Blog Purpose

The purpose of the blog is to report on the activities of the clubs and organizations and to post details about community announcements that are too long for the Announcements page. Comments and content are welcomed. Email the webmasters at

The BLUE heading is a link to more information about the post.

Review of “Brief Answers to The Big Questions”

Resident Ralph Strong will review Brief Answers to The Big Questions by Stephen Hawking, on Tuesday, August 20, 2019 at 7 PM in the Auditorium.

This final book by Stephen Hawking was published a few months after his death in March 2018. The author attempts to answer some of the big questions in cosmology, philosophy and human awareness. In the process, Hawking weaves interesting details of his personal life along with brief descriptions of his technical discoveries, including how he arrived at the realization that black holes can and do lose mass, a phenomenon that has been named ‘Hawking Radiation’ in his honor. His life is so remarkable because he became afflicted with the muscle debilitating disease, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS}, at the age of 21. Although he was always under the threat of dying within the next five years, he lived to be 76 and built a career as a well-respected mathematician, cosmologist, author and personality, whose life was portrayed in the film “The Theory of Everything.” His most popular book was All About Time, which sold over 25 million copies.

An introduction with details of his personal life is followed by 10 chapters devoted to answering 10 big questions. In our review, we will discuss a few of these answers including “Is there a God?”, “How did it all begin?” and “How do we shape the future?”. Hawking includes thought-provoking ideas on the future of education and how to deal with the rapidly evolving technology, identifying the big questions that we are leaving for the next generation.  

A forward written by  Kip Thorne, a lifetime friend, a physicist from California Institute of Technology,  and an afterward written by his daughter Lucy shed light on his family life and achievements. Hawking remained engaged in his work until he died at the age of 76. For the last years of his life, he communicated and drove his motorized wheelchair by controlling motion of a muscle in his cheek.

Brief Answers to the Big Questions is thought- provoking and provides a non-mathematical walk through the life of a remarkable man, the history of science and challenging concepts in education and social relations.

Janet Neer and Jane Backstrom, Co-chairs

Resident Book Review for July, 2019

July 16 – Separate: The Story of Plessy v. Ferguson an America’s Journey from Slavery to Segregation [New York : Norton, 2019] by Steve Luxenberg, reviewed by Ken Weeden.


Separate Website
Book Excerpts [Amazon]
The Tumultuous Path from Emancipation to Segregation [New York Times]
The Court Decision That Ushered in Decades of Jim Crow [Washington Post]
The Life and Afterlife of Plessy v. Ferguson [The Nation]
‘Separate’ Is An Eye-Opening Journey… [NPR]
Book Review [Washington Independent Review of Books]
Interview with Steve Luxenberg – video [WYPR- Baltimore]
Video of Luxenberg on his book [Politics and Prose Bookstore]
Video of Steve Luxenberg on his book [Author forum]

RG Moving Sale August 9 – 10


RG Meeting Hall

Items for sale include (but not limited to):

Flat Screen TVs
End Tables
Outdoor Furniture

File Cabinets
Bulletin Boards

Artificial Plants
And More!

All proceeds benefit Charlestown Benevolent Care

Friday, August 9, 2019: 10 AM – 1 PM:    Residents and Staff only
Saturday, August 10, 2019: 10 AM – 1 PM:  Open to Public

Cash, Checks & All Credit Cards Accepted

**All items must be picked up by Saturday 8/10**

For more information contact Emily at 410-737-8892.


Conservative Values Group Explores Gun Ownership

The Conservative Values Study Group invites residents to its next meeting:

Gun Ownership
Thursday, July 18, 2019
7 – 8 PM
Brookside 1 Classroom

We will explore the subject of gun ownership. For some advance information, please go online to PragerU and watch their videos entitled:

Is Gun Ownership A Right?
What Should We Do about Guns?

For some additional thoughts, read:
Armed and Aging: Should Seniors Be Allowed to Keep Guns? []

Questions? Contact Betty Brown Young. For contact information, see the Resident Directory in MyErickson.

Brookside Elevator Replacement Project Begins on July 8

On Monday, July 8, 2019, Otis Elevator Company will be on property to start the elevator replacement for Brookside, car #1. Work will take place, Monday through Friday, 6 AM – 6 PM.

