Chesapeake People

Chesapeake People looks into the lives of a variety of intriguing citizens who call the Eastern Shore home. Among them are scientists, watermen, an educator, a world class sailor and a minister. Their fascinating stories are not only entertaining but offer insight into a special lifestyle. Except for four years in the military, Don Parks has lived on the Eastern Shore of Maryland his entire life. The son of a waterman, Parks began to seriously explore the Chesapeake Bay and its people following his retirement. The Chesapeake has always been one of his passions. Praise for Chesapeake People “From his literary kitchen Don Parks serves a savory oyster stew of memorable characters who enrich, and whose lives are enriched, by their comings and goings on the shores of the Chesapeake Bay.”  —  Jack O’Brien. Retired editor of weeklies in Dorchester, Caroline, Queen Anne’s and Talbot Counties. A former AP writer, …

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Posthumously published novel by Gilbert Byron tells story of early Spanish exploration

A 49-year-old novel stored in the archives of Chesapeake College will be published on December 1, marking yet the latest book to issue from the fertile imagination of Eastern Shore author Gilbert Byron. Byron, who died in 1991 at the age of 87, was sometimes called the “Voice of the Chesapeake” because of his lifelong commitment to writing about the history and heritage of the Bay and those who worked its waters. Byron’s previously unpublished book, Mission Boy, tells the story of a Spanish Jesuit missionary expedition to the Chesapeake Bay (called by the Spanish, the Bay of Santa Maria) in 1570. The doomed mission was guided by a Native American convert to Christianity whom the Spanish knew as Don Luis. Soon after the missionaries’ landing, believed to be on the same Virginia Peninsula where Jamestown was to be founded 37 years later by the English, Don Luis slipped away …

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Mission Boy

Mission Boy tells a little known, true story of early American history. Nearly forty years before the English founded their first permanent colony in the New World, at Jamestown, a small group of Jesuit missionaries sailed north from Havana, Cuba to virtually the same location. Guided by a Native American convert to Christianity whom they called Don Luis, the Jesuits hoped to bring Christianity to the Algonquin Indians and to claim a new territory for King Phillip II of Spain. Their mission did not go according to plan. The Indian guide they depended on slipped back into the forests. Within half a year, only one of their number remained alive. And he had to wait more than another year for rescue, in a vast, beautiful, but treacherous land. In a manuscript written nearly 50 years ago, but not published until now, venerated Chesapeake Bay poet and novelist Gilbert Byron tells …

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The Chesapeake Bay Oyster Cookbook

In his ninth book, Whitey Schmidt – the man dubbed the Blue Crab Guru by Chesapeake Bay Magazine – delivers pleasure on the half shell. His unique take on popular Bay country oyster dishes like stew, oysters Rockefeller and fritters will electrify your palate and delight your guests. Join Whitey as he explores not only great recipes, but the vibrant ways of life surrounding the oyster in Chesapeake country. Through original photographs, vignettes and historic prints along with 210 mouth-watering recipes – Whitey weaves a wonderful tapestry of food, pop culture and history that will leave you hungry for more.

Whitey Schmidt

Whitey Schmidt was the author of eleven books dedicated to the Chesapeake Bay’s unique cuisine. He also starred in Maryland Public Television’s award-winning documentary Eatin’ Crabs Chesapeake Style which can be seen at Whitey was once described by a writer for The Capital newspaper in Annapolis as “undoubtedly one of the great characters in the best sense of the word who make the Chesapeake Bay such a special place to live.” He personally cooked and sampled all recipes in his test kitchen before sharing them with readers. Whitey passed away peacefully in his home art studio on July 18, 2014. He was 75. For more information about Whitey and his lifelong enjoyment of the Chesapeake Bay and its seafood treasures see

Helen Chappell

Helen Chappell lives on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, where she tries to keep a low profile and stay out of the line of fire. She was written about the area for forty years. In addition to her fiction and non-fiction, she has also written a produced play and a novel about Oysterback, A Whole World of Trouble. Her Sam and Hollis mystery series garners positive attention. Her journalism and articles have appeared in the Washington Post and the Baltimore Sun, in addition to many magazines. She is currently a columnist for Tidewater Times and at work on a new book.

