Tidewater Times

Dr. Margot Miller to Discuss Pulitzer Prize-Winning Novel at Easton Library

On Wednesday, September 25, from 1:00 – 3:00 p.m., in the Easton branch of the Talbot County Free Library, Margot Miller, Ph.D., will lead a discussion of Richard Powers’ Pulitzer Prize-winning “thesis novel,” “The Overstory … and its understories. Advance notice of the talk is given now to provide interested patrons the time to check out and read Powers’ book (which, at 512 pages, may take a little while). Miller has titled her talk

“The Lure of the Immediate Advantage.”

Miller offers the following synopsis to engage readers:

“Richard Powers’ ‘The Overstory,’ winner of the 2019 Pulitzer Prize for fiction, is very obviously a thesis novel.  On the first page the voice of a tree chides the human reader, ‘Your kind never sees us whole. You miss the half of it, and more,’ making the cliché of missing the forest for the trees the guiding metaphor of this novel and announcing the plight of forests and planted trees alike in our contemporary climate, if not the entire Anthropocene to date, as the subject of the novel.  Powers’ thesis is that modern humans, lured by the immediate advantage of temporary comfort, are rendering the planet uninhabitable (at least for themselves) and a significant portion of this destruction is due to the loss of forests and the diminished oxygen/CO2 exchange required for human habitation that results.  Powers’ narrator muses later, ‘We’re cashing in a billion years of planetary savings bonds and blowing it on assorted bling. And … why [is] this so easy to see when you’re by yourself in a cabin on a hillside, and almost impossible to believe once you step out of the house and join several billion other folks doubling down on the status quo.’

 “Powers’ thesis about the roles of trees and humans in planetary history is not original; many modern thinkers, scientists, and philosophers, not to mention observant nature-lovers, have voiced these concerns for scores of years if not longer, but his novel emerges late in the second decade of the twenty-first century just in time to wonder if it will, a hundred years from now, be one more example of the thesis/philosophical novel in the tradition of Voltaire and Diderot, or simply the last. Will we even be reading novels a century from now, let alone studying the specific genre of the thesis novel or debating the literary qualities of this one in particular?  And will it be its literariness or its science that compels its inclusion in the canon of twenty-first century works? Indeed, we might ask if the Pulitzer Prize is awarded for the quality of the fiction or for the urgency of its message.

  “Perhaps even more interesting than either the construction of the novel or the science on which it relies is the more subtle question raised by one of the book’s main characters: What is the lure of the immediate advantage to the individual in the crowd, specifically to not act on the assumption that someone else will do it, and what does it take to resist this complacency?”

           Miller has taught literature classes at Chesapeake College’s Institute for Adult Learning and at the Academy for Lifelong Learning. She has also spoken to private book clubs on various titles, particularly those by French authors. The library discussion will include a short introduction by Miller and a handout/schema of Power’s novel and main characters, with questions both for and from participants about the literariness of the work, the science fundamental to its thesis, and the deeper questions buried in the text concerning the confrontation between human nature and Nature itself.

Readers are encouraged to allow sufficient time to consider Powers’ 512-page novel, and may want to have a look at “The Hidden Life of Trees” by Peter Wolleben as well. Miller will also touch on Annie Proulx’s “Barkskins,” a 700-page read, so a good summer reading list for those interested.

All library programs are free and open to the public.  Patrons do not need to pre-register to attend this discussion.  For more information, please call the library at 410-822-1626, or visit www.tcfl.org.

Appliance Distributors Unlimited

Appliance Distributors Unlimited and The Appliance Source announced today that they have merged into one company effective immediately. The Company unveiled a new name for the group: ADU.

The company was founded in 1982 by Thomas Oliff, a pioneer in the industry. He successfully ran Appliance Distributors Unlimited with integrity, a strong commitment to community, and showrooms staffed with industry experts. Sadly, he passed away in 2017. His daughters – Linda Oliff-Rohleder and Christy Oliff, who were brought up in the industry – owned their own appliance businesses called The Appliance Source. They decided to merge both businesses to create one large “small” business with 8 showrooms. Moving forward, they have combined logos and tag lines to rebrand the company and are proud to introduce: “ADU, your appliance source”.

Linda, Christy, and the ADU board members are excited about their expansion that combines the best of both worlds. They are committed to honoring Thomas Oliff’s vision and continue to be leaders in the appliance industry.

Meet the Nathan of Dorchester

The Dorchester Skipjack Committee welcomes anyone interested in skipjacks, oysters, or the ecology of the Chesapeake Bay to visit the Nathan of Dorchester on Tuesday, May 14 at 6:00pm at Long Wharf in Cambridge.  It is an opportunity to meet current crew and docents as well as crew in training to learn about the youngest, authentic skipjack on the Bay.   Weather pending, interested visitors may board the Nathan and take a cruise on the beautiful Choptank River.


For more information visit skipjack-nathan.org or email info@skipjack-nathan.org.

10th Annual Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Conference

On Friday, May 31 and Saturday, June 1, 2019, Cambridge will play host to the 10th Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Conference.  From the Harriet Tubman Museum at 424 Race Street where registration will take place to Chesapeake College on Race Street where workshops will be held, history will permeate the city.

2019’s conference theme is ‘It Ran on Faith’ and relates directly to the power that enabled and emboldened Harriet Tubman and many other Underground Railroad operators to act.  Tubman descendant, Tina Wyatt will kick off the conference with her keynote touching on the conference theme.

