Capital Gazette wins special Pulitzer Prize citation for coverage of newsroom shooting that killed five

STAYING THE COURSE

THE BALTIMORE SUN

"Can you take me back?"

Florence Oliver is belted tight in the back seat of the car, studying her husband's head, wondering why he can't drive facing her. The cocoon of Leisure World, the senior-citizens community where the couple lives, disappears in the rearview mirror.

Florence squirms. She hates these rides. She fiddles with her seatbelt.

Weeks ago, Ben Oliver predicted the hardest part of this trip would be the hour's drive from Leisure World in Silver Spring to the port in Baltimore, where they'll board a cruise ship for an 11-day voyage. His spirited 81-year-old wife, firmly in the grip of Alzheimer's disease, panics when she's inside a car, even for a minute.

"Why didn't you tell me?" she asks.

Her husband explains again. They're on their way to the port. For the cruise.

"You've forgotten," he says. "You've forgotten."

Once they see the flags fluttering from the Galaxy, Ben thinks, everything will be fine. All he has to do is get there. He steers the car toward I-95.

Florence looks for an escape.

He has tricked her - that's what he has done. She's sure of it.

At home, where everything is familiar, Florence talks about the future with a cloudy optimism. But inside the car, the world zooming by, she lives only in a terrifying present.

Ben hears the seatbelt click open. Florence sits unbuckled in the back, her hand on the door.

"Get ready," she says. "I'll jump out."

Ben has been through this before. He drives slow and steady, eyes ahead, the doors of the Cadillac locked.

"Why don't you take a little nap, Scooter?"

He uses her nickname; sometimes it calms her.

Florence closes her eyes, moves a hand to her brow.

"Why don't you hit me on the head," she says, "and tell me when it's time to get up?"

A couple of weeks ago, when his wife couldn't hear, Ben called this Florence's last cruise. It was a strong statement from a man whose very nature is to hang on, a husband who has taken his wife on 21 cruises already. But Ben sees trouble ahead: By next year, his wife may be unable to get even as far as the ship's gangway without that dark pit of dementia swallowing her up.

So the time to cruise is now. The trips used to be filled with dancing - the ballroom enthusiasts waltzed halfway around the world - but this time it's about family. Ben is treating the whole gang to the trip while Florence can still enjoy it.

Outside the car window, the Baltimore skyline emerges on the horizon.

"God knows where we are," says the voice behind Ben.

Florence hunches down in her seat, sick with confusion.

"Oh, can we go home? B'Angel, when can we go home?"

She's trying everything, even her nickname for him, but Ben stays on course. The port sits just off the highway.

He takes the exit, then navigates the bleak industrial streets.

A left, the click of the turn signal, a right.

A stretch of blacktop. It's better on the empty roads; Ben knows that.

Florence looks into the afternoon haze. The car is quieter now. Everything slows. She relaxes.

Something has gone wrong. Was she the cause?

She pleads gently.

"Can I get you a cup of coffee? Buy you a sandwich or something?"

The fear has passed, but it leaves a mark. Maybe she can explain.

"I don't like to be scared on these beltways and meltways and anything-ways."

There's the sign: Cruise Ship Terminal Straight Ahead.

"Then you forgive me?" she asks Ben. "Do you forgive me? I disturbed you, gloomy bird."

Cruise Ship: Right Lanes Only. The massive white ocean liner emerges through the Cadillac windows.

Finally.

"That must be her: The Galaxy!" Ben says. "Can you see the ship, Scooter?"

The ship's deck is dappled in sunlight.

Florence leans forward. She searches for the words to make it right.

"I love you."

Ben keeps his composed look; she shouldn't know the agony of watching her become so afraid.

"You want to go home now?" he teases. "Before the cruise?"

It's his sign. All is forgiven. She smiles.

That ship is huge. Hulking over the dock. Filling the car windows.

Florence looks down.

"Oh. I don't have my rosary."

Ben knows what comes next.

"Saint Anthony?" Florence asks. "Where are you, Saint Anthony?"

This is the saint she has always confided in, the one she first listened for as a girl, when her Italian Catholic mother sent her to church for hour after hour - the saint who helped her find the humanity amid all that doctrine.

The patron saint of lost things.

Ben reassures her.

"He's looking out for you."

Florence studies her husband - her driver, her lookout, her protector.

And she asks him, "Are you my Saint Anthony?"

