Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Jacob Have I Loved

"As soon as the snow melts, I will go to Rass and fetch my mother. At Crisfield I'll board the ferry, climbing down into the cabin where the women always ride, but after forty minutes of sitting on the hard cabin bench, I'll stand up to peer out of the high forward windows, straining for the first site of my island." Jacob Have I Loved From Katherine Paterson's book, 1980.

This is an award-winning book about the story of a young girl coming of age in an isolated Chesapeake waterman's town. PBS made a movie from the book that aired in 1989, and features an early role by Bridget Fonda.

Now why am I hawking a book on this blog? Because it was filmed in Crisfield and many of the scenes were filmed in this house, well known around these parts as the LaVallette house.

Albert LaVallette moved to Crisfield in the late 1800's. He had an idea to buy terrapins from the local watermen and sell them to high-end restaurants along the Eastern Shore. It was a good idea and the money began rolling in, enough so that he was able to build his wife and two children a new home - this home.

LaVallette built massive pens behind the house to store the terrapins; his business thrived, earning him the title of the "Terrapin King."

LaVallette's success did not go unnoticed. Other entrepreneurs began rounding up and selling the terrapins. This helped lead to their demise. It is estimated that in 1891, watermen rounded up around 30,000 terrapins. In ten years, the numbers dropped to 70.

LaVallette eventually lost his home, lived on a houseboat for several years, and died a pauper.

I live about two miles from the LaVallette house. It is beautiful from the water. If you are coming into Somers Cove Marina you will see it on your right. But don't go poking around. You know how it is, having a famous house and all?

But do rent the movie. It has some beautiful Crisfield scenes it in. And you will enjoy the movie. Read the book, too.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Photos Without Words...

I will be busy this week. Will post when I can.

"Unlike any other visual image, a photograph is not a rendering, an imitation or an interpretation of its subject, but actually a trace of it. No painting or drawing, however naturalist, belongs to its subject in the way that a photograph does."
~ John Berger

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Blue Heron Filter

"The very idea of a bird is a symbol and a suggestion to the poet. A bird seems to be at the top of the scale, so vehement and intense his life. . . . The beautiful vagabonds, endowed with every grace, masters of all climes, and knowing no bounds -- how many human aspirations are realised in their free, holiday-lives -- and how many suggestions to the poet in their flight and song!" ~John Burroughs

Found this in my files and thought it quite drab. So I added a little magic.

Food Lion Is Coming To Crisfield

Not everybody trusts paintings but people believe photographs. ~ Ansel Adams

Food Lion is coming to Crisfield. Well, it is always exciting when we get a new business.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

A Black and White Moment

"A photograph is a secret about a secret. The more it tells you the less you know." ~ Diane Arbus

I am going to go off my normal theme for this post. I do so every once in awhile, taking you to another part of the county or state. This time I am taking you on a little photo shoot with me.

Photojournalists never have much time to play. When we work we have certain things we have to do in certain ways. We have an exciting job but we don't have a fun job. Fun is being able to play and make mistakes and enjoy whatever comes out of your camera.

Murphy has multiple minions whose job it is to make sure photojournalists don't get too bored. Seldom do things go right for us. The light does not cooperate, the weather does not cooperate, the subjects don't cooperate, you can't get the compositions right because people, things, and light can't be moved in news photos - you name it, it happens, and on a regular basis.

Working photojournalists seldom get time to play with their profession. In the evenings I am too tired to do anything except file photos, work on grants, catch up with whatever I was doing the night before, and get in some R&R with my hubby. Oh, and there is blogging.

But the other night I was feeling nostalgic. I was thinking about Dick Powell and Humphrey Bogart. I was thinking about the images that I saw in the daily newspapers in the fifties and sixties(everyone read the newspaper then). I was thinking film noir one moment; then I was thinking dust bowl photos. My mind moved on to the early eighties when many newspapers were still grabbing awards for black and white images. Next I was thinking how nice Peter Gunn looked in b/w when he walked into a smokey bar.

My mind was truly jumping all over the black and white world. It was kind of like craving chocolate - you start thinking about all the different kinds of chocolate you could have if you just went to the store. I missed the good old days. What was I to do?

My husband was relaxing, watching some kind of sports program on TV. Umm? I did portray him in a rather unflattering way when I did the domesticated animal shootout (remember he was wearing an old man's winter hat and beat up sweatshirt as he was trying to caulk the tub with a cat riding on his back? If you missed the post, never mind. That is a hard one to explain.) so perhaps I could lure him off the couch into the night with a promise of a better photo. I grabbed one of his good hats and a jacket, and told him I was going to pose him around town. "Uh?" You gotta know him to understand that was the height of his protest.