Presentations that round out Friday and begin again Saturday morning include those on underground operatives, issues concerning the slave trade, two maroon communities in the United States, slave cemeteries and more.  More than 18 presenters will share topics ranging from faith and leadership to the history that led to the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad State Park.  Karsonya Wise Whitehead of Loyola University is the keynote speaker for Saturday morning with “They Called Her Moses:  Harriet Tubman and the Sustaining Power of Faith.”

There will be research networking opportunities at the informal reception which precedes the Friday evening banquet and program.  On display will be some oil paintings of Charlie Walker, who was an artist in the Federalsburg area just after the Civil War.  The Spiritual Vessels will entertain after the banquet.

In order to register or for more information, call 410.228.7953 or visit the website: www.harriettubmanundergroundrailroadconference.com .  This event is being sponsored by the Harriet Tubman Organization and the Dorchester County Historical Society.


Warm weather is here and that means it is time to show off your adorable, fur baby dogs. You know there is no other like it and you can show him off at the Fun Dog Show, May 11, 2019.

The show will be held rain or shine right on the beautiful Choptank River at Sailwinds, Governors Hall. Registration begins at 9 am and the fun goes on till 2 pm. The grand parade starts at 10 am.

No pedigree required, but pups must be 6 months or older. Entry fee of $5 for the first category entered. Then there is a fee of $4 for all additional categories. Enter as many as you like.  There are many categories including: demonstrations of obedience, best groomed, best trick, best large dog, best small dog, dog that looks most like its owner and many more. So put on their best costumes, dress alike or not, and come enjoy the show.

There will be refreshments available, raffle items including an American Girl Doll and lots of gift certificates and prizes for doggie and owners.

This annual event is sponsored by Christ Episcopal Church of Cambridge. Part of the proceeds to be donated to Baywater Animal Rescue in Dorchester County.

You can be a sponsor for $250 and receive a full page free ad, or advertise in our brochure. Ads begin at $65 for 1/3 page and range to $200 for full outside or inside cover. Or make a dedication to be listed in the brochure for a dog in your family, contact Sue Todd at 410-463-0946 or Robin in the church office 410-228-3161.

By donating a door prize you may also receive a free ad in the brochure.

“This year the dog show will be in honor of Jerry Boyle. His dog, McGuigan, and he,
were our first Grand Marshalls 21 years ago. His contributions to our community will
be fondly remembered and memorialized.”



Our Grand Marshals will be David and Anna Brohawn and their

two pups Neco and Luigi, both Italian Greyhounds, the smallest of the sighthounds.  These dogs are super fast, can run at top speeds of up to 25 mph, and, coupled with their high prey drive, means, if one got loose, good luck catching them.  
They got Neco at just 8 weeks of age from Hailsville, Missouri, weighing just 2 lbs and he has completely taken over the Brohawn household from day #1.  After 3 years of being an only pup, they decided to get a companion for him and learned of Italian Greyhound rescue organizations, which is how Luigi Giuseppe found David and Anna.  Luigi came from a phenomenal group called Healing Hearts Italian Greyhound Rescue, and, as a way of giving back to this group and others for placing these precious pups in loving homes, both David and Anna volunteer for Mid Atlantic IG Rescue.  Neco just turned 7 on April 2, and celebrated with his biological brother Amico Glessner, who resides with his ‘pawrents’, Jack and Patti Glessner.  Luigi will celebrate his 7th birthday on Independence Day.  These dogs have brought long lasting friendships with other IG owners, as the pups get together throughout the year for play dates ranging from beach days to camping outings to the annual St Patrick’s Day Parade in Annapolis.  Anna and Dave find it hard to leave them to go to work, but it’s a joyous reunion when they return home in the late afternoon.  In addition to the two pups, they enjoy special times with their two grandsons, Hudson and Hanson, who are 7 and 2, respectively.  David works in sales for Tri-Gas & Oil and Anna works for Talbot Co Public Schools as a middle school science teacher.

Ecology cruises aboard Winnie Estelle offered this summer

On Thursday, June 20, from 10–11:30am, children and adults are invited to join Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum educators aboard buyboat Winnie Estelle for an up-close and personal exploration of the Miles River and its unique habitat and ecology. The cruise will be offered again on Tuesday, July 16, from 1–2:30pm, and Wednesday, Aug. 14, from 10–11:30am.

During the ecology cruise, participants will learn how to monitor the water quality of the river, perform water testing, and explore the critters on an oyster reef, all while cruising in the breeze on CBMM’s buyboat. Birders will enjoy the route, which features a route near Long Point Island, known for its eagle and osprey populations and heron rookery. 

Built in 1920 by Noah T. Evans—a native Smith Islander—Winnie Estelle was used as a workboat on the lower Chesapeake for more than 50 years, carrying seafood and produce to market across the Bay. In the 1970s, she made Belize her port of call, where she operated as an island trader, carrying lumber from Honduras to Belize, and later as a charter boat for divers. She returned to the Chesapeake in 2012.

 Cruises aboard Winnie Estelle are also offered to watch Miles River log canoe races on June 29 and 30, July 27 and 28, and Sept. 7, 14, and 15. For details, visit cbmm.org/onthewater.

Boarding passes for the CBMM’s ecology cruises are $20, with a 20% discount for CBMM members and registration required to cbmm.org/onthewater. For more on Winnie Estelle or CBMM, visit cbmm.org.

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