Shore Sporting Life November 2023

Page 1


The Sporting








Chuck Chuck Chuck Chuck Chuck Mangold, Jr. Mangold, Jr. Mangold,Jr. Jr. Mangold, Mangold, Jr.

Benson & Mangold is the Benson isisisthe Benson&&&Mangold Mangold the Mid-Shore's #1 Real Estate Benson Mangold the Benson & Mangold is the Benson Mangold isEstate the Mid-Shore's #1 Estate Mid-Shore's #1Real Real Estate firm and & has been serving Mid-Shore's #1 Real Mid-Shore's #1 Real Estate Mid-Shore's #1 Real Estate firm and has been serving firm and has been serving the area for nearly firm and has been serving firm and has been serving firmthe and hasyears. been serving for thearea area fornearly nearly 60 the area for nearly the for nearly the area area for nearly 60 60years. years. 60 years. 60 years. 60 years. a local When considering When considering a alocal When considering local firm, choose the company When considering alocal local When considering a Talbot, Queen Anne’s, Caroline & Dorchester Counties. When considering a local firm, choose the company firm, choose thereliably company that has been customer service to the table for every client’sand need He unmatched knowledge, experience Hebrings brings unmatched knowledge, experience and in a firm, choosethe thecompany company firm, choose HeHe brings unmatched knowledge, experience and firm, choose the company that has been reliably that has been reliably leading the Shore for brings unmatched knowledge, experience and seamless or sale. Nofor matter what stage of the customer service the table client’s need inina a customer servicetoto the table forevery every client’s need He brings purchase unmatched knowledge, experience and that has has been beenreliably reliably that customer service to the table for every client’s need in a customer service to the table for every client’s need in a homebuying or selling process you arewhat in, Chuck and his that has the been reliably leading for seamless No matter stage ofofthe leading theShore Shore for seamlesspurchase purchase orsale. sale. No matter what stage the generations and is customer service toor the table for every client’s need in a leading the Shore for seamless purchase or sale. No matter what stage of the leading the Shore for seamless purchase or sale. No matter what stage of the team have the resources and expertise to assist. Armed homebuying or selling process you are in, Chuck and his homebuying or selling process you are in, stage Chuckof and leading the for seamless purchase or sale. No matter what thehis generations and generations andis is committed to Shore serving our homebuying or selling process you are in, Chuck and his homebuying or selling process you are in, Chuck and his with a dedicated, full-time staff, he is free to market your generations and is team have the resources and expertise to assist. Armed generations and is team have the resources and expertise to assist. Armed homebuying or selling process you are in, Chuck and his generations andfuture. is our committed totoserving committed serving our clients well into the team have the resources and expertise to Armed team the resources and expertise to assist. Armed home or find you your dream home. with ahave full-time staff, heheisisfree to your with adedicated, dedicated, full-time staff, free tomarket market your team have the resources and expertise toassist. assist. Armed committed to serving our committed to serving our committed tointo serving our clients the clientswell wellinto thefuture. future. with a dedicated, full-time staff, he with a dedicated, full-time staff, he free to market your home your home. home orfind findyou you yourdream dream home. with a or dedicated, full-time staff, heisis isfree freeto tomarket market your your clients clients well into intothe thefuture. future. home find you your dream home. clients well well into the future. home or or find you your dream home or find you your dreamhome. home. 31 GOLDSBOROUGH STREET CHUCK@CHUCKMANGOLD.COM 3131GOLDSBOROUGH CHUCK@CHUCKMANGOLD.COM EASTON, MDSTREET 21601 GOLDSBOROUGH STREET CHUCK@CHUCKMANGOLD.COM WWW.CHUCKMANGOLD.COM 31 GOLDSBOROUGH STREET CHUCK@CHUCKMANGOLD.COM GOLDSBOROUGH STREET CHUCK@CHUCKMANGOLD.COM EASTON, MD 21601 31 GOLDSBOROUGH STREET CHUCK@CHUCKMANGOLD.COM | Office: 410-822-6665 EASTON, MD 21601 WWW.CHUCKMANGOLD.COM WWW.CHUCKMANGOLD.COM Mobile: 410-924-8832 EASTON, MD 21601 WWW.CHUCKMANGOLD.COM EASTON, MD21601 21601 MD Mobile:410-924-8832 410-924-8832| Office: | EASTON, Office:410-822-6665 410-822-6665 WWW.CHUCKMANGOLD.COM WWW.CHUCKMANGOLD.COM Mobile: Mobile: 410-924-8832 | Office: 410-822-6665 Mobile: Office:410-822-6665 410-822-6665 Mobile: 410-924-8832 410-924-8832 || Office:

