MKTilghman Communications

I've been a writer and editor for 30 years, adapting to the constant changes in communications along the way. Web page? Brochure? Book? Article? Yeah, I can do that.

September 16, 2014 2:35 am
The Blue Angels fly over Fort McHenry.

The Blue Angels fly over Fort McHenry as part of the Star Spangled Spectacular.

Fireworks over Fort McHenry, one of four fireworks displays Sept. 13.

Fireworks over Fort McHenry, one of four fireworks displays Sept. 13.

The party’s over but the memories of the Star Spangled Spectacular linger on. The Battle of Baltimore and our national anthem’s bicentennial has been properly feted with fireworks, music, Tall Ships, Blue Angels and naval ships. More than a million party-goers stopped by, joining in the celebration that stretched from the Inner Harbor to Fells Point to Locust Point to Fort McHenry.

I live for this stuff and spent long hours at the celebrations, including two shifts as a volunteer. I met all kinds of people from all around the country, even a in a beautifully tailored green and black uniform of the Glengarry Light Infantry. As a lifelong Baltimorean, I was thrilled to see Charm City looking so beautiful at such a proud moment.

It was a great party. I hope everybody comes back soon. In the meantime, a look back at some wonderful moments during the Star Spangled Spectacular held Sept. 10-16, 2014.

There were tall ships and the gray hulls of American, British, Canadian and Turkish navies –

Fort McHenry was the center of much of the celebrations — the U.S. Navy’s precision jets, the Blue Angels, flag ceremonies, a grand concert and fireworks.

© Text and photos Mary K. Tilghman
with photos of fireworks over Fort McHenry
and ships sailing into the harbor by Ray Truitt

Baltimore takes center stage The party’s over but the memories of the Star Spangled Spectacular linger on. The Battle of Baltimore and our national anthem’s bicentennial has been properly feted with fireworks, music, Tall Ships, Blue Angels and naval ships.
September 9, 2014 2:05 am

By the dawn’s early light…Fort McHenry

By the dawn’s early light…Fort McHenry

Fort McHenry, where courageous Baltimoreans fought off the British. Francis Scott Key memorialized the events of the Battle of Baltimore in the "Star Spangled Banner."
Fort McHenry, where courageous Baltimoreans fought off the British. Francis Scott Key memorialized the events of the Battle of Baltimore in the "Star Spangled Banner."

Fort McHenry, where courageous Baltimoreans fought off the British. Francis Scott Key memorialized the events of the Battle of Baltimore in the “Star Spangled Banner.”

Yes, it still waves; 200 years later.

Yes, the flag still waves at Fort McHenry; 200 years later.

All eyes will be on Baltimore in the coming days as the nation celebrates the Bicentennial of our “Star Spangled Banner.” Tall ships will sail in. The U.S. Navy’s Blue…

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September 4, 2014 1:19 am

TIPSY TOURIST: St. Michaels Trifecta

TIPSY TOURIST: St. Michaels Trifecta

St. Michaels Winery is the oldest purveyor of booze in the mill complex.
St. Michaels Winery is the oldest purveyor of booze in the mill complex.

St. Michaels Winery is the oldest purveyor of booze in the mill complex.

St. Michaels, a Talbot County Town that is famous for having fooled the British, is also a boaters paradise, seafood heaven and just the cutest little town for girls on a shopping spree or lovers seeking a romantic getaway.

I discovered this weekend for myself its newest claim to fame: a trio of local booze factories all…

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September 2, 2014 2:22 am

Gone fishing

Fishing rods lined up and ready for a morning's work.
Fishing rods lined up and ready for a morning's work.

Fishing rods lined up and ready for a morning’s work.

Waiting for a bite.

Waiting for a bite.

I wasn’t sure I wanted to catch anything but I knew I wanted to try my hand at fishing in the ocean.

Hello Ocean City! The view of the boardwalk from the ocean.

Hello Ocean City! The view of the boardwalk from the ocean.

I wanted to get up early, head out to sea, cast a rod and wait for that little nibble that lets you know something is on your hook.

In Ocean City, as in ocean…

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August 28, 2014 2:10 am

TIPSY TOURIST: Ocean City Brewing

TIPSY TOURIST: Ocean City Brewing

And if you don't like OC Brewing's offerings, they keep a couple of others on tap, too.
And if you don't like OC Brewing's offerings, they keep a couple of others on tap, too.

You’ve got 18 choices at Ocean City Brewing. And if you aren’t in the mood for OC Brewing’s offerings, they keep a couple of others on tap, too.

Assistant brewmaster Justin explains how barley, malt, hops, water and sugar turn into a delicious brew.

Assistant brewmaster Justin explains how barley, malt, hops, water and sugar turn into a delicious brew.

Ambition, your name is Ocean City Brewing. This upstart of a brewery only opened in June, as in after Memorial Day. And they opened big — a…

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August 26, 2014 2:16 am
Near the trail to Cunningham Falls, a babbling brook — popular with fly fishermen — breaks the silence of shady glen. Catch and release only is allowed here.

Near the trail to Cunningham Falls, a babbling brook breaks the silence of shady glen. Big Hunting Creek attracts fly fishermen though only catch and release is allowed.

Two paths take lots of visitors to Cunningham Falls. One heads to the foot of the falls. The other, a little longer, goes to the top. I've never been there.

Two paths take lots of visitors to Cunningham Falls, also known as McAfee Falls. One heads to the foot of the falls. The other, a little longer, goes to the top. I’ve never been there.

