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Chowning tells tales of a disappearing working water culture

Growing up in the 1950s and 1960s on Urbanna Creek, Larry Chowning absorbed the sights, sounds and smells of the large oyster fleet anchored there, and on weekends when the boats were tied up, was free to jump from stern to stern and to get to know their owners.

This formative experience led him to begin recording their heritage as a reporter for the Southside Sentinel, and as the author of many books on the Chesapeake Bay, its boats, its history, and its people.

Chowning addressed the Guinea Heritage Association on Friday night at Buck’s Store Museum in Bena, filling the bill for one of the organization’s Fourth Friday programs. He related stories of many people of Guinea. Because the old timers who knew the old ways are disappearing, and because the working water culture is a shadow of its past might, he urged the group to do all it can to record that heritage which is unique to Guinea and other waterfront communities.“Film and oral history” are the best ways to document the c...

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