The project completion for both elevators (one at a time) will take several months. We apologize in advance for any inconvenience this may cause.

2019 Diversity Extravaganza!!!

2019 Diversity Extravaganza
Wednesday, July 10, 2019
11 AM – 12:30 PM
Gallery and Fireside Pub/ Lounge Area

Come and share in the fun as you journey through our Bakery, creating a sweet treat representing the diversity that is uniquely yours. There will be 4 starting times for the event and you must obtain a ticket for your preferred time:

11 AM | 11:30 AM | Noon | 12:30 PM

To obtain your ticket, please contact at : Mary Evans, 601-8558; Rose Sands, 601-8172; Erin Morris, 601-8570

Call today to reserve your ticket!!


~Sponsored by the Diversity & Inclusion Council~

Review of “Separate: The Story of Plessy v. Ferguson and America’s Journey from Slavery to Segregation”

Resident Ken Weeden will review Separate: The Story of Plessy v. Ferguson and America’s Journey from Slavery to Segregation by Steve Luxenberg, on Tuesday, July 16, 2019 at 7 PM in the Auditorium.

When Homer Plessy walked to the train station to buy a ticket for a short ride on the East Louisiana Railroad one sunny June day in 1892, he was determined to break the law. It was all planned:  He would purchase a first-class ticket, then board the train, sit down in a comfortable chair. He would be recognized and told to leave the car; he would refuse; he would be arrested and taken to jail, booked, post bail and be home in a couple of hours.

 And his crime? Homer Plessy entered the “Whites Only” first class car.  He was a Creole, 1/8 African descendent.  His family’s ancestor had come from Haiti in the 18th century and settled into the Spanish, French culture of New Orleans.  He passed for white on a regular basis, and he was seldom bothered by the increasing restrictions and violence former slaves faced. But by state law, he was Black and must travel in the Jim Crow car.  Because he looked white, civil rights lawyers wanted him to be the test case that challenged the constitutionality of this law that they felt flew in the face of the 14th Amendment.

Four years later, on May 3, 1896, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments and later rendered its decision.  In a 7-1 vote, the Court ruled that the separate but equal doctrine did not violate the Constitution.  Further, Justice Brown argued that if negroes felt humiliated and degraded, that was their personal issue, there was nothing humiliating or degrading in the races being separate.  The lone dissent was penned by Mr. Justice John Marshal Harlan who argued that the Constitution is color blind and any distinction based on race was illegal.  He feared that this decision would open the floodgates to greater separation of the races and greater violence. The few newspapers that picked up the story agreed that the races should be separate, it had always been; it was natural.

 Separate by Steve Luxenberg is more than a detailed study of the infamous decision. It traces race relations from the optimistic days of Reconstruction:  Black Americans building businesses, entering politics, voting, building schools and seeing a bright future for themselves and their children.  Plessy v. Ferguson made constitutional the way White America wanted to relate to Black America: separate, unequal and as invisible as possible. 

Janet Neer and Jane Backstrom, Co-chairs

Courtyard Crossing Men’s Room Closed

Men’s Room at Courtyard Crossing

Renovation: Tuesday, June 25th – Thursday, June 27th
Anticipated Completion: Friday, June 28th
Please use Maple Terrace or Fountain Hill Men’s Room
Thank you for your patience and understanding.

Resident Book Review for June, 2019

June 18 – Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens, reviewed by Chilton Knudsen.


Delia Owen’s website
Interview with the author [Youtube]
Summary & review of book [Bibliofile Book Reviews]
Book Study Guide [Bookrags]
Book excerpts [Amazon]
Are the Rural Poor Noble Savages? [The Arts Fuse]
Now that We’ve All Read [it]….Can We Talk about the Ending? [Washington Post]
On Delia Owens [CBS News video]
The Debut Novel That Rules the Best-Seller List [New York Times]
…In the Swamps of North Carolina [The Guardian]

Sugar Snap Peas, Sweet Cherries, Horseradish Dip and Father’s Day Specials!

