Watermen of South County Calendar Helps Fund History
OK. First let me say, I saw that movie Calendar Girls with Helen Mirren—the one where the elderly ladies of a charity club in Britain decide to pose in the nude to raise money for the local hospital. So I was curious about the “Watermen of South County” calendar that I saw for sale on a community bulletin board.
I called the Howes family of Shady Side. Julie and Denny Howes, third generation crabbers, were instrumental in putting the calendar together. I met with Julie at their home in the Avalon Shores community to find out more about the calendar ($12) and how it came together.
Julie said that the calendar is a brand new idea. It came about because the Capt. Avery Museum, a favorite stop for schoolchildren from schools across the county, might be losing some support because of the costs associated with hosting school groups at the museum.
See, at the Capt. Avery Museum, a field trip isn’t just a tour through the old house. The organizers also try to bring in the water component and teach about how people lived off the Bay—and still do. The Chesapeake Bay is a crucial component to the story of Capt. Salem Avery himself, a waterman who fished and crabbed and made his living on the bounty of the Bay.
So the children on school trips get to go out on the water. They travel by boat and get to pull up nets and crab pots. Once they are dropped off back on shore at the Museum, they get to check out the wet box which has some examples of the kinds of fish and crabs and oysters that can be found in the Bay. The students get to touch and hold and feel. They get to see, even for a few seconds, what it is like to hold on to some traditional jobs in southern Anne Arundel County.
Howes said that they wanted to find a way to reduce the cost of the trip. That is when the calendar idea came up.
“We’re hoping to raise $2,500.” Howes said. They sold a few advertising spaces and printed 1,000 calendars. The calendars will go for $12 each. They first went on sale in mid-October..
To get the photos of the watermen, Julie made arrangements with the men and hired Sarah Buck of Buck Photography to go out and take the pictures. They took Buck out in the boat and she shot 10 to 20 photos of each waterman. From those, they selected one boat and waterman for each month.
The watermen are fully clothed of course.
“The men were great. They stayed out later and hung around so that we could come and get photos of them,” Howes said.
The calendars went up for sale the first time at the Capt. Avery Museum’s Oyster Festival in late October. They’ll also be for sale at Southern High’s Craft Fair on Dec. 1. You can also get a calendar at the Capt. Avery Museum in Shady Side. Finally, you can order from their Facebook page and pay with PayPal, then they’ll ship it out to you.
Here’s the month-by-month list of calendar guys and boats:
- January: John VanAlstein of Dunkirk on “Patricia Anne”
- February: Buddy Thorne of West River on “Miss Pam”
- March: Bill Cheatham of Shady Side on “Sue”
- April: Steve Smith of Shady Side
- May: Charlie Quade of Churchton on “3 Dianes”
- June: Robert Howes of Shady Side on “Lil Maeham”
- July: Eddie Howes of Churchton
- August: Booty Collins of Deale on “Katherine C”
- September: Ralph Yates of Shady Side on “Critter Gitter”
- October: Danny and Tommy Burke
- November: Denny Howes of Shady Side
- December: Johnny Galloway