The Oysterback Omnibus

Welcome to Oysterback – the sleepy town on Maryland’s Eastern Shore that’s been misplaced by mapmakers and forgotten by time, but still fondly remembered by legions of readers. Once you find yourself in Oysterback, you may never want to leave. Nothing beats Desiree Grinch’s corn soup at the Blue Crab Tavern. There’s never a wait at The Curl Up ‘N Dye Salon de Beaute. In season, you can buy your produce (as you pay your respects) at Dreedle’s Funeral Parlor. There’s bingo every Tuesday at the V.F.D. The Mosquito Festival is next week. And when the moon hangs over Widgeon Marsh as full and yellow as one of Miss Nettie’s oyster fritters, you’ll know you’re in a place like no other. In The Oysterback Omnibus, author Helen Chappell compiles twenty years’ worth of Oysterback tales. As a bonus, she adds the latest social dispatches from the indispensable Oysterback Bugeye – …

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The Eastern Shore Cookbook

Once again, celebrated cookbook author Whitey Schmidt welcomes the reader to his beloved Eastern Shore. This hallowed culinary region nestles between the Chesapeake Bay and the Atlantic Ocean. Through the centuries, it has produced countless mouthwatering recipes. Crab bisques…Oyster fritters…Clam bakes…Beaten biscuits…Salads with locally grown melons and vegetables…the list goes on. The Eastern Shore Cookbook is Whitey’s 11th book dedicated to Bay country cooking. Inside you will find 210 blue-ribbon recipes. Some of them come straight from the wooden drawers of Eastern Shore farm homes. Some of them come from the men working on the wharves of places like Onancock, Virginia and Rock Hall, Maryland. As you sample each scrumptious recipe, you’ll be swept away to the Eastern Shore itself. Whitey’s 300-plus color photographs take you to church suppers…roadside stands…crab shanties and tarry wharves…and small towns across the Shore.

The Crab Cookbook

From the author of the best-selling The Official Crab Eater’s Guide and A Guide to Chesapeake Seafood Dining/ Bayside Views to Dine By, comes The Crab Cookbook, a wonderful collection of hundreds of delicious and elegant ways to prepare crab. There are recipes for every variety of crab you may want to serve, from the popular blue crab, stone crab claws, Dungeness crab, to Alaskan king crab legs. The impressive array of memorable meals features entrees from formal grilled dinners to casual summer fare. Specialty dishes include: Crunchy crab nuggets New Orleans crab spread Baltimore crab soup G.W.’s she crab soup Crab meat and canteloupe salad Chesapeake Bay crab salad Maryland crab cakes Oyster House Road crab cakes Deale deviled crab Northern Neck stuffed crab Soft shell crabs with tarragon sauce Spicy stuffed soft shell crab Miles River crab imperial Choptank crab fritters Sizzling Dungeness crab legs About the Author …

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Conversations in a Country Store

Decades ago, Hal Roth began listening to and recording the tall tales and hard truths of a fast-fading rural culture on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. Shaped by three and a half centuries of geographic isolation from the mainland, and by the tides and winds of the Chesapeake Bay and Atlantic Ocean, the Eastern Shore had its own distinctive vernacular and speech, dating to Elizabethan England, and its own tall tales, superstitions, haunted histories and tumultuous sagas of survival and endurance. The first of a series of books that resulted from his listening and transcribing was Conversations in a Country Store, now regarded as a regional classic. It connects us to a time before the Chesapeake Bay Bridge from Annapolis and the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel from Norfolk opened the Eastern Shore to expressways and automobiles – and began tugging it inexorably into the 20th century. Make no mistake – the Eastern …

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