Annapolis

Posted by Ellen

It's payday for midshipmen at the U.S. Naval Academy, Annapolis, Maryland, in 1905.

Posted by Ellen

Area of Refuge is a technical term associated with the Americans for Disabilities Act, identifying places where people in wheelchairs can wait for extra assistance during an emergency.

For example, say there's a fire in a multi-story elevator building. In response to the fire alarm, the  elevators stop operating normally, and able-bodied people have to exit via stairwells or outside fire escapes. People in wheelchairs are supposed to follow illuminated signs to an Area of Refuge on each floor, usually near the elevator or stairwell, where extra fire resistance has been built into the walls and extra communication equipment is available. Once comunication is established, first responders can locate people in the refuge and rescue them, by overriding the elevator stoppage if possible or by carrying people down the stairs if necessary.

It makes sense, but for reasons unknown to me, Area of Refuge signs are seen very rarely; they're either not there at all in most buildings, or they're so inconspicuous I never notice them.

In fact, this sign in the Double T Diner in Annapolis, Maryland, is the first I've ever seen, which is why I took the picture. I had no idea what it meant and speculated that the worried look on the face of the guy in this picture might suggest he is desperately seeking his own personal place of refuge.

Now that I've studied up on this stuff, I'm still a little confused. The Double T Diner is a one-story, ground-level-only restaurant. What's the need for a Disability-Act area of refuge in a one-story building?

Posted by Ellen

There's an uninteresting explanation for Norman's attire on Commissioning Day in Annapolis, but . . . . But nothing, really.

Posted by Ellen

One evening about a month ago, after a long day in the sun, Maggie and Colin weren't posing for a picture on a dock in the Eastport neighborhood of Annapolis.

Posted by Ellen

Cap'n Norman takes the helm of the schooner Woodwind last week in the Chesapeake Bay near Annapolis.

As sunset approached, the breeze was perfect for sailboat racing in the Severn River, just off the bay. Woodwind raced her sister ship, Woodwind II, and whupped her.

Posted by Ellen

A few minutes after commencement and commissioning last Friday, in the parking lot outside the Naval Academy's football stadium in Annapolis, Maryland, the new ensign in his choker whites and shades got his first salute, from midshipman Aaron Kalil, who still has a year to go until his own graduation and commissioning.

Per tradition, the new ensign bought this first salute, handing Aaron a silver dollar.

Ensign Stein now begins five years of active duty in the navy. Midshipman Kalil begins a year as captain of the U.S. Naval Academy wrestling team. There was champagne all around.

Posted by Ellen

Every April, the town of Annapolis, Maryland, gears up for the annual croquet match between the Midshipmen of the Naval Academy and the Johnnys of the small liberal arts college across the street, St. John's.

Although the Naval Academy is an athletic powerhouse and St. John's is a haven for bookworms, the Johnnys routinely win the contest. But there is a non-athletic dimension to the event as well: costuming.

Spectators from both colleges show up in Gatsby-esque 1920s attire, notably including hats. And the St. John's team dresses in different uniforms every year, top secret till the day of the game.

This year, the Johnnys' secret uniform was . . . the same as the Naval Academy uniform, white pants with letter sweaters. The two teams were distinguishable, however, because the midshipmen wore shiny white dress shoes while the Johnnys wore whatever shoes they felt like wearing.

St. John's won, 3-1.

Posted by Ellen

Here we see yet another branch of the family, a cast of characters with international flair: my cousin Susan, at left, who lives near Toronto, Ontario; her daughter Erica, who is working on her doctorate in archaeology at Oxford University in England; and Susan's mother Ethel, who lives in Annapolis, Maryland.

Erica's research at Oxford focuses on what people ate in antiquity. She collects seeds and other plant materials from archaeological digs in the Middle East and and analyzes them in the lab to learn about their role in ancient diets.

This picture was taken a few months ago at Ethel's ninetieth birthday celebration. She is a young and active ninety, taking after her mother, who lived to be a young and active one hundred.

 

Posted by Ellen

In 1930, a lacrosse team made up of players from both Oxford and Cambridge toured the United States, taking on all comers and thrashing them. Apparently, many of the Oxford-Cambridge stickmen were Americans studying abroad, including a number of Rhodes Scholars who had excelled at lacrosse during their undergraduate years.

Only one American team beat Oxford-Cambridge that season: the St. Johnnies from Annapolis, Maryland, shown here in short-shorts posing with the jacketed Englishmen in front of Washington, D.C.'s Central High School, where the game was played. St. John's won, 7-0.

St. John's College is now a super-intellectual "great books" school where students study the classics in the original Greek and have no time for intercollegiate sports. Every year, however, they do schedule one game against the athletic powerhouse located across the street from their campus in Annapolis, and they usually win handily. The game they play is croquet, and their opponents are the midshipmen of the U.S. Naval Academy, who complain that the Johnnies have all year to practice croquet, while midshipmen have to march and run and shine shoes and do all that other time-consuming navy stuff.

Posted by Ellen

At the Naval Academy, all the students, even the wrestlers, are required to attend all the home football games, They march in uniform from campus out to the stadium, where they parade onto the field by company and then march up into the stands, where they stand, literally, on their feet throughout the game. When Navy scores, plebes race down into the end zone and do pushups, one for each point scored.

But on parents' weekend, some of the students drift on out of the midshipmen's section of the stands to sit with their families like regular people--assuming that "regular people" is a fair term for lightweight wrestler Allen Stein and his good friend Mike Landis, the wrestling team's heavyweight. Mike was captain of his high school football team before limiting his energies to wrestling at the college level, but even without him in the lineup the Midshipmen did well last Saturday, beating Louisiana Tech 32-14.

In acknowledging the victory, the Academy superintendent awarded all the midshipmen an extra hour of liberty Saturday night, till 1 a.m. The wrestlers wasted that hour with the best of them.