ASSOCIATE BROKER 410-924-8832 ASSOCIATE BROKER ASSOCIATE BROKER ASSOCIATE BROKER ASSOCIATE BROKER 410-924-8832 410-924-8832 410-924-8832 ASSOCIATE BROKER A leading agent in all price ranges for over 20 years, 410-924-8832 410-924-8832 Chuck joined Benson & price Mangold infor 2001. He20 prides AAleading agent ranges over years, leading agent allprice ranges over years, A leading agent in in allinall price ranges forfor over 2020 years, A leading agent in all price ranges for over 20 years, himself on being in all facets of Eastern Shore Real Estate, Chuck joined Benson & Mangold in 2001. He prides Chuck joined Benson & Mangold in 2001. He prides A leading in all ranges for over years, Chuck joinedagent Benson & price Mangold in 2001. He 20 prides Chuck joined Benson & Mangold in 2001. He prides including inland, waterfront & commercial properties in himself ononbeing ininallall ofofEastern Shore Real Estate, himself being facets Eastern Shore Real Estate, Chuck joined Benson &facets Mangold in 2001. He prides himself on being in all facets of Eastern Shore Real Estate, himself on being in all Eastern Shore Real Talbot, Queen Anne’s, Caroline & Dorchester Counties. including waterfront &of properties inin including inland, &commercial commercial properties himself oninland, being inwaterfront all facets facets of Eastern Shore Real Estate, Estate, including inland, waterfront & commercial properties in including inland, waterfront & commercial properties in Talbot, Anne’s, Caroline & &Dorchester Counties. Talbot,Queen Queen Anne’s, Caroline Dorchester Counties. including inland, waterfront & commercial properties in Talbot, Queen Anne’s, Caroline & Dorchester Counties. Talbot, Queen Anne’s,knowledge, Caroline & Dorchester He brings unmatched experience Counties. and

true talbot. true chesapeake. true talbot. true chesapeake. Hunting and Fishing Guideand Hunting Fishing Guide

true true

outdoors outdoors

3036321-1 Talbot Eco Dev. & Tourism Hunting and and fishing fishing are Hunting are woven woveninto into thefabric fabric of of life life in the in Talbot Talbot County Countyas as are stewardship and conservation. are stewardship and conservation. Whether you’re casting for rockfish, Whether you’re casting for rockfish,

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looking for that trophy white-tailed looking for that trophy white-tailed deer, or simply reveling in the beauty deer, or simply reveling in the beauty of nature, we have the charter captains of nature, we have the charter captains and hunting guides who can help you and hunting guides who can help you craft the experience of a lifetime. craft the experience of a lifetime.

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SHOP ARRAE Fine Gifts + Objects

Talbot Town Center 218 N Warshington St 410-443-0482

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TA B L E COVER STORY: For the love of carving Bobby Connolly crafts and creates striking decoys

TASTE BUDS: Cigars & Smoke Community for Talbot and beyond

ATMOSPHERE: Big-picture conservation Chesapeake Wildlife Heritage: Preserving wetland habitat through restoration 6


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STAGE LEFT: Crafting radiant fragrance


WAYFARING: Riverside Lodge

The Lodestone Candles journey

Maintaining century-old hunting and fishing traditions


53 PROFILES: Dakota Abbott Flowers Into the life of a world champion muskrat skinner

Making perfect matches

Small town brewery with big taste

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STRANGE TAILS: Hill Hounds Rescue & Animal Sanctuary

HIGH SPIRITS: Bull and Goat



LOCAL FLAVORS: Hunt to table Making the connection with Modern Stone Age Kitchen

SHOP TALK: Custom Creations Thomas Jewelry makes life on the Eastern Shore into beautiful collections

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3031149-1 The ARC


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EDITORS’ NOTE President Jim Normandin

For some reason, this summer felt especially hot, humid and never-ending. While we were in it, flannel shirts, pumpkin and maple flavored treats, apple-picking and colorful foliage might as well have been a tall tale. Yet all of a sudden, I find myself writing this and it’s a bit chilly outside, candy corn is in the dish next to my desk and the Baltimore Orioles just got inexplicably swept by the Texas Rangers.

