Moving on, but not leaving behind

Joe Orlando sits in his shop Fenwick Street Books & Music, from where he will be retiring this summer after opening the shop in 2003. Orlando said he will miss the most rewarding parts of his work—“Being surrounded by literature, having authors talking to me from 100 years back … That’s just a wonderful feeling, to come and be in this space every day.”

After 16 years as the owner of Fenwick Street Books & Music in Leonardtown, Joe Orlando is retiring, but book lovers need not despair. The last remaining used bookstore in Southern Maryland will continue its business under new management starting next month.

Prior to opening the book-and-record shop in 2003, the Long Island native spent 30 years teaching jazz dance at universities and performance schools internationally.

“I always knew that when I stopped doing that, I wanted to open a used book store,” Orlando said, later adding, “Thirty years is a long time. [New York Yankees legend] Yogi Berra once said when you get tired of putting the uniform on, it’s time to quit.”

His decision to retire is partly predicated on injuries he sustained as a jazz instructor, as he faces a third back surgery, he said.

“Moving books, bending, doing all that stuff — I simply can’t do it anymore,” he said.

An avid traveler, Orlando said he makes a point of visiting used book stores in every city to which he ventures — his yearly 38-city tour, he called it. “I always made sure the first thing I did was locate the used book store,” he said.

When Orlando opened Fenwick Street Books, he said just two used bookstores existed in the state’s southern region — Second Looks Books in Prince Frederick, which is closing, and Ellie’s Paperback Shack in Waldorf, which closed in 2011.

“Leonardtown was the only place I wanted to be. It’s downtown, it’s historic. … If it’s gonna work anywhere, it’s gonna work here,” Orlando, who this month stepped down after serving four years as president of the Leonardtown Business Association, said.

“You learn from your customers as you go along, what people are looking for, and as you learn from your customers, you learn how to suggest books for other people,” he said. “If they can get good suggestions, they start to trust you.”

“It was very important to me that the store continue its atmosphere, its ambience,” he said in his book-and-record store Wednesday. The county fixture undoubtedly has a certain easing presence, with towering walls of its 20,000 books, which readers may peruse as they navigate winding pathways to cozy back-corner nooks.

Quickly after Orlando announced he would be selling his business on his Facebook page, he said he was approached by six interested buyers, but he wanted to know the buyer “had a love of books and was able to work with the community,” he said.

The new owners, Jodie Brouwer and her daughter, Kelly Brouwer, who worked at Second Looks Books, should take over management starting next month, Orlando said.

“I’m thankful that against all odds, we’ve survived and have done very well, and that’s in thanks to all the community,” he said. “It takes a lot to compete with Amazon. … You have to really offer something that’s different, and the biggest difference in a used bookstore is the expertise of the owner and employees.

“You can discover things that you maybe would not have even thought about buying. Amazon has an algorithm they use,” Orlando said. “But an algorithm will never replace personal, hands-on help.”

Concert in Callaway to feature EDM

This Friday, July 12, a Cuantm Flx EDM concert will be held at 5 South Event Center in Callaway. The show is slated from 9 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. and is for guests 18 and older. The electronic dance music will be played by DJ Lankseky, Project Jeff, OFY, C.A.M. and Bounce Force Trauma as well as rapper Sidd of Ill Ruckus. There will also be beer pong and corn hole games.

Cost is $5 in advance or $10 at the door. Other EDM concerts are scheduled throughout the year. For more information or to buy tickets in advance, visit

Girls can learn about engineering

The College of Southern Maryland will present the program Engineer Like a Girl next week from July 15 to 19, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. each day, at the Leonardtown campus in Building C, Room 216. Engineer Like a Girl is a free one-week summer program to familiarize high school girls with career opportunities in the field of engineering. The program includes workshops, hands-on activities and projects in a wide range of engineering disciplines. A day visit to NAVAIR is included in the program. A similar opportunity will be offered at CSM’s La Plata campus in August. Pre-registration is required. For more, email or visit

Hops workshop, field tour planned

The Southern Maryland Agricultural Development Commission in partnership with University of Maryland Extension is hosting a Hops Farm Tour and Field Day workshop on Wednesday, July 17. Workshop participants will get a close-up look at hop production, learn more about varieties best suited to Maryland, as well as the latest information on disease and insect management, harvesting, trellis systems, on-farm brewing and much more.