"We'll be doing the limbo and trying to break the record for the world's longest conga line!"

Cruise assistant Kimberly is enforcing the fun as the ship plows through the Chesapeake en route to Florida on the first leg of a Caribbean tour. At a welcome-aboard ceremony inside the Galaxy Theatre, scores of the ship's 1,800 passengers listen to plans for battle-of-the-sexes games and bingo, frozen drinks and midnight buffets.

Ben sits next to his wife. She whispers loudly in his ear.

"Can we go home?"

From their spot in the wheelchair row, Ben and Florence already have watched the singers and dancers in black bra and panty sets twirl with their purple wraps around the ship's signature theme: fevered optimism. The lyrics are happy to the point of manic:

"Take a ride on the sea on the ship Galaxy - all your dreams will come true right away!"

The 77-year-old retired federal bureaucrat and his wife tap their feet to the music. This is Ben's dream, right here. After months of planning, and at a cost of more than $13,500, Ben is treating their two middle-age children and five grandkids to this Celebrity cruise line expedition to Key West, Mexico, Belize, the Bahamas and back to the Port of Baltimore.

Ben and Florence, like some others on this ship, won't step ashore once during the journey. It's too exhausting.

The Galaxy staff embraces the elderly in this crowd. Inside the theater, the cruise director gives a man a bottle of free Champagne, pats his white head and declares: "Just because there's snow on the roof, doesn't mean there's no fire in the furnace."

It's a much more chipper assessment of old age than the one in each passenger's vacation packet, which includes a section titled "Repatriation of Remains." But failing health is not the theme tonight. No, everything in the Galaxy Theatre is relentlessly upbeat.

This compulsory good humor doesn't need to rub off on the Olivers. They came with their own. At dinner, the family watched the sunset and ordered Florence a swan pastry dessert. In a corner of the dining room adorned by photographs of Paul Newman and Sophia Loren - two celebrities known for aging gracefully - Ben took in the meal almost as if he were committing the whole thing to memory in real time with the experience.

At the absolute center of it all, he placed Florence Olympia Oliver.

The children acted as though their mother's first cruise in a state of illness and infirmity were nothing jarring. They leaned in to hug her despite the awkward reach around her wheelchair. And when she seemed to make no sense, they treated her non sequiturs like witty retorts, because that's what the playful Florence offered when she was well. Nothing's changed, their gestures said. Nothing.

Strangers were quickly given the signal that this family was carrying on despite its troubles. When Florence solemnly requested a banana split for dinner, her family laughed, loudly and deliberately, so Florence wouldn't feel out of place and the staff would get the message. In a few days, the waitress would learn to laugh, too, and then lean over Florence to cut her food.

Ben remembers how different the attention used to be. The exploits of "that lady from Maryland" won them friends, and then, when they hit the dance floor, Florence's grace won them notice.

The couple discovered ballroom dancing 22 years ago, their interest sparked by a desire not to embarrass themselves at their daughter's wedding. With time, though, dancing became the passion of their retirement. Sometimes it seemed like they only cruised so they'd have an excuse to dance together every night.

Florence was so bold in those days. Ben remembers them venturing onto the empty dance floor during a storm in the North Sea, careening from port to starboard while the Queen Elizabeth 2 heaved in the waves. Other couples just watched from the comfort of their bolted-down cocktail tables, too scared to join the undaunted Olivers.

But that was years ago.

It's late. Inside the Galaxy Theatre, Ben holds Florence's hand. Onstage, a juggler balances a tennis racket on his nose. In a darkened row of seats, the weary Olivers attempt a trick of their own: to bury their pain as deep as the ocean.

Everyone is doing as instructed, filling out just the lines of B's and O's on their bingo cards.

"I want to see if anyone's got B.O.," the bingo caller hoots over the microphone. "Who stinks? Woo-hoo!"

Michael Oliver, sitting next to his mother, Florence, is thinking that he really doesn't want to win a game that requires him to jump up and scream, "I've got B.O.!" But then again, winning is not the point.

Time with his parents. That's why he took off from his executive recruiting job in Blue Bell, Pa., making sure that his two teen-age sons and stepdaughter joined in the family journey even though his wife couldn't make it. That's why this 49-year-old, who has retained the knowing half-smile and irreverent wisecracks of his mischievous youth, is acting like nothing is more fascinating than bingo.

