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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