Dave Schuch reminds Charlestown residents that a free shuttle runs the second and fourth Wednesdays during the summer months to the Catonsville Farmers Market. The shuttle leaves from all lobbies beginning at 10 AM and returns to Charlestown at 11:30 AM. Driver stays with you. Details below provide a good idea about what is available at the market.

For more information check out the Catonsville Farmers Market website.

Catonsville Farmers Market
5820 Edmondson Avenue at The Christian Temple
Wednesday, June 12, 2019
10 AM to 1 PM

Our special guests this week are:
~Amy Wolpert with Market to Mealtime will have recipe cards as well as pamphlets about how to store and use seasonal produce.
~Joseph Pallozzi will be at the market with festive 4th of July Catonsville T-shirts. Be sure to enter the raffle for a chance to wine a handmade quilt.
~Master Gardeners is ready and waiting for any of your gardening questions!
~Andy’s Eggs and Poultry will have plenty of hanging baskets, planters and potted plants this week. Turkey burgers are back in time for Fathers Day cook out. Drumsticks for the grill? Grab them for $2.50 a pack or 5 packs for $7.50! It’s a great time for deviled eggs, pick up a supply of pasture and free-range eggs.
~Bees by the Bay, our alternate vendor will be back next week with all your favorite bee-made treats.
~Belvedere Farm will have sunflowers, lavender, cosmos, dianthus, amaranth, show stopping lilies and colorful bouquets.
~Blades Orchards will be back next week. Sweet cherries will be at Cindy’s table.
~Deep Run Farms will have spinach, Swiss chard, radishes, beets and assorted lettuce varieties.
~Glenville Hollow will have spring planted spinach, beets, broccoli, green and yellow beans, sweet sugar peas, summer squash, kohlrabi, red and green cabbage and spring onions. An assortment of jams and jellies, raw peanuts and popcorn, mustard greens, tatsoi, herb plants, cut herbs and sweet potatoes will be on the table. Cindy will also have sweet cherries.
~Great Shoals will have fruit infused semisweet white wines, aka Tropical Shoals, just released in May 2019. Ask about their new Good Dogs line of fruit flavored brandies just released this month as well as a new vintage of Riptide, a sweet Niagara.
~In Kerry’s Kitchen will have three dips, Herb Cheese, Horseradish and Three Cheese and Roasted Vegetable Dip. Three Spring-inspired soups this week are, Gingered Coconut Carrot Soup, Spinach and Mushroom Soup with Quinoa and Rice, and a Curried Leek, Potato and Pearl Couscous Soup with Tomatoes. (You can preorder soups or dips; simply respond to this email.)
~King Mushrooms will be selling their popular and tasty variety of mushrooms. They also have a variety of dried mushrooms, mushroom extracts and Hungarian Mushroom Soup.
~Lisa’s Love will have an assortment of cookies including It’s Thyme, Lemon Thyme, Snickerdoodles, Chocolate Chip Ginger Love, The Mayer’s Munch (flourless & dairy free) as well as Peanut Butter cookies. And, everything’s better with bacon! Maple Bacon Shortbread. Teeny Tiny Strawberry Crisp and Flourless Fudgy Brownies.
~Little Leaf Springs Farm will have garlic and gorgeous organic garlic scapes.
~Little Paris will have their delicious array of savory and sweet breads and pastries.

In Case You Did Not Know:
You can request to get added to our weekly mailing list; we have nearly reached our goal of 700! You can unsubscribe at any time.

~We recycle egg cartons, pulp baskets, as well as containers from soups and dips.
~Don’t have cash? We’ve got you covered, we accept debit cards in exchange for as many market tokens as you need.

Share us on Instagram and Facebook; we love photos!

Kerry Dunnington
Marketing Coordinator
Catonsville Farmers Market
Facebook: Catonsville Farmers Market

New Archives Display – Brookside Bridge

Sports at Charlestown

Wow, Charlestown residents participate in nine competition sports and seven leisure sports!  See great team photos and learn more about how to join in the fun.

Visit the Archives and enjoy 36 years of amazing Charlestown stories. Archives Office is open Noon – 2 PM on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.  To visit at other times, email or call:
410-737-8838 Ext 8356
Janel Douglass, Archives Group Leader