Strawberries

Why bother with those wantonly oversized pale fruits that come in the plastic boxes all winter long from California, that give barely any aroma when sniffed? They are equivalents of the rock hard, styrafoam-textured Florida tomato – a freak of … Continue reading

Gardening and Memory

Among the Bowmans, the garden is part of the family. Any Sunday dinner was ended with “a walk to the garden,” a trip to check on the vegetables’ progress. I laughingly continued this tradition in my 450 sq. foot Manhattan … Continue reading

Wanderlust Wednesday: 24 Rather Staid Hours in Baltimore

A conference, a presentation, a cancelled train, and dinner at the Red Star in Fells Point. All in 24 hours. The annual meeting of the American Alliance of Museums was held in Baltimore (Bawlmer) last week. The last time I … Continue reading

Transit Tuesday: Expansion Fantasy Maps – Train Geek Dreaming? Or Driving Force?

I have to ask the question above, because I truly don’t know the answer. I’m not a transportation expert (though sometimes I think I should have become one, rather than a museum professional). I grew up in the country, experienced … Continue reading

A Maryland Breakfast: Fried Red Tomatoes in Cream Gravy

I recently visited my great uncle, Uncle B, in Arizona. Having left our ancestral seat for a life of western adventure in 1947, we don’t have all that much in common. However, as conversations meander in and out of the … Continue reading

Connecting the Dots: Convict Servants in Maryland

Eddie Izzard puns on the Church of England: “Cake or Death?”¬†For people found guilty of committing small crimes in England, transportation to the American colonies for seven to fourteen years of bound servitude was the cake option. Overcrowding in England’s … Continue reading

Museum Monday: Maryland State Archives in 2013

For a building built in 1984, I think the Maryland State Archives inspires. Maybe it strikes a chord with me akin to the library buildings of my childhood. Unlike it’s colonial and colonial revival ancestors further down Rowe Blvd in … Continue reading

Scarlet Fever!

My grandfather, S. Lee Bowman, returned from World War II in 1946 to marry Gurnice Stephens of Mt. Pleasant Orchard, outside Havre de Grace. The first several weeks of their marriage were spent separately: as soon as they returned from … Continue reading

Post Offices for Sale

What is Westminster, Maryland’s claim to fame? Besides being my childhood hometown, it was where county-wide Rural Free Delivery began on December 20, 1899. Mailboxes from the era are contained in both the collections of the Historical Society of Carroll … Continue reading

Communities Past: Former Commerce in Rock Run, Harford County, MD

Driving through the countryside anywhere in America, you may pass any number of signs proclaiming towns that no longer exist. My grandfather was in the car ¬†sometime in the 1990s, when we were driving on Rock Run Road toward the … Continue reading