In any other summer, Cunningham Falls has been a go-to place to escape the summer heat and humidity. Summer 2014 has been cool, clear and unlike any summer I can recall.

But still, I wanted to see Cunningham Falls before summer ended. Tucked in the woods of Cunningham Falls State Park near Thurmont, the cascading waterfall, at 78 feet, is Maryland’s highest. It’s easy to get to by following the signs along Route 15, 28 miles north of Frederick.

This is one of those laid-back days away. A mile round-trip walk that’s only slightly difficult in street shoes, we took our time. And we took the lower, less hilly trail. Another trail, about 1.5 miles round trip, takes visitors to the top of Cunningham Falls.

The trail winds through a second growth forest, with lots of tiny wildflowers, rocks big enough to climb on and, sometimes, bright red mushrooms that make you want to look for the leprechauns and fairies residing there.

The path is far from peaceful. It’s a popular summertime walk, filled with families, teenagers and day campers. Many of them come ready to play in the chilly falls or the pools at the bottom. In the past, I’ve been one of the people coming with kids who tore their shoes and socks off the minute we reached those shallow waters among the rocks and roots. This time, watching the kids was enough.

Cunningham Falls Lake is the other great reason for this trip. A place to picnic, swim, canoe or just enjoy the summer day.

Cunningham Falls Lake is the other great reason for this trip. A place to picnic, swim, canoe or just enjoy the summer day.

And then it was time for the rest of our day. Lunch of course at one of our favorite roadside restaurants along Route 15.

No trip along Route 15 is complete without a stop at one of the orchard stands. Flowers are in bloom now but the apples are getting ripe and we even saw a few pumpkins approaching jack-o-lantern size. A reminder, sigh, that fall will be on its way soon. (And when the leaves start changing colors we’ll be back up Route 15 again.)

© Text and photos Mary K. Tilghman

Cunningham Falls: A cool, summer escape In any other summer, Cunningham Falls has been a go-to place to escape the summer heat and humidity.
August 21, 2014 6:54 am

TIPSY TOURIST: Sambo’s Tavern, Leipsic, Delaware

TIPSY TOURIST: Sambo’s Tavern, Leipsic, Delaware

The simple dining room with newspaper covering the tables, paper towels for napkins and a view of the river where the crabs came from.
The simple dining room with newspaper covering the tables, paper towels for napkins and a view of the river where the crabs came from.

The simple dining room with newspaper covering the tables, paper towels for napkins and a view of the river where the crabs came from.

OK, the entrance has its unfriendly moments but inside the tavern, everyone is quite warm.

OK, the entrance has its unfriendly moments but inside the tavern, everyone is quite warm.

To get to Sambo’s Tavernyou have to drive around the NASCAR track at Dover Downs and past cornfields to the little town of Leipsic. It’s not far, a pleasant six miles or…

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August 19, 2014 2:54 am

What’s cookin’, NOLA??

What’s cookin’, NOLA??

Class is in session in the back room of the New Orleans School of Cooking in the French Quarter.
Class is in session in the back room of the New Orleans School of Cooking in the French Quarter.

Class is in session in the back room of the New Orleans School of Cooking in the French Quarter.

How’s your roux? Got your Holy Trinity chopped? Hot sauce at the ready?

Class includes recipes, a well-done demonstration and plates of all the food washed down with local Abita beer.

Class includes recipes, a well-done demonstration and plates of all the food washed down with local Abita beer.

I love New Orleans cooking. Cajun or Creole, it doesn’t matter to me. But since the people of the Big Easy like the…

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August 12, 2014 2:26 am
A street corner and a corner shop. Love that alligator.

A street corner and a corner shop. Love that alligator.

Royal always goes my way.

Royal always goes my way.

New Orleans is probably my favorite American city. It’s hard to decide, really. I love the museums and shops and Central Park of New York. San Francisco has my favorite restaurant in the whole world. And I treasure every waking minute in my hometown of Baltimore. But New Orleans really does let the good times roll. I’ve visited on company time and just for fun — in the heat of the summer, the beauty of a fall day and in the build-up to Mardi Gras (never Fat Tuesday itself.) On my most recent visit, I couldn’t help but notice the signs. Dazzled by architecture, the music and, well, the silliness of Bourbon Street, I just never noticed them before. But there they are — filled with history and information you might not have thought you needed. A For Sale sign that says “haunted?” Here are a few of my favorites.

And there’s one more, created not with words but with light and shadow. Every photographer takes this photo I think. But in the midst of all New Orleans’ revelry, it’s a bit sobering, there on the back of St. Louis Cathedral.

Here's a different kind of sign.

Here’s a different kind of sign.

© Text and photos Mary K. Tilghman

I saw the sign. In New Orleans New Orleans is probably my favorite American city. It’s hard to decide, really. I love the museums and shops and Central Park of New York.
August 5, 2014 2:38 am

Rockets, dolphins, Misty: Chincoteague

Rockets, dolphins, Misty: Chincoteague

DSCN3594

Ships still rely on the Assateague lighthouse.

Countdown to the rocket launch. We didn't have to move from our chairs to see it.

Countdown to the rocket launch. We didn’t have to move from our chairs to see it.

I got a chance recently to act like a kid again. Really. I got to play, to giggle with abandon, to hang out with my favorite people for a whole week (well, most of them). It was an old fashioned vacation in an old fashioned resort, Chincoteague Island,for a week of…

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