The first stop will be at the experimental research hopyard at University of Maryland’s Western Maryland Research and Education Center in Keedysville. The half-acre hop yard showcases 24 hop varieties managed intensively for fertility and irrigation, as well as insect, disease and weed control, using integrated Pest Management principles.

Following an on-farm lunch, participants will tour Milkhouse Brewery at Stillpoint Farm, a commercial brewery and hopyard in Mt. Airy. The farm brewery features a one-acre hopyard and produces classic styles of beer crafted with nearly 100% Maryland grown ingredients including grains, fruits, herbs, and honey.

The cost of the tour is $15, including lunch and charter bus transportation to and from the Charlotte Hall pick-up point. To register, visit the “What’s New/News and Announcements” page at or email

Health department seeks nurse practitioner

The St. Mary’s County Health Department is seeking a nurse practitioner/contractor for a period of one year beginning immediately through June 30, 2020, with a possibility of extension, to provide clinical services for family planning, reproductive health and sexually transmitted infections. This position is a part-time position with flexibility, offering 8 to 24 hours per week. To learn more about this request for proposals and to apply, visit

Middle school safe boating course offered

The Sailing Center Chesapeake, in conjunction with St. Mary’s College of Maryland, has openings in three week-long safe boating courses sponsored by a Spirit of America grant from the U.S. Coast Guard. Remaining course dates are July 22 to 26 at St. Mary’s College of Maryland and Aug. 5 to 9 at Tall Timbers Marina, with hours from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily. Students who have completed sixth, seventh, or eighth grade in 2019 are eligible. Students must pass a swimming test on the first day the course. Completion of the course and passing the final exam earns the student a MD Safe Boater Certificate, required to operate a boat in Maryland. There is a $100 application fee. Register at

Symposium looks at impacts from ice loss in Arctic

The eighth Symposium on the Impacts of an Ice-Diminishing Arctic on Naval and Maritime Operations will take place July 17 and 18 at The Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center in Washington. The forum is a joint program of The Wilson Center, the U.S. National Ice Center, the U.S. Arctic Research Commission, The Patuxent Partnership and the Center for the Study of Democracy at St. Mary’s College of Maryland.

The symposium will focus on naval and other maritime operations in an “ice-diminishing Arctic” and brings together experts on arctic marine operations, the environment, science, policy, law, and governance. Speakers and panelists will share perspectives on the impacts on marine transportation; federal, state, local and international operations; security; scientific research; infrastructure; investments; and policy implications in the region.

College gets tree honors

St. Mary’s College of Maryland earlier this year was honored with 2018 Tree Campus USA recognition by the Arbor Day Foundation for its commitment to effective urban forest management.

“This was a team effort that included hard work from our arboretum intern Sam Berenschot-Bucciero, the sustainability fellow Kaitlin Aaby, our campus arborist Justin Mattingly, our grounds staff led by Steve Gregory, professor Jon Linn for his help with mapping, and the rest of the arboretum committee,” Thomas Brewer, manager of environmental health, safety, and sustainability programs at the college, said in a release.

St. Mary’s College has been recognized multiple years by Tree Campus USA, a national program created in 2008 to honor colleges and universities for effective campus forest management and for engaging staff and students in conservation goals. St. Mary’s College achieved the title by meeting five core standards for an effective campus management: establishment of a tree advisory committee, evidence of a campus tree-care plan, dedicated annual expenditures for its campus tree program, an Arbor Day observance and the sponsorship of student service-learning projects.

Get help to quit smoking

The St. Mary’s County Health Department offers quit tobacco classes and other resources for free to individuals that are ready to quit using tobacco. For more information, visit or call 301-475-4330.

Help available for nonprofit groups

The Nonprofit Institution at the College of Southern Maryland regularly shares resources to assist nonprofit organizations in the region to enhance their effectiveness and achieve success. Grant information, training opportunities and other resources can be found on the institute’s website at