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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Hal Roth

Hal Roth, author

Hal Roth was born in Cementon, a small manufacturing town in Pennsylvania’s Lehigh Valley. After serving with the United States Air Force during the Korean War, he attended Muhlenberg College and Lehigh University, moving to Maryland in 1957 to pursue a career in public education. In 1972, he purchased a small farm in Dorchester County, on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, where he raised trees and authored many popular books of Eastern Shore history and folklore. In recent years he has devoted his time to the avocation of photography. Praise for Hal Roth “Anyone who loves the Eastern Shore, or at the very least wants to understand what this gently sinking peninsula is all about, ought to read Hal Roth. His ear for the subtle nuances and the telling details of the marshy side of Chesapeake Bay is unparalleled. In the future, when this place is all quaint reproduction condos in pseudo-Colonial …

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