The waterman have docked their boats for the day at Small Boat Harbor (click photo to view).
I would venture to say that the majority of people living in large cities long for the simplicities that can only be found in small towns. In Crisfield, we enjoy those simplicities everyday. You can’t ride down the road without someone waving at you. You can’t go into a restaurant without someone saying, “Hello.” And, as the theme-song from the sitcom “Cheers” suggests, when you go into a bar, “Everyone knows you name, and their always glad you came.”
We retired here from a small town, just to be a little closer to our son. Our town was a bit larger than Crisfield, and one could run errands all day without running into a familiar face. Once or twice a week, friends gathered at one of our favorite places, or had covered-dish parties just to keep the “bonding” going. In a hurry-up world, even in a small town, it is easy to lose touch with friends. But all small towns are not created equal.
Things don’t make small towns. People make small towns. In Crisfield, it is the waterman, the boat captain who runs the mail, the nurse, the person who sells you your heating oil or your insurance, the crab picker, the waiter who brings you your meal, the old man sitting on the bench by the water whose eyes brighten when you say, “Hello.”
This town is rich with history and culture, and a proud people who cherish their past. They have not forgotten who they are.
Law dictates that things must move forward or they die. On the other hand, the things that built a small town can never be laid to waste. They must be pampered and appreciated; dusted daily, and repaired when broken, and never, ever put in a box to be stored like some cherished antique. If not properly cared for, it is easy for a small town to morph into a multiplicity of strip malls, fast food restaurants, and the most dreaded of all, a tourist’s trap with its virtual gobbledygook of storefronts and attractions that blind the senses.
I am proud that this town has not forgotten its roots. We have people who are working to grow our town in all the right ways, while keeping what is cherished the most. Yes, we will grow…but we won’t morph.
I will close by stealing a few lines from “Round Here” by the Counting Crows:
“Round here we always stand up straight
Round here something radiates…”
“Round here we’re carving out our names
Round here we all look the same
Round here we talk just like lions
But we sacrifice like lambs…”
Ah, the flavor of small towns.
Below are some teaser photos of the J. Millard Tawes Historical Museum. I was going to post more inside photos, but that would be giving away our secrets. You'll just have to visit us. You can schedule a walking tour, too.
Call: 410.968.2501 for more info.
This photo was taken from Somers Cove Marina (click photos to view).
This photo of Somer's Cove Marina was taken from the second floor of the museum. The building to the right belongs to the museum, and is a "working" crab shanty in the summer months. The blue building to the far right (there is more to it), not affiliated with the museum, will soon be a restaurant--they will be offering up our delicious Eastern Shore crabs.
Another view of Somers Cove Marina from the second floor of the museum. In the summer months, the marina is a busy place. There are also two tour boats near the museum, if you want to go island hopping.
Below, are three photos taken inside the museum. You history buffs will just have to wait until you can visit to find out more. I ain't tellin'! I can tell you that you will enjoy each and every exhibit.