To Market, To Market…
With Thanksgiving in the rear mirror, can the holiday gift giving season be far behind? This year, you have the option of “giving the gift of Maryland” in the form of my illustrated new book Hidden Maryland: In Search of America in Miniature. It’s a collection of timely and timeless columns, features and profiles I wrote for the late great Maryland Life magazine. It offers an intimate look at the Free State of Maryland, in all its colorful diversity, of geography, of culture, of people — from the Eastern Shore and Chesapeake all the way west to Appalachia. It presents a vivid cross-section of our country within the oddly-configured boundaries of the 9th smallest state. To order, click here.
Those profiled include film and noir novelist George Pelecanos (The Wire, ‘Treme, The Deux, and others), wine guru Robert Parker, and the late Tony Mendez, the real life spymaster portrayed by Ben Affleck in ARGO, the 2012 Oscar-winning best picture. Read about curling south of the Canadian border, behind-the-scenes at the Preakness, Black watermen–a vanishing breed, the hapless Baltimorean who was the last American to die in World War I, the hidden monument to the unlucky Union crew of the S.S. Tulip who died in a forgotten naval disaster on the Potomac in 1864.
The 276-page book is available exclusively on Amazon, in either e-book or paperback form (currently with a 9% discount). To order, click here. If you love this book as much as I did creating it, please rate and review it on Amazon and Goodreads. It’s all about algorithms, I am learning.
But don’t take my word for it. Here’s what John Kelly, longtime Washington Post local columnist (and my onetime editor on the Post Weekend section), blurbed for Hidden Maryland:
“If Maryland is for crabs, then Gene Meyer is for Maryland. He’s visited every corner of the state. That’s no easy task, given how squiggly Maryland’s border is in places. And after decades spent plumbing every nook and cranny — from seashore to mountain — Gene reveals a simple truth: Maryland’s greatest natural resource is its people.”
Streaming Soon: History Conversations
Join me for a Zoom webinar on “Hidden Maryland: In Search of America in Miniature” at 2 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 13, as part of the Montgomery County Historical Society’s (AKA Montgomery History) “History Conversations” series. To learn more, click here . Next week’s program is on the roots of modern Bethesda. Registration (free) for “Hidden Maryland” will be up next: “Gene Meyer has spent decades exploring every nook and cranny — from the Eastern Shore to Appalachia — of Maryland, first for The Washington Post and then for Maryland Life magazine. History is always an essential ingredient of his work, and people and places in Montgomery County are part of the mix. In his new book Hidden Maryland: In Search of America in Miniature, and in History Conversations, Meyer shares some of his favorites. For “History Conversations” he will talk about his travels and how he became the Charles Karalt of Maryland.
More Future events: Lunch and Learn, St. Michaels Library, 12 p.m. Feb. 6., FIVE FOR FREEDOM, in person; and Chester County, Pa. History Center, Zoom, March 14, 7-8 p.m., FIVE FOR FREEDOM, but focus on Osborne Perry Anderson, the sole survivor of John Brown’s 1859 raid on Harper’s Ferry.
Stolen Silver: Nazi Plunder and the Unfinished Quest for Restitution
Check out the new issue of B’nai B’rith Magazine with a remarkable cover story on efforts to recover items the Nazis stole from Austrian and German Jews in 1939 and the renewed efforts to return them to their rightful owners or heirs. The story came about through serendipity. One of the heirs turned out to be a longtime family friend and neighbor whose boys grew up with ours in Silver Spring, Maryland. At dinner one night at her home she told the story, and bingo! My wife Sandra said it sounds like a story for your magazine (of which I’ve been the editor since December 2009). I knew just the reporter for it: Dina Gold, whose book Stolen Legacy, also adapted for our magazine in 2019, told of her own efforts to obtain reparations for a commercial building and business in Berlin the Nazis seized from her family. Dina rose to the challenge, and items belonging to many of the families — including our friend’s family’s silver cup — have been or are being restituted.
Also in the magazine is a fun story about a retired Jewish educator in Van Nuys, California, who collects menorahs. Not just a few menorahs but 350 aty the latest count. The collector is an old camp friend of my wife’s, so Sandy gets another also contributing credit here. The menorah story begins on page 29. I also direct your attention to a student-written essay on the alarming rise of anti-Semitism, starting on page 25. My Editor’s Note is on page 2.
Right? The latest verbal tic
So…. an adverb or conjunction, overused to start a sentence, as if one is about to state a conclusion based on a preceding thought or sentence which may not exist. Except in colloquial usage, so seemed to be a transition into something from nothing. But “so ” is suddenly so out, right? Right? serves as a quick affirmation with which the listener is presumed to agree, no room for argument, right? It’s usually spoken very quickly, as if not to allow time for a reply, rejoinder or response. For fun, try interjecting “wrong!” if you can get the word in edgewise. Funny how these words pop in and out of, like usage. Then there is absolutely! spoken with an exclamation point to provide an affirmative answer to a question, and leaving no doubt. Are you tired of such verbal tics? Absolutely!