Florence smacks her son on the head with her cards, and he laughs. Their relationship was often easy like this, from the time Florence, who competed in roller-rink figure-skating contests in her youth, encouraged the kids to try her hobby. As a boy, Michael roller-skated competitively and, executing fluid turns and twirls with his sister, Kathy, won his mother's admiration.

Kathy sits with her two daughters a few seats down the aisle. She mouths to Florence: Hi, Mom.

Florence's gaze feels more neutral than it used to, which for Kathy is a bit of a relief. Like many mothers and daughters, these two clashed over high expectations and missed chances, struggled against criticisms and judgments, fought for acceptance from one another. The only easy thing about Alzheimer's, the 50-year-old Kathy thinks, is that her mother has forgotten the most painful chapters of their history. Now just the very basics of their relationship are left: love and need.

The divorced Justice Department program manager lives in rural Virginia, a 1 1/2 -hour drive from Leisure World. Her relative proximity to her parents means she can see them several times a month - a comfort to Florence, who often kisses her daughter's hand in gratitude at the end of her visits.

To Kathy, those gestures can seem like scripted social niceties, but it doesn't matter. She already had her goodbye. It was two years ago. Kathy was leaving her parents' apartment when her mother grabbed hold of her. Florence was aware something was going horribly wrong inside her, but she was still lucid enough to know what had to be said. "I hope you know," she told her daughter, "I do love you."

Kathy went home and prayed, thankful they made it to that point. At least, she thinks, on that day she got to say, "I love you, too," and know that her mother understood.

"Kathy."

Florence is leaning over and trying to touch the woman with honey-blond hair in front of her.

Kathy waves, just down the row. Over here, Mom.

Florence looks at her, but then switches back to this stranger ahead. She studies the twentysomething in a halter top whose tattooed boyfriend has just mooed like a cow to disrupt the bingo game. Florence keeps looking back and forth: right Kathy, wrong Kathy, right Kathy, wrong Kathy.

The Oliver children realize Florence is getting worse. And they know her illness is taking a toll on their father, who has health problems of his own - a quadruple bypass after kidney cancer and a triple bypass before that.

They tell Ben he needs a break this week. What can they do to make sure he relaxes? But Ben will only allow them to push their mother's wheelchair, which he has borrowed from the Leisure World clubhouse. He can't commit to buying one. He has been thinking, despite signs to the contrary, that his wife can strengthen her weak ankle and walk better on her own again. It's that tired ankle, he always says, that has made walking such a problem lately.

In private moments, the children lobby their father to hire a caregiver so he can get more rest. He puts them off, rejecting the whole concept of paying a stranger to do any part of the job he took on with his wedding vows.

Perhaps it has been with him since his youth - this sense of responsibility. Benjamin Franklin Oliver grew up poor in Washington, D.C., working odd jobs to pay expenses that overwhelmed his father, a city transportation supervisor whose crew installed street signs. He looked after his six younger siblings, put off college and took care of his parents - even transcribing the police radio chatter for his Dad, who loved the sounds of city streets but was slowly going deaf.

After a 2 1/2 -year stint as a printer in the Navy during the latter half of World War II, Ben took a management job at the Bureau of Ships, where he met a secretary named Florence Frigione. With her, he saw how much more fun life could be. In her, he sensed the carefree spirit absent from his conscientious world.

With his father's radio, there had been duty. But with Florence, there was music.

Ben admits it to his children now, the effort and exhaustion of caring for his wife 52 years after their wedding day. But he also tells them he feels vital, considers himself on the lucky side of the statistic that made news several years ago - the one that showed the risk of death for spouses who take care of their partners can be more than 60 percent higher than for other old folks. Ben thinks he has got the caregiver dilemma licked: Even his doctor says if more spouses had Ben's easygoing way with ailing loved ones, they'd be a lot better off.

The children listen, try to understand, but privately they call their father's arrangement a ticking time bomb.

Bingo ends.

It's almost dinnertime. Ben wheels Florence toward the cabin to get ready.

Music floats from the casino.

Celebrate good times. Come on!

He tickles his wife under her chin.

The children look on, resigned.

It's Ben's voyage. Nobody can tell him how to take it.

The dance floor rises and falls as the ship heads south under the night sky.

A sassy voice from another time pierces the air.

"You want to dance?"

It's Florence, the old try-anything-once Florence, eager for a spin with her husband.

The Galaxy lurches. Those Cape Hatteras waters are rough.