Anyway, here are some black and white photos for your enjoyment. Certainly not award winning. Mediocre, to say the least, but I had fun. I feel much better now.

A guy who had been fishing on the city dock rounded the corner just as I had posed my husband. They started to chat and I told my husband to look back at the newspaper and I caught this "before" moment - the before meaning the split second before two strangers start talking to one another; kind of like freezing something that happened a few seconds earlier...a kind of time warp. After I took the photo, we chatted awhile about fishing and found out our new friend had a good catch the previous night, but no luck on this evening. People are just so nice around this town. This is truly a town with no strangers.

And then I forgot about Bogart and Powell and newspapers...

Then we moved on to Small Boat Harbor. You can't go anywhere in this town without running into someone you know. So when one of our friends stopped her car to see what we were doing, I invited her into the photo.

I could not resist doing one filtered photo. Kind of sacrilegious, isn't it?

Miss Sherry Crab Boat

One can never take too many photos of crab boats. This one is the Miss Sherry, docked at the Crisfield city dock. Filtered photo. Click to enjoy.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Firday "My Town" Shootout - Favorite Place to...

“One must be out-of-doors enough to get experience of wholesome reality, as a ballast to thought and sentiment. Health requires this relaxation, this aimless life.”
~ Henry David Thoreau

This week's assignment comes to us from Cindy in Alaska. I have a lot of favorite places around Crisfield. Since the subject was open, I thought I would pick my favorite place to relax, that being a little place I will not name because tourists know nothing about it. We could take you there but we would have to kill you.

I have used these photos before in two different posts, so forgive me if you have already enjoyed them. I was going to go back and take some more photos but the only things that change are the tides and the light.

You can see from the photos why I go there so much. If you see three people it is a rare day. Most days you see no one. Some days, you are lucky and get to talk to a crabber.

Click on photos to enjoy them in a larger format

A rare occassion when I ran into people.

And a crabber.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

A Cinderella Story...

"How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of Being and ideal Grace."
~ Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Well, maybe not a Cinderella story. I missed Cinderella and her Prince Charming, but I did capture their carriage.

I was coming home from an assignment when I saw this carriage getting ready to take off down the road. I had to slam on my breaks to get the scoop before it hit the traffic - we don't see too many horse and carriages in Crisfield. The carriage was headed to a local church to pick up a newly married couple to take them to the Crisfield Elks Lodge. I thought about going to the church which was near my house, and waiting outside to get them taking off, but I was in too big of a hurry to be a wedding crasher.

Anyway, I took a photo of this fine gentleman (he so reminds me of the old South I left behind) handing me his card. Give him a call if you ever need a carriage or an antique car ride. Ummm? I wonder if he has a pink Cadillac convertible? I've always wanted to ride in one of those.

Thanks Gary. It was nice to meet you and the carriage folks. Next time we meet, we will have to share a mint julep.

Gary Horseman can be reached at 302.846.2236.

BTW, the horses are named Ned and Mac; they are Austrian Haflingers.

Best wishes to Cinderella and her Prince Charming, whoever they are.

Scooter Man

"Photography takes an instant out of time, altering life by holding it still." ~ Dorothea Lange

Captured this jolly fellow heading back from the hardware store on his scooter. Around these parts, a lot of people get around on scooters and bikes. I have a scooter like the one shown, except mine is blue and white.

The subject is waving with his foot because he is carrying recently purchased water boots and other items in one hand and steering with the other. Around these parts, everyone waves, even if their hands are full.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Crisfield Waterman's Festival

Come visit us at the 4th Annual Waterman's Festival, Friday, October 16, at Somers Cove Marina. Enjoy all-you-can-eat seafood and drinks. Hours are 12:00-4:00pm. $45 at the gate. Save $5.00 by calling the Crisfield Heritage Foundation at: 410. 968.2501. The Heritage Foundation is the host of this popular event.

Below are some photos from last year. We had a little rain, but a good time was had by all.

Sorry. This event is no more.

Our mayor speaks before a Native American dance.

"While there is perhaps a province in which the photograph can tell us nothing more than what we see with our own eyes, there is another in which it proves to us how little our eyes permit us to see." ~ Dorothea Lange