Wa­ter­men’s Story Swap planned for Feb. 24 at Gra­sonville VFW

Record Observer - - News - By HAN­NAH COMBS hcombs@kibay­times.com

GRA­SONVILLE — When Troy Wilkins, pres­i­dent of the Queen Anne’s County Wa­ter­men’s As­so­ci­a­tion, and lo­cal au­thor Brent Lewis asked the of­fi­cers of the VFW if they’d be will­ing to host a Wa­ter­men’s Story Swap, they didn’t hes­i­tate, said Lewis. Lewis and Wilkins had been look­ing for an­other op­por­tu­nity for the gen­eral pub­lic to gain in­sight into a lo­cal in­dus­try that is an im­por­tant com­po­nent of our cul­tural her­itage and his­tory, and VFW Com­man­der Herb Jones and his team agreed it was a worth­while en­deavor, Lewis said. The event will be held Fri­day, Feb. 4, at the Gra­sonville VFW be­gin­ning at 6 p.m.

The Story Swap is a for­mat that has been pre­sented suc­cess­fully in the past — the Kent Is­land Her­itage So­ci­ety host- ed an event a few years ago, and Lewis led a well-re­ceived panel at the Ch­e­sa­peake Sto­ry­telling Fes­ti­val in April 2016. This time, Lewis and Wilkins added a few new com­po­nents to the great panel of Queen Anne’s wa­ter­men lined up to par­tic­i­pate in the Wa­ter­men’s Story Swap.

Karen Oer­tel from W. H. Har­ris Seafood, which is cel­e­brat­ing its 70th year of busi­ness this com­ing De­cem­ber, will be par­tic­i­pat­ing. Also join­ing the pro­gram will be Jay Flem­ing, ac­claimed Bay pho­tog­ra­pher and au­thor of the re­cently pub­lished “Work­ing on the Wa­ter,” and Harry David­son, a home­grown, oc­to­ge­nar­ian and Kent Is­lan­der, who is set to per­form songs he’s writ­ten about the water­man’s life.

Lewis plans to have dis­plays of vin­tage pho­tos and “found ar­ti­facts,” and Tom Wil­ley of Wye River Mod­els will dis­play his Ch­e­sa­peake-cen­tic wooden boat mod­els. Authors, in­clud­ing Nick Hox­ter, Mark Lidin­sky and Brent Lewis, will have ta­bles set up with their works as well.

The main por­tion of the pro­gram is sched­uled to last about 90 min­utes with time be­fore and af­ter for guests to talk to the wa­ter­men and check out the the dis­plays.

Wa­ter­men’s Story Swap is set for 6 p.m. Fri­day, Feb. 4, at Gra­sonville VFW Post 7464. Ad­mis­sion is free. Light re­fresh­ments and a cash bar will be avail­able.

There is still space avail­able for any group or per­son in­ter­ested in par­tic­i­pat­ing by set­ting up a dis­play ta­ble of mem­o­ra­bilia rel­e­vant to the seafood busi­ness and lo­cal his­tory. Any­one in­ter­ested in con­tribut­ing or with vin­tage pho­to­graphs of Queen Anne’s wa­ter­men should con­tact Brent Lewis at whiterub­ber­boot@gmail.com.

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