"Are you sure?" Ben asks his wife. "Are you really sure?"

Yes, she's sure.

The nightclub band plays "Spanish Eyes."

On this cruise, it will be their only dance, and it will last less than a minute.

Ben lifts his wife out of her wheelchair.

They take one step, then half of one more.

It is an easy rumba, but Florence's grip tightens, all of her trying to hang on.

Her husband appears steadier than usual; his arms never seem to shake when he dances. But it's an illusion: The neurological disorder that has worsened with age still rages, it's just that Florence's body absorbs the tremors.

The ship pitches. His wife falters.

"It's too scary," she says.

"Yeah, I thought so," Ben replies.

He lowers her to her seat. That's OK, his look tells her, it was good enough.

But it's as if she can still recall what a real dance feels like.

"Next time," she says quietly. "I'll try it next time."

Antonio Salci is musing from his piano about his performances for foreign crowds on the international cruise-ship circuit.

"Many times," he says, "I find myself in front of an audience that doesn't understand a word I'm saying."

Florence looks at this man in leather pants, bathed in violet stage lights, cloaked by machine-made fog, explaining that music is a universal language, and she, too, doesn't seem to understand a word.

The disease is working steadily on Florence. Her brain is cluttered with toxic plaque, and the neurons that normally ship chemicals that make memory possible instead are busy dying. The sunny yellow Aricept pills she takes are supposed to relieve the symptoms of her Alzheimer's, but Ben has noticed that they really aren't working anymore.

Salci performs a selection of movie themes. Clap, he tells his audience, it's OK to interrupt his medley.

He gets a round of applause.

The Olivers don't join in; they don't let go of each others' hands.

It was at sea, three years ago, when the disease first emerged. Everything was fine when they boarded the cruise ship bound for Quebec. Ben told his wife to wait in the dining room, he'd be right back. But when he returned, she'd vanished. He looked for her everywhere, even the ladies room. She finally wandered back to the cabin later that afternoon.

There had never been a hint of dementia before, but when she walked into that stateroom, Ben knew. She was acting too normal, as though nothing had gone wrong. On the flight home, Florence tried to walk toward the cockpit to tell the pilot to pull the bus over. And Ben's universe shifted.

Later, when the test results came back, he asked for the news in private. It was his decision: His wife would never hear her own diagnosis.

Salci launches into the theme from the movie Titanic, evoking the doomed ocean liner inside the lurching theatre.

Florence watches, safe in her seat. It's not the disease that directly threatens her life, but the dangerous fall or infection to which it makes her vulnerable. Many late-stage Alzheimer's patients die from aspiration pneumonia, as the body forgets its most basic functions and food is inhaled directly into the lungs. The disease can last two to 20 years, changing its victims over time, unleashing inhibitions, odd behavior, even aggression. The end has a sameness to it: a disoriented victim, a state of complete helplessness, a life that seems as far from Earth as the Moon.

Outside the Galaxy Theatre, after the umpteenth round of applause, Ben waits in line for an autographed CD. Then, with a signed copy of Forever Yours in hand, he struggles to push Florence through the crowd.

Ben likes that fellow Salci. Reminds him of his favorite performer of all time, Liberace.

"I'm going to enjoy this CD," he says.

"The what?" Florence asks.

"The CD of the music we just heard."

Ben knows what's coming. He tries to let it drop.

But Florence persists.

"What music?" she asks.

Ben says nothing. He understands their memories have a different life span now.

He pushes the wheelchair, the theater at his back.

Their experience is barely over.

And already half gone.

Mexico.

Ben stretches his legs outside. He has always loved standing on the bow, watching these big ocean liners come into port. He sizes up the harbor in Cozumel, then looks up. The sun will burn through those clouds soon enough.

He has finally agreed to take a break this morning, letting Kathy look after Florence so he can relax out here. Kathy and her mother are in the ship's spa, a few paces inside. Knowing how demanding his wife can be, Ben had to laugh that Kathy brought her book along.

But he appreciates it, this chance to breathe some fresh air for the first time since boarding the ship. He loses himself as he gazes into the harbor's bustle below.

An announcement interrupts the calypso music: A lifeboat drill for crew only will begin in a few minutes.

It jolts Ben out of his reverie. Time to head in. He starts back toward the spa.

Halfway there, a door bursts open.

"Dad!"

It's Kathy.

"We've got a problem."

