Twenty years ago, I married a waterman trapped in a chicken necker’s body. He spent all of his free time on the water. While I, on the other hand, spent all of my time trying to understand his love for chicken necks and bull lips. One day he came home and told me he met someone. A special someone who shared the same interests he had. Some one who could give him what he wanted. Someone who not only listened to him, but understood his passion-his name was Ted. My husband ha no idea what I was imagining, but in that moment, I decided I better learn everything I could about crabbing. Four years later we made the move to Kent Island. My husband had tried to convince me that our children would never get the same level of education on the Western shore that they would on the Eastern shore. I didn’t fully believe him, but I knew the Eastern shore was calling his name. Over the past sixteen years, my husband has endeared himself to many local watermen, and we have spent almost as many hours on the water that we have on the land. This past Monday, a man by the name of Rudolph Green, changed my husbands life forever. He’s a quiet, unassuming man yet he belongs to a group of elite men who made the Eastern shore what it is today. He’s a local waterman, who after seventy years has passed the torch to my husband. It wasn’t the signing of the paper that completed my husbands transformation-it was the blessing Mr.Green gave him when he said, “Congratulations, you are no longer a chicken necker.” In that very moment, I was flooded with emotion. I saw joy, I saw sadness, I swear I could see the very water that man had spent his life working on, in his tearing eyes. I also understood in that moment, what drew my husband to the Eastern shore and I knew he was right about our children’s education, but it came by the way of the water and the way only the Eastern shore can teach. So thank you to all the watermen that came with and those that come before, but especially to Mr.Green for making a chicken necker’s dream come true.
No longer a chicken neckers wife