[Hpn] Around the park

William C. Tinker wtinker@verizon.net
Thu, 13 Dec 2007 23:20:04 -0500


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Around the park

Years of work at a soup kitchen made into novel
      http://www.hometownannapolis.com:80/cgi-bin/read/2007/12_13-06/CSP
    =20

    =20

 By LESLIE HUNT, staff writer

Published December 13, 2007=20

Dave Connell is known in the neighborhood of Manhattan Beach as the "guy =
who picks up trash" along the streets, usually at the break of dawn, as =
well as the predictable jogger some set their clocks by as he takes his =
daily morning run through the community.
Many residents know him or know of him by these daily routines he =
started many years ago in the waterfront community he and his wife Nancy =
have called home for 36 years.=20
A self-professed "man of many personas" Dave has many anecdotes and =
stories to tell about his early morning litter pickup, something he =
"just likes to do."

For example, a woman passed him a Christmas present through her car =
window while he was picking up debris early one morning. And others who =
toot their horn, smile and wave, not knowing who he is or that he is a =
resident.

Dave said if a smattering of homeowners were asked who he was, their =
response would be: "They would know me as the guy who picks up trash and =
the guy who runs - people set clocks by me. They would never know the =
name Dave Connell," he laughed. That might change with his latest =
endeavor.

Dave, 67, now has one more label: author.

Although he's written three books, "Poverty Tale," is his first =
published work. He began writing it in 2004, and Maryland-based Publish =
American published it last month.

Although the 261-page soft cover is classified as fiction, it is based =
on his experiences preparing and serving food at a soup kitchen in =
Southwest

Baltimore for 35 years.

Once he completed the first 25 pages, Dave began building characters =
into the story.

"It is built off of the culture I live in, which is suburbia. The =
privileges we have that they (soup kitchen clients) could never dream =
of," said Dave.

"I was inspired to write the novel after volunteering at the soup =
kitchen in Baltimore for several years. I observed fascinating =
characters and a poignancy of people dealing with poverty," he said. =
"The characters you see are so interesting, that part almost wrote =
itself."

The kitchen feeds a mid-afternoon meal to nearly 300 people a day. "For =
most, it will be the last until the next day," he said.

Dave works a shift every Wednesday. He's made a commitment to what he =
terms "the neighborhood. . Anything I write about the neighborhood, the =
royalties, about $1 per book, will be given back to the soup kitchen," =
he said.

His work at the soup kitchen began in the mid 1970s when he and Nancy, =
who are both Catholic, attended a group meeting in Cape St. Claire. A =
representative from Baltimore spoke about the homeless in the inner =
city. Dave became involved with a shelter for abused women, acting as =
superintendent of the home until it closed and became the soup kitchen =
he now visits weekly.

"The story's context is the inner city and is centered on a soup =
kitchen. Although fictional the novel draws upon years of observations =
and its characters represent real personalities," said Dave.

Earlier in his career, he was a consultant to public agencies on =
community issues and involved in policy making. His real-life experience =
at the soup kitchen provided him with a new perspective.

"Seeing things up close . real folks at tables, people serving food, it =
was real life," he said. "The thought struck me that it would make a =
good story."

Two characters in the book, Growl and Scowl, are based on the highly =
visible Straughn Lee Griffin carjacking and murder trial and the "twist =
of justice" when one of the accused walked free. "It amplified the story =
and brought it around to being a full novel. It ended up being a major =
expansion of the story itself," said Dave.

Neighbors Sandy and Don Ward said Dave is always there to help them out =
by mowing their lawn when they are away, blowing snow off of their =
driveway and taking in their trash cans when needed.

"He is a remarkable person, for him, life is an adventure. He has a big =
and gentle heart as well," said Sandy. "He's a very energetic fellow and =
approaches everything with a vengeance," said Don.

Sandy is reading a mystery Dave wrote and both plan to read his latest =
book.

In the past, Dave has volunteered for Giving Back Inc., an organization =
that runs an annual clothing and backpack drive for the homeless in =
Baltimore.

He and his wife Nancy have raised five daughters and have four =
grandchildren. Avid sailors, they own a 36 foot Bristol named Carpe =
Vita, Latin for "Seize Life." He liked the idea of expressing emotions =
with Latin words; their previous vessels also followed suit with Carpe =
Diem or 'Seize the Day' and Carpe Auram or 'Seize the Breeze.'

When not picking up litter, jogging, serving food to the homeless, =
sailing or playing tennis, Dave is an instructor. He teaches project =
management classes to businesses and government organizations through =
George Washington University. Retirement is not in the near future. "I =
can't force myself to do it. I enjoy the classroom and doing my =
writing."

"Poverty Tale" is available at Barnes & Noble, Walden's, Ingram's, and =
online at Amazon.com and at www.PublishAmerica.com. The county public =
libraries are reviewing it for inclusion in their local author section.

A Holiday Concert performed by the Severna Park High School orchestra, =
band and chorus followed by traditional singing of "The Alleluia Chorus" =
is at 7 p.m. Wednesday at 60 Robinson Road. The only admission cost is a =
donation of canned goods for the Severna Park Assistance Network.

