Summer means something for everyone

May 04, 2003|by JAKE WORMER

Summer means weekends on sandy beaches, mornings out in a boat, afternoons in the park and evenings in the back yard. But those are the days off.

Weekdays in the Lifestyle department of The Herald-Mail are spent planning and preparing sections weeks in advance. So summer means something else - primarily juggling festivals and celebrations - while at work.

I have a good idea what I'll be doing with the sunny months as we hammer out a schedule, taking account of newsworthiness, timeliness, service to readers and the ability to be creative. While first and foremost, we want to report what's up in the community, the ability to plan ahead gives us more leeway for creativity.

While news and sports editors and reporters turn on the daily events, we are looking ahead. That's why it's important to submit notice of events early - a notice should be received at least 10 days before the day it is to be published. For community announcements - club meetings, fund-raisers, support groups, reunions - that's each Tuesday, while the majority of Out & About events are published Thursdays.


Right now, I'm thinking about the blues. The eighth annual Western Maryland Blues Fest kicks off Friday, May 30, for a weekend of head-rocking guitar licks and agreeably melancholy beats in Hagerstown. The Blind Boys of Alabama and John Mayall will join local musicians to draw crowds to several stages. And the concert is growing. It's appeal makes it one of the biggest local entertainments of the year.

So, yeah, it's fair to assume the Blues Fest will be prominently featured on the cover of our weekly Out & About section on May 29. Stories are already planned through May for our weekday Lifestyle sections - Health, Next, Food, Out & About, Family - and even further in advance for our weekend centerpieces.

Thursday, for example, will find Founder's Day in Martinsburg, W.Va., as the cover story of Out & About. The city is in its 225th year since Gen. Adam Stephen made it an official town. A week later we'll take a look at the National Pike Festival with its traditional wagon trains. That's the same weekend as the Maryland House and Garden Pilgrimage in Washington County.

For more on interesting houses, Assistant Lifestyle Editor Chris Copley is examining what it takes to call a historic house your home. Talk about living by a code. Proper preservation dictates that renovations must be specific. How many railing supporting spindles can a homeowner meticulously sand before he can paint wood? That story is slated to run May 11.

A week later, Staff Writer Kate Coleman will go from the historic house to the dog house to report on what new ways people have come up with to spoil their pets. The committed pet owner may spend enough to raise a child for 10 years.

And incoming Staff Writer Andrea Rowland will talk to teens about downloading music. The recording industry is cracking down on the practice, but it's as natural to them as a stop at the video arcade was to Generation X.

These events feature a range of activities that invokes the old advertising plea of something for everyone. And we have ideas for June, July and August as other events spin into our Tri-State orbit.

Jake Womer is Lifestyle editor of The Herald-Mail. You can phone him at 301-733-5131, extension 2340 or e-mail him at

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