
This video is approximately two minutes in length. For more information about Academy Art Museum Craft Show please go here.

Spy Moment: Adkins Arboretum Plays in the Meadow


The weather gods were watching out for Adkins Arboretum last Saturday night for its annual Magic in the Meadow gala; an event far more dependent on good weather than most, given it celebrates the 400-acre native garden and preserve.

The gift of a perfect, cool evening was awarded that evening as guests enjoyed the hoop dance performance by Baltimore artist Melissa Newman and the jazz of the Peter Revell Band, while Adkins friends and supporters lined up for hiking trails, tours, plant shopping, and auction bidding all accompanied by a Piazza-sponsored dinner and wine selection.

The Spy was there with a camera to capture this reconnaissance video.

This video is approximately one minute in length. For more information about Adkins Arboretum please go here.


Spy Spotlight: Shore Explorations with Patrick Rogan


Most of Patrick Rogan’s professional life is that of a designer of exhibitions for museums. His work, at that of his firm, assemble, works collaboratively with those institutions to tell compelling stories through images and other multimedia tools. The results of which can been seen in such nationally known museums as the , National Building Museum, Carnegie Institution for Science, or the Maryland Science Center, and more locally with the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum, Eastern Shore Land Conservancy, Horn Point Laboratories, the Talbot Historical Society, and Stories of the Chesapeake Heritage Area and Historic Easton.

But through the process of developing these installations, Patrick also saw that these techniques could also apply directly to the learning process of children. The act of gathering material, doing research, and designing presentations of findings fits exceptionally well in a new era for the modern classroom, where students can use the same tools to examine the past, present, and future of the Mid-Shore.

Drawing from the life and legacy of Talbot County’s Frederick Douglass, Rogan is working closely with Talbot County Public Schools, the Frederick Douglass Honor Society, and the Talbot Historical Society during his Bicentennial year on two week interpretive workshops with local sixth and seventh graders, and TCPS teachers Colin Stibbins and Kyndell Rainer, to lead them through an exploration of our history, ecosystem, and culture to seek a better understanding of their past, present and future on the Mid-Shore.

The Spy talked to Patrick at the Waterfowl Building last week about Shore Explorations one month studio where participants will be using the legacy of Douglass and some of the Talbot Historical Society’s remarkable photographs as essential tools in sharing their hopes for the future for our area.

This video is approximately three minutes in length. We have also added clips of a video that the students created this summer as another example of Shore Explorations special approach. For more information about Shore Explorations please go here.




Mid-Shore Goes Purple in Caroline County Schools with Superintendent Patricia Saelens


While all ages, all races, all incomes, and all education levels are being fully impacted by the opioid crisis on the Mid-Shore, perhaps the most pain caused by this epidemic are on its kids. Whether it be the actual death of a parent of a drug overdose, the fear that a living parent may be at risk of dying,  or the ongoing stress of living in a home where a relative is using drugs, it is the children who may suffer the most. And nowhere is that felt more than in a small county school district like Caroline County.

Dr. Patricia Saelens, who has been with the Caroline School District for close to three decades, thought she had seen the worst when she noticed the devastation on students caused by alcohol abuse. That was also true when cocaine invaded the county a few years later but never before has Dr. Saelens faced something as horrific as this current wave of fentanyl-laced drugs and other opioids.

The Spy talked recently to the superintendent on the drug crisis impact on Caroline County schools and how educators play a pivotal role in helping kids and their families, while also joining forces with community partners on prevention and awareness.

This video is approximately four minutes in length. For more information about Caroline County Public Schools please go here.