Reminder: The annual Santa Run by the Earleigh Heights Volunteer Fire =
Company starts this weekend. Have the shoes and coats ready by the door, =
and ready for the mad dash out of the house at the first sound of sirens =
blaring.

Visit www.ehvfc.org for information on when he will be traveling through =
your community. Fire Chief Paul Demasky said they would take donations =
or cookies during the Santa Run. He also wants residents to know that =
they attempt to travel most streets. "With narrow roads, dead ends, =
small courts and time constraints we may not be able to travel each =
street.

"We will at least travel the main road in the community," he said. "If =
someone lives on a dead-end or a court, they should go out to the =
intersection and see us there."

Sunday's run will start at approximately 3 p.m., the weekday runs start =
at 5 p.m., finishing up each night at 9 p.m.

E-mail your Severna Park news to lhunt@capitalgazette.com or call =
410-280-5944.

William Charles Tinker=20
New Hampshire Homeless=20
Founded 11-28-99
25 Granite Street=20
Northfield,N.H. 03276-1640 USA=20
Advocates,activists for disabled,displaced human rights.=20
1-603-286-2492=20
http://www.missingkids.com=20
http://www.nationalhomeless.org=20
http://www.newhampshirehomeless.org=20
newhampshirehomeless-subscribe@topica.com=20


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<DIV class=3Dcol_story_headline><I>Around the park</I></DIV>
<DIV class=3Dcol_story_headline><EM></EM><BR>Years of work at a soup =
kitchen made=20
into novel</DIV>
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Connell is known in the neighborhood of Manhattan Beach as the &quot;guy =
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Connell is known in the neighborhood of Manhattan Beach as the "guy who =
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<DIV class=3Dcol_story_byline>By LESLIE HUNT, staff writer</DIV>
<DIV class=3Dcol_story_byline>&nbsp;</DIV>
<DIV class=3Dcol_story_pubdate>Published December 13, 2007 </DIV>
<DIV class=3Dcol_story_pubdate>&nbsp;</DIV>
<DIV class=3Dcol_story_lead>Dave Connell is known in the neighborhood of =
Manhattan=20
Beach as the "guy who picks up trash" along the streets, usually at the =
break of=20
dawn, as well as the predictable jogger some set their clocks by as he =
takes his=20
daily morning run through the community.</DIV>
<DIV class=3Dcol_story_text name=3D"thestorycontainer">Many residents =
know him or=20
know of him by these daily routines he started many years ago in the =
waterfront=20
community he and his wife Nancy have called home for 36 years.=20
<P>A self-professed "man of many personas" Dave has many anecdotes and =
stories=20
to tell about his early morning litter pickup, something he "just likes =
to=20
do."</P>
<P>For example, a woman passed him a Christmas present through her car =
window=20
while he was picking up debris early one morning. And others who toot =
their=20
horn, smile and wave, not knowing who he is or that he is a =
resident.</P>
<P>Dave said if a smattering of homeowners were asked who he was, their =
response=20
would be: "They would know me as the guy who picks up trash and the guy =
who runs=20
- people set clocks by me. They would never know the name Dave Connell," =
he=20
laughed. That might change with his latest endeavor.</P>
<P>Dave, 67, now has one more label: author.</P>
<P>Although he's written three books, "Poverty Tale," is his first =
published=20
work. He began writing it in 2004, and Maryland-based Publish American =
published=20
it last month.</P>
<P>Although the 261-page soft cover is classified as fiction, it is =
based on his=20
experiences preparing and serving food at a soup kitchen in =
Southwest</P>
<P>Baltimore for 35 years.</P>
<P>Once he completed the first 25 pages, Dave began building characters =
into the=20
story.</P>
<P>"It is built off of the culture I live in, which is suburbia. The =
privileges=20
we have that they (soup kitchen clients) could never dream of," said =
Dave.</P>
<P>"I was inspired to write the novel after volunteering at the soup =
kitchen in=20
Baltimore for several years. I observed fascinating characters and a =
poignancy=20
of people dealing with poverty," he said. "The characters you see are so =