Executive Editor Eli Wohlenhaus Assistant General Manager, Sales Betsy Griffin 443-239-0307 Creative Director Jennifer Quinn

It’s fall and it’s time for our annual sporting life edition of Shore and let me tell you, we love putting it together. I personally have so much fun planning the story ideas and talking to the writers and photographers about their assignments.

Page Design Jennifer Quinn Meredith Moore Eli Wohlenhaus

Editorial Liaison Amelia Blades Stewart

A lot of times I am also reflecting on memories of growing up and partaking in sporting life activities. I did not go hunting growing up. My parents were not hunters and I never expressed any interest because I didn’t really have any. I enjoyed target shooting and I thought I was quite the hawkeye with the BB gun in the backyard, but hitting oak trees from 20 feet away isn’t that hard.

Contributing Photographers Jennifer Quinn Audrey Wozny Cal Jackson Tracey F. Johns Maggie Trovato Amelia Blades Steward

No, not a hunter, but boy did I love fishing. I remember when my grandfather would take me fishing it always started with collecting bait. He would send me out with an old coffee can to catch grasshoppers in his yard. I thought it was so much fun and he probably enjoyed it, too, knowing that I was doing the hard part.

Contributing Writers Debra Messick Amelia Blades Steward Tracey F. Johns Niambi Davis Katie Melynn Eleanor Pratt

These core memories are so fond to reflect on and they’re fresh in my mind because of the stories we have inside this edition. That’s what we love about what we do and what we print — we’re learning, growing and reflecting as a community on some of these great moments that happen in our lives and our community.

Editorial Contact 240-801-2258 Submissions 29088 Airpark Drive Easton, MD 21601

Get lost in these pages like we have. Call upon memories of grandpas and grasshoppers or get ready to make new ones with us at Shore.

— Eli


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Shore Magazine is published by The Star Democrat. No portion may be reproduced in whole or in part by any means, including electronic retrieval systems, without written permission from the publisher.

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LOVE OF Story by Debra R. Messick | Photos by Audrey Wozny


s far back as he can remember, the intricate grandeur of waterfowl has captivated Talbot County’s Robert E. (Bobby) Connolly, Jr. The fascination, which he can’t quite explain, has not only remained, but grown. Today, that enduring admiration is evident in the many hand carved and painted decoys he has devoted countless hours to crafting. A lifelong outdoorsman, some of those painstakingly creations meet the same fate as traditional hunting decoys, “getting pretty beat up,” among them, a Canvasback decoy missing an eye, and a badly nicked up seagull scarred after encountering 40 shotgun pellets, he noted. Others which result from special requests, especially from wife Sherrie and daughter Maddy, lead a far more sheltered, but equally treasured, life. And one recently even served as a sacred vessel of memory. “A while back, a couple asked me to carve a large drake Canvasback, hollow it out like I normally do, and put the ashes from their old gun dog inside the decoy before I epoxied


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it together. The dog had just passed at 15 years old. It was a Chesapeake Bay Retriever and I gladly accepted the request,” Connolly recalled. For the most part, though, he is content creating merely for the sheer enjoyment it brings him. Ensconced in the spacious yet cozy workshop he built beside his home, Connolly, partner in the home building/remodeling enterprise Connolly and Lyons Builders, Inc., keeps busy any chance he can, accompanied by devoted Labrador Retriever “assistants” Ella and Harlan, and a silent but stately coterie of impressively lifelike decoy companions. In one corner of the room, amid an ever growing pile of wood shavings (which help feed the nearby woodstove and provide bedding in the roomy henhouse he also constructed), beneath a vast wall papered with his favorite freehand drawn patterns and one giant swooping plywood goose crafted at age 12, is the spot where Connolly continually plies his seemingly magical process — recreating in cedar, pine and paint whichever denizen of the duck (or swan, goose, or shorebird) world draws his interest at any given moment. Just across the room sits the separate 16

station where layer after layer of carefully blended tube oil paints and numerous protective finishing coats of polyurethane are carefully hand brush applied. The up to eight layers enhance the already impressive weather resistant features of the cedar, rendering each decoy virtually impenetrable by water, Connolly noted, with time deepening each specimen’s rich patina. T h i s f a l l , f i n a l l y, a f t e r encouragement from some decoy carving family members and friends, Connolly is displaying his work publicly. “Bill and Allan Schauber, cousins of mine down the line, and Sean Terry (all 3 are decoy carvers from Kent County) inspired me to do the Charlie Joiner memorial show in Galena,” he said. “Bill Schauber and my Uncle Fred Connolly inspired me to do the Waterfowl Festival.” Looking back, while his fondness for waterfowl was ever present, his ultimate skill level would take a bit longer to kick in.