Ben hurries into the salon. Florence meets her husband's gaze, barely containing her rage.

"Oh, so that's it," she says. "You're not coming back?"

In 1907, Dr. Alois Alzheimer chronicled the first recorded case of the disease that would carry his name - a 51-year-old woman whose first noticeable symptom was her delusional belief that her husband was cheating on her.

In the half-hour of Ben's absence, Florence decided he had run off with another woman on this cruise ship, imagining an act of infidelity more convincing than the abundant evidence of his loyalty. Florence twists with anger as the hairdresser rips curlers from her head and moves fast to get out of the way.

Ben attempts to soothe his wife. But she won't let him.

Several long eardrum-splitting tones sound over the public-address system.

"There is a simulated fire in Emergency Generator, Deck 14, Fire Zone Five."

Ben wheels his wife out of the salon, toward the Oasis Cafe, where he hopes the change of scenery will help appease her.

Kathy tries to change the subject.

"Can I go to breakfast with you?"

Florence shakes her head no.

"Lifeboat teams! Go to your positions!"

Ben leans over his wife, speaks in her ear, nothing but comforting tones. There is no affair; she's being silly.

But the crisis won't abate.

"Lifeboats ready for loading!"

At the Oasis, Ben fills trays for himself and his wife. He eats his eggs in determined forkfuls. Florence does not move.

"How do we get back now?" she asks. "Swim?"

Kathy sits at her mother's side, attempting to pacify her, telling her no, she doesn't have to swim home. But Ben stops trying to make the anguish go away.

There's something that works better than all this consoling and cajoling and subject-changing, something that succeeds when all else fails, something more logical than reason.

So he does it: He waits for his wife to forget.

"Lifeboats three, seven, eleven and fifteen to be lowered to the sea and clear the ship."

Breakfast ends. Eventually, mercifully, the lifeboat drill ends. The crew members take off their orange life vests.

And Florence calms down. The cruise line likes to slap happy labels on everything, but at the moment, the Oasis Cafe really does seem aptly named. The younger Olivers join them at the table and start talking about touring Cozumel this afternoon. The ocean glints green out the big windows. Florence looks at the water. She looks at her husband.

Here he is. Right here next to her. Never leaving her.

And the bad memory evaporates like the clouds burning off over Cozumel.

Five ports of call and more than a week at sea. On Monday, June 9, the ship pulls up to the dock in Baltimore.

After clearing U.S. Customs - Florence declares she's from the country "Jimmy Dean," amusing both her husband and the grim-faced federal officer - Ben leads his wife down the gangway and proclaims the family reunion a success.

The dinners were grand. Ben and Florence loved that baked Alaska, not to mention the flaming cherries jubilee. The grandkids did karaoke to "Great Balls of Fire." Florence won $75 in the casino - Ben tapped the slot machine with her cane - and Ben won $44 at bingo, even obliging when the cruise staff made him celebrate with a "bingo boogie."

The ship waits behind the Olivers, the cleaning staff already changing beds and squirting bottles of blue disinfectant so the ocean liner can start the exact same voyage again this afternoon.

Ben understands that Florence ended her trip before everyone else, that she missed the safety of Leisure World, wanted to come home from the middle of the ocean. He realizes that his first vacation as his wife's full-time caregiver has exhausted him.

But right now he is feeling bolstered by new optimism. A journey that started with suspicions that this could be his wife's last cruise has ended in a different place. Somewhere in the depths, Ben found an answer:

His Florence may be drifting away, bit by bit. He knows he can't stop her. But if he refuses to lose everything that has defined their life together, if he hangs onto the familiar, he can still live inside what she helped build. As long as she stays with him, there can still be music.

Before they've reached their car, Ben is talking about another cruise. There's one to Bermuda that leaves out of Philadelphia. Couldn't be easier. The friends from their Friday night card games - where everybody pretends Florence is strategizing while Ben actually plays her hand - maybe they could come, too.

By the time Ben tightens the seatbelt around Florence for the drive home, he is convinced.

"Don't want anything to happen to you," he says, "in case you want to do another cruise."

He lifts the heavy suitcases into the trunk. And he savors the thought:

They still have a next time.

Tomorrow

Helen McKay fights to come back from her fall. In the Today section.

A mammoth, movable feast

Cruising

"Come as guests, leave as cargo."

So goes the motto aboard the Celebrity cruise ship Galaxy. The ship offers a possible 17 meals per day. There is also an abundance of mirrors, so anyone who overeats has ample opportunity to gaze upon the outcome.

