Thank you, Sheila Peter. Thank you for the many dedicated years of recording our lives in Rodgers Forge. And thank you for your gracious spirit and encouragement as I step in to this new role. Pretty big shoes and all that. Neighbors, it looks like it's me and you for the long haul — so if you have something to celebrate, cheer or sing from the rooftops, feel free to email me or knock on my door; I want to hear all about it. Don't be modest. It's inspirational to know all the good our community accomplishes. For example…
Adam Callaway said he "managed to limp across the finish line in just under three hours" at the Boston Marathon. I'm pretty sure I would still be running, so under three hours is mighty impressive. Due to an injury to his soleus (thank you, Google) this was by far Adam's most mentally challenging race. He also reported, in the wake of last year's bombings, Boston displayed a sense of pride that reminded him of Baltimore. Boundless pick-ourselves-up-by-our-bootstraps pride is definitely a Baltimore and Boston thing (although we haven't cornered the market on it).
Speaking of interesting places like Boston and Baltimore, Alex Chrvala, an eighth-grader at Dumbarton Middle School, placed second in the state of Maryland division of the National Geographic Geography Bee. Alex was the top challenger at DMS and placed among the top 100 in the state on a written exam before joining the Top 10 during an elimination competition at CCBC on April 4. If you need directions and your GPS is taking too long acquiring satellites, it's fair to say Alex can hook you up. Congratulations, Alex!
Have you met Little Joe? He's the canine friend of Kathryne Chalikis and Essam Shomali of Dumbarton Road. Little Joe was recently diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer. You're probably wondering how this can possibly be a positive thing. Well, Kathryne and Essam decided instead of driving themselves crazy with grief, they would give Little Joe the gift of living. Little Joe has a Bucket List and he needs our help in accomplishing his Big Adventure. The list includes items as simple as "eat a Big Mac" and "go for a swim" to the more thrill-seeking "ride in a motorcycle side car" and "meet a famous/police dog." If you want to know more about Little Joe and his Bucket List, please send me an email. I will be tracking his Big Adventure and will keep you all informed on his progress.
We've had a minor baby boom in the Forge this past month. Welcome Gemma Watkins (parents Jessica and Dave Watkins and brother, Benjamin), Donovan Santiago (parents Cassie and Johnnie Santiago and siblings Johnnie, Madden and Dorian), Samuel Soto (parents Rachael and Jason Soto and siblings Mateo, Paolo and Antonio). Welcome to your community. We're all really looking forward to watching you grow.
What's your good news? I'd love to hear it.