I once saw on a friend's desk a plaque that read "It's amazing what can be accomplished when it doesn't matter who gets the credit." How true. In the case of this guidebook, one person's name goes on the cover. But the information in this book is available because there are hundreds of others who have put in their "dirt time" without ever expecting to receive thanks. There were representatives from parks and refuges and county and city visitor centers, biologists, naturalists, and countless other experts who helped. I am always grateful for the tireless and the curious who have researched the natural and cultural history of the Chesapeake Bay.
Thanks to the folks at Longstreet Press, especially Steve Gracie and Marge McDonald, for assigning the writing of the Chesapeake Bay guidebook to me. They also had the wisdom to put Lenz Design in charge of editing both the mountain and coastal Highroad Guide series. I've definitely become spoiled by editors who not only have incredible expertise on the subject matter, but also who are great to work with and turn out really handsome, usable, well-mapped books.
Editor Richard Lenz, as always, was an inspiration. The latest mission impossible was that somehow, Richard zipped off and wrote the highly enjoyable Highroad Guide to the Georgia Coast and Okefenokee without missing a beat, and was back at work editing my copy almost before I realized he'd been gone. You Georgians who haven't explored your coast, guidebook in hand, are in for a treat.
If a person can be a right arm to several people, then Pam Holliday is that. I know she's indispensable to the smooth operation of Lenz Design, and she has been the safety net, once again, for my copy. I've heard other writers talk, so I know that Pam is a rarity. Few writers can send in their copy with the confidence that passing it by an editor will actually improve things. Greatly.
Also, there's the encouragement from her friendly voice on the other end of the line when the hours before a computer screen get long and lonely.
I wish the illustrator, Danny Woodard, were around to hear the oohs and ahs of people who enjoy the sprinkling of beautiful line drawings that make the book so much fun to browse.
Chuck Epes and John Page Williams of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation-both extraordinarily gifted men who apply their considerable talents to the difficult work of saving the bay-gave generously of their time in helping me understand the complexities of the problems facing the bay.
My heartfelt appreciation also goes to the following people, spread around the bay at parks, preserves, refuges, museums, and various county and city offices:
Anne Mannix, Cindy Yingling, Amy Bender, Catherine Harris, Renee L. Barrett, Jim Wychgram, Linda Hinds, Herman Schiekhe, Ruthie Buckler, Shirley Whittington, Sandy Maruchi-Turner, Diane Molner, Jean Cox, Jo Anne Fairchild, Barbara Siegart, Mary Calloway, Cindy Forester, Julie M. Horner, Terry Nyquist, Nell Baldacchino, Mark Haddon, Ginny Vroblesky, Terri Brower, Bobbi Pippin, R. Leader, Glenn Carowan, Arthur Shepherd, Bill Martin, Gary Schenck, Jennifer Cline, and Marty Kaehny.
Kudos to Edward Delaney, John Ohler, Dave Davis, Elllie Altman, Russ Hill, Nancy L. Howard, Suzanne Taylor, Jim Kenyon, Treve Morris, Lorraine Smith, Lisa Challenger, Denny Price, Scott Flickinger, Lynn Badger, Denise McNamara, Doug Samson, Sam Martinette, Hester Waterfield, Bobby Phillips, Suzanne Pearson, Debbie Algard, Anne Kernana, Tina Bianca, Fred Hazelwood, Ken Samples, Rob Riordan, and K. Michael Lathroum.
Also, hats off to Kelly Larkin, Debbie Perry, Susanne Bates, April Havens, Lynne Pines, Rick Smith, Lorrie Wolse, Offut Johnson, Mary Ann Cantwell, Gary Adelhardt, Sam Bennett, Joe Ward, John Schroer, Larry G. Points, Gary Waugh, Jim Meisner, Phil West, Neal Barber, Richard Ayers, Cameron Blandford, Susan Tipton, Kay Alferio, Carol Hanson, Dave Johnson, Jerry Williams, Chris Smith, Debbie Padgett, Danette McAdoo, Troy Snead, Holly Wood, and J. Rosalie Piper.
Finally, I want to thank my family-in-waiting and especially my husband and traveling companion, Garvey. His encouragement was unwavering, even at those times the project seemed bigger than I was. I have the good fortune of being married to a man whose ear is finely attuned to the written word. Most of all, he has been forever patient. When the finish line seemed to evade me like the view through a camera lens being turned to wide angle, he would just smile the smile of one who has been there.
Who would've ever thought I'd have the chance to dedicate a book to the best writer in the family? Honey, this one's for you.
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