Friday, April 24, 2009
House For Sale, Boat Included
I was looking through the photos I took last weekend when I got to spend time on Hooper's Island. A few years ago, the island was a place where fishermen raised their family and spent their days on the water catching fish, oysters and the famous Marylnd blue crabs. Today, many of the boats deteriorate in boatyards while those very same families are wondering how they will make out in the emerging world village. There is no work and legislators block fishing for species they fear will become extinct.
There are a couple of small communities on Upper Hooper and Lower Hooper islands. A beautiful causeway connects the two islands. You drive the main route through the village of Fishing Creek, past the Hoopers Island Volunteer Fire Company, Hoosier Memorial Methodist Church and Old Salty's a seafood restaurant seated in the island's old school. Much of Hoopersville, the lower island is untended, the tides eroding the shorelines as boats and houses sink slowly into the wetland.
There are lot of properties for sale on the island, places that are being sold because so many of the watermen and their wives are moving to areas where there might be more work.
The true depression is on the faces of these displaced workers, some of whose family members have plied the Honga River and Fishing Bay for hunreds of years. A number of homes on the island have been sold to people who can afford to live and work elsewhere. Some of the houses are simply abandoned.
Sadly, many of those abandoned houses are simply waiting, their empty windows staring out across the waters, a boat slowly sinking into the marshy yard that stays wet throughout the summer because the lawn has not been mowed.
I want to say a prayer for the ghost houses and the unloved boats. It doesn't seem right, but perhaps the greening of America will restore the fishing and bring those fisherment back to the waters of Fishing Bay. One can only hope.
That's all for today, keep on the sunny side! Terry
Terry L White -Author of the Chesapeake Heritage Series
"Travel Through Time With Terry"