interesting, that part almost wrote itself."</P>
<P>The kitchen feeds a mid-afternoon meal to nearly 300 people a day. =
"For most,=20
it will be the last until the next day," he said.</P>
<P>Dave works a shift every Wednesday. He's made a commitment to what he =
terms=20
"the neighborhood. =85 Anything I write about the neighborhood, the =
royalties,=20
about $1 per book, will be given back to the soup kitchen," he said.</P>
<P>His work at the soup kitchen began in the mid 1970s when he and =
Nancy, who=20
are both Catholic, attended a group meeting in Cape St. Claire. A =
representative=20
from Baltimore spoke about the homeless in the inner city. Dave became =
involved=20
with a shelter for abused women, acting as superintendent of the home =
until it=20
closed and became the soup kitchen he now visits weekly.</P>
<P>"The story's context is the inner city and is centered on a soup =
kitchen.=20
Although fictional the novel draws upon years of observations and its =
characters=20
represent real personalities," said Dave.</P>
<P>Earlier in his career, he was a consultant to public agencies on =
community=20
issues and involved in policy making. His real-life experience at the =
soup=20
kitchen provided him with a new perspective.</P>
<P>"Seeing things up close =85 real folks at tables, people serving =
food, it was=20
real life," he said. "The thought struck me that it would make a good=20
story."</P>
<P>Two characters in the book, Growl and Scowl, are based on the highly =
visible=20
Straughn Lee Griffin carjacking and murder trial and the "twist of =
justice" when=20
one of the accused walked free. "It amplified the story and brought it =
around to=20
being a full novel. It ended up being a major expansion of the story =
itself,"=20
said Dave.</P>
<P>Neighbors Sandy and Don Ward said Dave is always there to help them =
out by=20
mowing their lawn when they are away, blowing snow off of their driveway =
and=20
taking in their trash cans when needed.</P>
<P>"He is a remarkable person, for him, life is an adventure. He has a =
big and=20
gentle heart as well," said Sandy. "He's a very energetic fellow and =
approaches=20
everything with a vengeance," said Don.</P>
<P>Sandy is reading a mystery Dave wrote and both plan to read his =
latest=20
book.</P>
<P>In the past, Dave has volunteered for Giving Back Inc., an =
organization that=20
runs an annual clothing and backpack drive for the homeless in =
Baltimore.</P>
<P>He and his wife Nancy have raised five daughters and have four =
grandchildren.=20
Avid sailors, they own a 36 foot Bristol named <EM>Carpe Vita,</EM> =
Latin for=20
"Seize Life." He liked the idea of expressing emotions with Latin words; =
their=20
previous vessels also followed suit with <EM>Carpe Diem </EM>or 'Seize =
the Day'=20
and <EM>Carpe Auram </EM>or 'Seize the Breeze.'</P>
<P>When not picking up litter, jogging, serving food to the homeless, =
sailing or=20
playing tennis, Dave is an instructor. He teaches project management =
classes to=20
businesses and government organizations through George Washington =
University.=20
Retirement is not in the near future. "I can't force myself to do it. I =
enjoy=20
the classroom and doing my writing."</P>
<P>"Poverty Tale" is available at Barnes &amp; Noble, Walden's, =
Ingram's, and=20
online at <A href=3D"http://amazon.com/" target=3D_blank><FONT=20
color=3D#23408f>Amazon.com</FONT></A> and at <A=20
href=3D"http://www.publishamerica.com/" target=3D_blank><FONT=20
color=3D#23408f>www.PublishAmerica.com</FONT></A>. The county public =
libraries are=20
reviewing it for inclusion in their local author section.</P>
<P>A Holiday Concert performed by the Severna Park High School =
orchestra, band=20
and chorus followed by traditional singing of "The Alleluia Chorus" is =
at 7 p.m.=20
Wednesday at 60 Robinson Road. The only admission cost is a donation of =
canned=20
goods for the Severna Park Assistance Network.</P>
<P>Reminder: The annual Santa Run by the Earleigh Heights Volunteer Fire =
Company=20
starts this weekend. Have the shoes and coats ready by the door, and =
ready for=20
the mad dash out of the house at the first sound of sirens blaring.</P>
<P>Visit <A href=3D"http://www.ehvfc.org/" target=3D_blank><FONT=20
color=3D#23408f>www.ehvfc.org</FONT></A> for information on when he will =
be=20
traveling through your community. Fire Chief Paul Demasky said they =
would take=20
donations or cookies during the Santa Run. He also wants residents to =
know that=20
they attempt to travel most streets. "With narrow roads, dead ends, =
small courts=20
and time constraints we may not be able to travel each street.</P>
<P>"We will at least travel the main road in the community," he said. =
"If=20
someone lives on a dead-end or a court, they should go out to the =
intersection=20
and see us there."</P>
<P>Sunday's run will start at approximately 3 p.m., the weekday runs =
start at 5=20
p.m., finishing up each night at 9 p.m.</P>
<P>E-mail your Severna Park news to <A=20
href=3D"mailto:lhunt@capitalgazette.com"><FONT=20
color=3D#23408f>lhunt@capitalgazette.com</FONT></A> or call=20
410-280-5944.</P></DIV></DIV>
<DIV><FONT face=3DArial size=3D2>William Charles Tinker <BR>New =
Hampshire Homeless=20
<BR>Founded 11-28-99<BR>25 Granite Street <BR>Northfield,N.H. 03276-1640 =
USA=20
<BR>Advocates,activists for disabled,displaced human rights. =
<BR>1-603-286-2492=20
<BR><A =
href=3D"http://www.missingkids.com">http://www.missingkids.com</A> =
<BR><A=20
href=3D"http://www.nationalhomeless.org">http://www.nationalhomeless.org<=
/A>=20
<BR><A=20
href=3D"http://www.newhampshirehomeless.org">http://www.newhampshirehomel=
ess.org</A>=20
<BR><A=20
href=3D"mailto:newhampshirehomeless-subscribe@topica.com">newhampshirehom=
eless-subscribe@topica.com</A>=20
</FONT></DIV>
<DIV>&nbsp;</DIV>
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