Three times a year, Eight-Stone Press publishes the award-winning Smile, Hon, You're in Baltimore!, a submission-based literary zine dedicated to collecting the tales of those on whom Mobtown has left her indelible mark. Polished, professional essays; barroom sermons delivered from the sanctity of a favorite stool; the poet's fleeting sentiment, captured in both word and snapshot. A two-time Utne Independent Press Award Nominee, Smile, Hon has also been dubbed "Best Zine" by Baltimore Magazine (2008) and Baltimore City Paper (2004).
2009 St. Vincent's Foundation Swim Across the Sound
For the last several years, my uncle has volunteered the use of his boat (a 39-foot Hatteras, I believe) to escort a relay team across the 25k course that comprises the St. Vincent's Swim Across the Sound. For two decades, the Swim, according to its website, has raised money for "providing cancer education, screening, and prevention programs at low- or no-cost for the elderly and underserved. In addition, the SWIM helps individual cancer patients on a case-by-case basis with specific needs, such as the funding of wigs and prostheses, medication assistance, free transportation to treatments and appointments, day-care scholarships and support groups" - virtually everything but research. Last year, the Swim raised more than $2.5 million.
The race kicks off from Port Jefferson, Long Island, destined for Bridgeport, Connecticut, just across Long Island Sound. For years, my uncle had been trying to draw me up to Connecticut for the first Saturday in August to help me crew the boat; unfortunately, the scheduling never worked out for one reason or other - until last year. I had a blast, even though a line of strong thunderstorms that blew through the area forced the powers that be to call the race nearly halfway through. Determined to see the thing through, all captains took in their swimmers and hightailed it Captain's Cove, in Bridgeport, where time was optimal time was made at the bar. ;)
Well, the 2009 Swim is next Saturday, August 1. And when the boat leaves, I'll be on it. As Kim, captain of the swim team my uncle has hosted for several years attests, "Once they get you, they've got you for life."