JUST THE OTHER evening we were celebrating the passing of the first winter storm when Capt. Bill O'Gara came sailing in on a gust of chilly wind. "What is it about a snowstorm," O'Gara wondered, "that gives people the urge to make French toast?"
We wondered if the cold had turned the captain's brains into tutti-frutti. He has been working extra hard to bring the classic Chesapeake Bay buy boat, Half Shell, to Annapolis in the spring. Maybe too hard. This talk of weather and French toast had us concerned.
"Think about it," O'Gara said, combing the ice from his beard with frozen fingertips. "Every time there's a hint of a storm on the way, everybody flocks to the supermarket. They stand in lines for hours, and what do they get? Milk, bread and eggs.
"What do you do with milk, bread and eggs, I ask you? Make French toast. Think about it."
We did, which led us to speculate that the only time people have the time to make French toast is on a winter morning when they're snowed in and everything's closed. Every refrigerator has an ancient, half-empty bottle of maple syrup with the cap glued shut, ready for just such an occasion.
Snowstorms and French toast: the French connection. It makes perfect sense. At least, it did at the time.
Other folks around Annapolis are celebrating winter in their own way.
Celebration of history
As director of Celebrate 350 Annapolis & Anne Arundel County, I get excited about events planned to celebrate the 1649 founding of Providence, the county's first European settlement.
Here are some events related to Celebrate 350.
Photographer M. E. Warren is one of many artists whose work is on display at Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts, 801 Chase St., Annapolis.
The exhibit, "Celebrate 350: Views of Annapolis and Anne Arundel County," opened last week and runs through Feb. 6.
You can meet the artists at a reception from 6 p.m to 8 p.m. Jan. 22. Warren will be joined by Bonnie Roth Anderson, Lee Boynton, John Ebersberger, Jean and Harry Jackes and others in the Cardinal Gallery.
Their images of Annapolis and Anne Arundel County have been collected in honor of Maryland Hall's 20th anniversary as well as the city and county's 350th.
Information: 410-263-5544 or www.mdhallarts.org.
Maryland Hall will also be the venue for the Celebrate 350 lecture series, sponsored by the Cultural Heritage Alliance of Annapolis and Anne Arundel County.
The first program is scheduled from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Jan. 29 and covers the area's first settlement. The speaker will be Al Luckenbach, the county archaeologist who discovered some of the area's first European home sites and artifacts.
Thomas Callaway, militia muster master of St. Maries Citty, and other authentically clad 17th-century re-enactors will help bring history alive. The Chesapeake Children's Museum will provide child care and activities of historical interest.
The lecture costs $3.50.
Information: 410-269-1737, Ext. 3.
The revolt continues
The Maritime Republic of Eastport is revolting all over again, with "MRE II" festivities during the last weekend in January.
The Daughters of the Eastport Revolution is sponsoring an Ambassador's Ball at the Eastport Clipper, Sixth Street and Severn Avenue in Eastport, on Jan. 29.
Dog Day Afternoon activities for dogs and their humans take place Jan. 30, the same day as the second annual .05K Eastport Bridge Walk/Run.
Cindy Fletcher Holden, minister of fine arts and aerobics, says the competition will begin at noon and is bound to be over several grueling moments later. Holden describes the course as "a slight rise, followed by a slight decline, with a convenient water stop halfway across."
Registration will take place on the lawn at Eastport Elementary School, beginning at 10: 30 a.m. The entry fee is $10 in advance, or $15 on race day. Registering in advance is the only way to guarantee an Awesome T-Shirt.
Checks payable to the Maritime Republic of Eastport should be mailed to Holden, 616 Third St., Annapolis 21403.
The re-enactment of last year's tongue-in-cheek revolution at the Eastport Bridge is scheduled for noon Jan. 31.
Information: Brooke or Marilyn Perkins, ministers of big bucks and glamour trash, 410-268-8242.
These and other events are listed in the Celebrate 350 calendar. Copies are avaiable at your local library, or at the Annapolis & Anne Arundel County Visitors Center, 26 West St., Annapolis. The number there is 410-280-0445.
Pub Date: 1/11/99