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He brought me over a little miniature goose just roughed out with a band saw, and a knife, and At 5 years old, in art class, Connolly instinctively molded his first piece in homage to the feathered, web footed creatures so plentiful in the great outdoors he already loved, crafting a little clay duck with a bit of color applied. Throughout his childhood, he spent lots of time duck hunting on his grandfather’s farm off of Rt. 404, killing his first goose at 13 (“that year’s Christmas goose,” he recalled proudly.) At the same time, as his fondness for working with wood was also manifesting, he asked his Uncle Fred about trying his hand at the craft. “He brought me over a little miniature goose just roughed out with a band saw, and a knife, and he plopped it down on the hearth, saying, ‘here you go, see what you can do with it,’” Connolly said. “He didn’t really leave me any specific instructions, but I thought, well, okay. 18

And I worked on that goose for a week, and it ended up looking like a miniature dinosaur,” Connolly remembered, grimacing while he laughed. With nothing to show for his steady efforts except a handful of blisters and a tiny dinosaur, he wasn’t all that eager to try again anytime soon Instead, he kept on with his steady habit of sketching birds, ultimately turning his attention to taxidermy, which kept him occupied and in demand for the next 20 years. He also began developing his future vocation as a carpenter, working parttime in that field from about age 15. Connolly also developed a lucrative side gig guiding hunting parties on Saturdays. After finally winding down his taxidermy practice, Connolly’s younger brother Dave, an artist himself, offered a suggestion.

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he plopped it down on the hearth, saying, ‘here you go, see what you can do with it’

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“With your love of woodworking and waterfowl, it just makes sense to do decoys,” Dave said. “You really should try it again.” “I still kind of hedged, at first, but finally went ahead and did a drake baldpate, or wigeon, similar to many I’d mounted when doing taxidermy. It didn’t turn out that great, to be honest, but it was fun, and that’s all that’s ever mattered since. That was about 15 years ago, when I was about 35; this time, it just caught on and I loved it. I’ve been carving ever since then, and I don’t see an end to it.” Now, at 51, Connolly continues carving to his heart’s content, despite some of the more challenging aspects of the process. “For me, carving comes a ton easier than painting. The painting can be relaxing, if things are going well, and your colors are blending well, other times it’s frustrating as hell. It seems like all through the ‘ugly door’ at some point,” Connolly noted, with a hearty laugh. “And hopefully, you can bring them back. Actually, eventually, everything does come back.” For his now successful outcomes, he credits several workshops by renowned painter-carver Keith Mueller which he and brother Dave traveled to Michigan to see. For the life-sized or larger ducks he is partial to creating, usually singly or, at most, in a pair, he spends several hours with hand tools including a draw knife, spokeshave, gouges and various size carving knives. During a quarantined bout with COVID over Christmas 2020, Connolly used the extended ten days of isolated down time to produce a rare large swan. “For the time involved in making one swan, I can usually make four ducks,” he said. 20

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Following occasional one-day getaways to Assateague or Chincoteague with Sherrie, he’s felt called to craft some of those coastal havens’ Shorebirds, employing a rotary cutting tool in a separately enclosed workshop space to prevent resulting dust from interfering with the painted finish up. He enjoys the change of pace from his usual flat (and occasionally round) bottomed figures to detailing delicate legs of Red knot, Black-necked Stilt, and others using wire and molding epoxy, then adding decorative mounting platforms from a variety of woods, including mahogany, to configure clam shells as well as sandy beach and a water rippled pool. Not inclined to spend time on social media, Connolly looks forward to showing his decoys in person, and meeting up with others interested in the time honored tradition. And, while he deeply respects the history behind antique decoy collecting, and loves reading up on and learning about it, he’s okay leaving the actual collecting to others. “I’m just happy making the decoys, and I don’t see that ever stopping,” Connolly said. S

