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Smithsonian Folklife Festival
Water Ways: Mid-Atlantic Maritime Communities

Storytelling and Oral Tradition

Throughout the course of the 2004 Folklife Festival, dozens of story tellers shared their experiences living on or near the water, from stories of everyday life to fanciful tall tales. Click on the links below to listen to live recordings from the Festival.

Songs are arranged by genre. For more information on the artists' home communities, visit the Ports of Call page here.

New York

Pete Ames (Little Neck, NY)

Making Fishing Rods

Jack Combs (Long Island, NY)

Cooking "Down The Bay"
Decoy Carving
Mosquito Erradication

Reggie Jones (Jones Beach, NY)

Lifeguarding at Jones Beach

Stewart Lester (Amagansett, Long Island, NY)

Weather on the Water

Cory Weyant (Freeport, NY)

Working the Smokehouse (video)

New Jersey

Phil Cisrow (Port Norris, NJ)

Cooking Oysters
Shucking Oysters

Sarah Cisrow (Port Norris, NJ)

Oyster Fritters

Clarence Fennimore (Tuckerton, NJ)

Duck Decoy Carving Demonstration (video)

Steve Meserve (Lambertville, NJ)

River Fishing

Sue Meserve (Lambertville, NJ)

The Lewis Fishery

Scott Sheppard (Port Norris, NJ)

Starting a Fishing Career

Carl Tarnow (Raritan Bay, NJ)

New Car Story (video)
Tarnow Sunrise (video)
Family Fishing

Meagan Wren (Bivalve, NJ)

AJ Meerwald
Bay Day in Bivalve
Storms at Sea


Hazel Brittingham (Lewes, DE)

Military Presence in Lewes

Dick Buckaloo (Lewes, DE)

Boating Apprentice

Doug Gibson (Milville, DE)

Decoy Carving
Carving as a Kid

Shirley Price (Cedar Neck, DE)

Bait and Tackle Shop

Clyde Roberts (Port Penn, DE)

The Essence of a Fisherman


Pie Edwards (Rock Hall, MD)


Mark Donohue (Piney Point, MD)

On Being a Rigger
On Restoring Historic Ships

Charlie Petrocci (Tilghman Island, MD)

The Origins of Hunting Clubs

Joyce Fitchett (Crisfield, MD)

Crab Picking

Ron Fithian (Rock Hall, MD)

Hurricane Isabelle

Bernadette Gesser (Rock Hall, MD)

Lighthouse Story

James Lane (Crisfield, MD)

History of the Oyster Industry

Wayne "Hon" Lawson (Crisfield, MD)

Hurricane from an Airplane
Hurricane Hazel

Glen Phillips (Ocean City, MD)

Competition Calling

Lynn Stevens (Shady Side, MD)

Building Sails

Richie Tillman (Chesapeake Bay, MD)

Screaming Eels


Harold Anderson (Reedville, VA)

Purse Seining

David Burden (Cape Charles, VA)

Tourism on the Eastern Shore
Ecotourism and Development

Grayson Chesser (Sanford, VA)

Sink Boxes
Coastal Family (video)

Shawn Giacobbe (Chincoteague, VA)

First Time Fishing

Binky Dize (Smith Island, VA)

Smith Island Life
Donkey Baseball

Arthur Leonard (Chincoteague, VA)

Cooking Duck

Mildred Moore (Pamunkey Reservation, VA)

Life on the Pamunkey River

Bo Lusk (Cape Charles, VA)


Kenny Pinkard (Burgess, VA)

Menhadden Fishing

Janice Marshall (Smith Island, VA)

On Island Isolation
Smith Island Community

Joe Youcha (Alexandria, VA)

Traditional Flatbottom Skiffs

North Carolina

Karen Amspacher (Harkers Island, NC)

Isolation (with Janice Marshall)
Nights on Harkers Island

Lonnie Ray Sykes (Columbia, NC)

Mornings in the Marsh

Chatmon Bryant (Alligator, NC)

Duck Blinds

Heber Guthrie (Gloucester, NC)


Rodney Kemp (Moorehead City, NC)

The Best Duck Dog Story (video)
The Story of Uncle Cleve (video)

Kelley Nelson (Moorehead City, NC)

Decoy Carving (video)

Debbie Styron (Cedar Island, NC)

Cooking Shrimp

Melvin Twiddy (Manns Harbor, NC)

Storm Story

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Storyteller at the Folklife Festival 2004.