Issue: December 2006

By T.F. Sayles

Once in awhile, as you sail along on the Sea of Life, dodging the Crab Pots of Misfortune and the Container Ships of Calamity, you have to just stop and take a minute to acknowledge your peeps. Your crew. The people who make you look good at the helm, who steer you clear of the Cross-Currents of Adversity. (Okay, no more of those, I promise.)

For me, this is such a time. Janie Meneely, our outgoing managing editor, is at the top of the list, though I have no idea how to thank her for the eight years of beautiful work she's done for this magazine. I mean that; I really have no idea. How do you thank someone for being the glue that holds your professional life together? For being enormously creative and artful as a writer and editor, and yet also somehow keeping the magazine on schedule, month after month? Those qualities don't often share space in the same brain. There are creative people, and there are people who keep the trains running on time. Janie is both, and this magazine has been all the better for it. But she is also a gifted singer and songwriter, and now she turns her attention more fully to those pursuits. We'll just have to learn how to stumble along without her, hoping all the while that she finds her new life just a little bit incomplete--in the sense that it's missing the occasional magazine deadline. Thank you, Janie, for everything.

Moving on to specific kudos, I want to congratulate CBM writer Paul Clancy for winning this year's West Marine Writer's Award--the "best of show" prize from all the categories in the 2006 Boating Writers International Awards. If this all sounds familiar, maybe it's because it's the second year in a row that a Chesapeake Bay Magazine writer and story have won this prestigious $5,000 prize, awarded by faculty of the venerable Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University. Marty LeGrand won last year for her article on marinas recovering from Hurricane Isabel. The talented Mr. Clancy, our ace reporter in the southern Bay, won it this year for his splendid August 2005 article on the fate of the Dismal Swamp Canal, called "One Last Run?" The Medill judges dropped one other name you might recognize: Chesapeake Bay Magazine senior writer Wendy Mitman Clarke. She was one of four honorable mentions, cited for the "rich detail and warm, melodic images" in her monthly Off the Charts column.

Paul Clancy's Dismal Swamp story also took a silver medal in this year's International Regional Magazine Association (IRMA) awards, as did two other 2005 CBM pieces: David Healy's October article, "Mr. Bat Is Our Friend," and Gene Meyers's April story about the 19th-century "terrapin king" of Crisfield, Md. We brought home two bronzes as well, one for Katherine Brown's September feature on trailblazing Jewish naval officer Uriah Levy, and one for James Yang's illustration of Robert Whitehill's memoir, "Flight of the Buccaneer" in December.

My hat is off to you all--and, once again to Janie Meneely, who had a hand in every one of those award-winning stories. Don't be a stranger, my dear.