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LODESTONE CANDLES journey Story by Michael J. Mika Photos by Jennifer Quinn


or Greg Waddell, the allure of scented candles isn’t just the glow, but the transformative power they hold within their fragrant essence. “My wife and I have always been fans of scented candles...something as simple as lighting a candle can shift the mood of a room,” Waddell, creator and owner of Lodestone Candles of Kent & Co., said. Lodestone Candles is a small business based in Chestertown that creates hand-poured soy candles. Their candles are made with all-natural ingredients and free of toxins and are created in a variety of fragrances to suit any mood. His journey into candle making wasn’t merely a creative pursuit; it was a journey

into memory and experience. Inspired by a trip to Scotland with his wife, Christine Wade, who has been instrumental in the creation of several of the custom fragrances. He wanted to capture the scents and atmospheres they had encountered during their travels with his candles. And so, an idea was ignited, setting him on a path of fragrant exploration.

Craft started in the kitchen

So, in 2016, armed with a double boiler in his kitchen, Greg began his experiments. Having operated a branding company for graphic design, he was no stranger to creativity, and he approached his candle endeavor with dedication. He envisioned holiday-themed candles, meticulously testing and refining his recipes.

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“I said to myself if I am going to do this, I’m going to do it right, establish an identity around the product, the same thing I had been doing with my branding business.” A conversation with Jodi Bortz, the operator of Blue Canary, a Chestertown boutique, proved beneficial. With her antique press, she printed labels for his candles, adding a touch of timeless elegance. She offered to sell his candles in her store for the holidays. She offered to place 20 candles in her store. “If I sold 20, I would be thrilled to bits,” he said. “I ended up selling 120.” The shop owner was thrilled and told him if he created a line of candles, she would carry it.

Lodestone launched in 2017 Emboldened by this success, Greg officially launched Lodestone Candles in March 2017, introducing six distinct fragrances. Festivals like the Dickens Christmas Festival in Chestertown provided him with the canvas to present his creations to the world. What started as a humble initiative soon morphed into an exploration of possibilities.

AT A GLANCE Lodestone Candles is a small business that creates hand-poured soy candles. Their candles are made with all-natural ingredients and are free of toxins, and they offer a variety of fragrances to suit any mood. Key features of Lodestone Candles: • Hand-poured soy candles • All-natural ingredients • Free of toxins • Variety of fragrances • Wholesale candles available Purchase Details • They offer a 30-day satisfaction guarantee. • They ship to all 50 states. • They offer a rewards program for repeat customers. • Available at boutiques across the US and online order from website Source:

more than a platform for sales; they became a gateway to wholesale accounts. The attendees — some who were also buyers for boutiques — recognized the allure of Lodestone Candles, propelling its presence into 85 boutiques across the United States and even a few in Europe. His goal is to continue to grow and employ people in Kent County to help with fulfillment.

What’s in a name?

“From there, I thought how far this thing can grow,” he said. “I looked to bigger cities like D.C. and Brooklyn for shops and festivals.” As the months unfolded, the small festivals became


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Interestingly, Greg’s inspiration for the company name emerged from his love for words. A selfproclaimed word nerd, he found “Lodestone” through a Word of the Day app on his phone. Upon discovering its dual meaning as both a magnet and something highly attractive, he knew it was the perfect fit for his vision. He refers to legendary marketer Seth Godin, the internet marketing strategist who invented commercial email, who remarked that people don’t buy products, they buy stories. So, he strives to make sure each candle has a story, or at least enough information so the person can evoke a memory or create one. With a background in architecture and art history, he understood the nuanced art of craftsmanship and creating something appealing to the senses. His candles offer tactile elegance, fragrances that are inviting yet distinctive.