"Me? I look at fruit and gain weight," says one woman shortly after munching down an individual pizza.

A fellow traveler doesn't hesitate on a sweltering day - he plucks a plate of double-fried beef from under the buffet heat lamps and declares, "Watch out stomach, here it comes!"

One woman heads to the Oasis CafM-i in a large T-shirt adorned on the back with an artist's rendering of a tiny derriere in a thong. A waitress challenges another diner to finish his dessert within two minutes.

He licks his plate clean.

On a 10-night cruise, the Galaxy groans with 60,860 pounds of meat, 22,400 pounds of seafood, 3,570 pounds of potatoes, 360 quarts of ice cream. Ship weight: 77,713 tons. Maximum cookie capacity: 2,285 pounds.

Despite new calorie-conscious options - 31,285 pounds of fruit! - belly-buster meals still rule an industry known for pig roasts at midnight. Aboard the Galaxy, the staff bids good night after the evening's show with a message for tomorrow: Eat more! The man who started the jogging craze died of a heart attack, they say, so why hold back?

- Ellen Gamerman

A Step Back

1955: Adelphi, Md.

"I REMEMBER the challenges of fatherhood. Kathy got very sick one night ... and we called the doctor and I bathed her in water to bring her temperature down and tried to get aspirin into her. The doctor came to our house and gave us his reassurances that things were under control. I think, in a way, I kind of grew up that night as a father."

A Step Back

1980: Aboard the Oceanic

Over the years, the Olivers have taken 22 ocean cruises. The first, from New York to the Caribbean, is still memorable.

"During the first night, that ship was rocking and pitching around Cape Hatteras. Florence got a little excited. When I woke up, she was sitting up in bed, sound asleep, with her life preserver on over her nightgown. Oh, I laughed."

Soon, Ben recalls, word had gotten out about "that lady from Maryland" who slept in her life preserver.

The Stats

Alzheimer's Disease

An estimated 4.5 million Americans are afflicted with Alzheimer's disease.

By the middle of this century, that number is expected to jump to 12 million.

The disease lasts an average eight years before death. There is no known cure.

Treatments involve cholinesterase inhibitors - pills like Aricept, Exelon and Reminyl - which temporarily block the enzyme that degrades a chemical responsible for memory, allowing that chemical to persist longer so that nerve cells can continue to communicate inside the brain. The Food and Drug Administration recently approved a German drug, memantine, to slow memory loss.

The lifetime cost of nursing-home care for one patient is estimated at roughly $350,000.

The exact cause of Alzherimer's is unknown, though an estimated 10 percent of cases are considered genetic. Other potential contributors are environment, lifestyle, history of head injury and level of education and mental activity.

Bad news: Drugs cannot permanently reverse the course of the disease, only slow it.

Good news: Many experts believe a familiar environment and routine can ease confusion and distress. And studies show patients are helped by mental exercises as well as continued social activities.

The Alzheimer's Association: 800-272-3900, www.alz.org.

SOURCES: Alzheimer's Association; Farber Institute for Neurosciences, Jefferson Hospital for Neurosciences, Dr. Sam Gandy, director.

About the Series

In 2003, Ellen Gamerman spent nine months inside Leisure World, a seniors-only community in Silver Spring, learning about what it means to grow old.

She observed every scene described in this six-part series except one. The scene she did not see first-hand - in the emergency room at Montgomery General Hospital - was reconstructed through interviews and is clearly attributed to the memories of the people involved.

All direct quotes in the story were heard by Gamerman; descriptions of what people thought or felt are based on what they said at the time or what they told her in interviews later. During the course of her reporting, Gamerman also reviewed private letters, an audiotaped memoir and home movies.

The staff

Ellen Gamerman, 35, joined The Sun in 1994. She has been a correspondent in the Washington Bureau for the past eight years. Her e-mail address is ellen.gamerman@baltsun.com.

Chiaki Kawajiri is a native of Japan who came to the United States to study journalism. She became a photographer for The Sun in 1995. Her e-mail address is chiaki.kawajiri@baltsun.com.

On the Web

To read previous stories in the six-part series "Dancing in the Twilight," or to view a photo gallery, go to baltimoresun.com/twilight.

Copyright © 2019, The Baltimore Sun, a Baltimore Sun Media Group publication | Place an Ad
63°