Chesapeake Legacy: Tools and Traditions
by Larry Chowning
Sports & Recreation / Fishing
10 in H | 7 in W
In the years since Larry Chowning’s book, Harvesting the Chesapeake: Tools and Traditions, was published, the author has fielded many questions from readers about why he didn’t include a particular fishery or tradition in his collection. Chowning answers these questions in this second volume relating to the fisheries in his continuing effort to document the heritage of the Chesapeake Bay. “The truth of the matter is,” he confesses in his preface, “I like most watermen and I like what they stand for. I appreciate their tradition and their struggle to survive in an occupation that does not fit well in today’s fast-paced urban society. Chesapeake Bay watermen are a carryover from earlier days when people had to be self-sufficient just to take care of their basic needs.” It’s easy to share this appreciation for those who make their living on or around the water when reading this volume. It is a treasure trove of little-known gems about life in the Chesapeake region: tales from the days of fishing under sail, reminiscences from women who survived in the waterman’s world, recipes for salting herring and cooking muskrat, descriptions of distinctive fishing vessels from bygone eras and their modern equivalents, and even an account of a very special tradition—the harvesting of human souls through baptism by immersion!
Larry S. Chowning is a reporter for the Southside Sentinel in Urbanna, Virginia. He has been covering the Chesapeake Bay’s fisheries for regional and national periodicals for more than a decade. As field editor of National Fisherman, he traveled extensively in Maryland and Virginia. Besides covering the more publicized events related to the fisheries, Chowning has specialized in the human stories found on the backroads of the Chesapeake Bay region. His travels have provided the raw material for numerous articles and short stories about bay life and lore. Chowning is the author of a number of books about the Chesapeake Bay region, including Chesapeake Bay Buyboats, Chesapeake Legacy, Deadrise and Cross-planked, and Soldiers at the Doorstep.
Zora and David Aiken have collaborated on 12 books, including seven for children. Zora is also a book editor, and David an accomplished watercolorist. They live on a sailboat, gathering material for their work as they cruise coastal waterways.