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Distinctive annual fragrances Among his offerings, the fragrance “Snug,” inspired by his wife, emerged as a favorite. But the creative process wasn’t always straightforward; while some fragrances flourished, others evolved through persistent efforts. The heart of Lodestone Candles is also the commitment to sustainability. All candles are crafted from American-grown soybean wax, a 100% sustainable resource. This choice not only adds to the allure of the candles but also echoes Greg’s dedication to the environment. The creation process itself is a labor of love, involving meticulous preparation, blending, wick trimming and curing. Small batches of 12 candles are created, each undergoing an overnight curing process of about a week. Greg’s devotion to his craft extends beyond his creations; it encompasses the memories and emotions that candles evoke. One favorite memory dates back to his childhood, when the Advent wreath on the dining room table illuminated holiday rituals shared with his father. It’s these personal connections that fuel the passion behind Lodestone Candles. With a touch of whimsy, Greg shared his experience with a peculiar candle experiment – a gunpowder and hemp fragrance. Though not a market fit, it exemplifies the creative exploration that is at the heart of his process. Three different fragrances that sell so well are currently available now. He said he brings them back each fall because they have a loyal following who want them for the holidays. • Vestal Forest, a blend of pine needles, sweet berries and cedar • Holiday Hearth blend of citrus and orange and nutmeg and cloves

• Winterberry and Cypress Lodestone Candles are available in more than 85 boutiques across the United States and Europe. Greg plans to continue to grow the company and create even more beautiful and fragrant candles.The next time you’re looking for a way to relax and unwind, light a Lodestone Candle, and let the scents of nature and travel wash over you. S


The Ottoman Empire stretched across central Asia and the Mediterranean allowing spices from across the region to blend for the first time. But not for everyone. Only the rich and privileged could enjoy these exotics. Saffron with ginger, resinous cardamom and black amber. It will transport you to the deepest recesses of a sprawling palace.


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Story by Annie Hasselgren| Photos by Cal Jackson


f not for cigars, Jason Hubbard would be working in a hospital right now. A former nursing student, Jason purchased the Cigar and Smoke Shop in Easton from his stepfather in 2015 and has since immersed himself in all of the ins and outs of smoke culture. A brief


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glance around his store will inspire even the most novice consumer to take a deeper dive into the fascinating history behind tobacco and how products from all over the world end up at the corner of Washington and Glenwood in Easton. A Talbot County native, Jason enjoys many

pursuits expected of an Eastern Shore resident: he enjoys boating and sports — particularly his season tickets to the Baltimore Ravens. But his shop is decidedly unexpected by comparison. The Cigar and Smoke Shop has been a valued resource for cigar and smoke enthusiasts far beyond Talbot County for more than 20 years. From light, creamy flavors to bold, leathery notes, the shop offers a lineup ranging from day-to-day (think Connecticut shade grown) to, on occasion, the holy grail (Liga Privada) options — and there is a loyal clientele that falls somewhere on this spectrum. “Cigar smokers are essentially in a club,” Jason said. “It brings people together through a common interest.” In fact, Jason has met some of his closest friends through his shop and this shared pastime. Staff and customers participate in fantasy football leagues, poker, game nights, and more. With a small lounge at the front of the store, it isn’t uncommon for up to 15 customers to drop in, buy their favorite cigar, and enjoy a smoke with one another. The shop also carries pipe tobacco, roll-your-own options and a minimal supply of cigarettes. When conjuring an image of cigars, most people go straight to the Cuban Cohiba, but since Fidel Castro took power in Cuba and an embargo was enacted between that country and the United States, cigar production has largely shifted to the Dominican Republic, Nicaragua and Honduras. “Many families [in the business] fled from Cuba to Nicaragua when Castro came in,” Jason said. “And now, some cigars contain a combination of tobaccos from a few countries.” Nicaragua has become a cigar making “hotspot,” according to Jason, but he points out that many of the seeds are Cuban. “ S o m e m a ke r s d o collaborations as well,” he said. There is a flavor for every palette, and even for the evolution of that palette.

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“My tastes have changed over the years,” Jason said. “I’ve moved from Connecticut [shade grown] to Madora, which has a rich, chocolatey blend, but it can burn out your taste buds. Over time, I’ve moved more toward a medium body.” Luckily, aficionados like Jason gain perspec tive through time and experience and leverage it for the benefit of customers seeking new and different products. Just as one’s palette can transform, so, too, can the cigar habit itself. Jason estimates that regular smokers go through roughly two cigars a week and that the cost has not been immune to inflation. “Twenty years ago, the average cost of a cigar was probably $4.50,” said Jason. “These days, it’s more like $13.” At a baseline, though, the industry has not suffered. In fact, it saw a massive surge shortly after the TV series “The Sopranos” debuted in 1999. Although the COVID-19 pandemic had some impact, the overall popularity of cigar smoking remains steady, keeping Central American makers as busy as ever. On its journey from Central America to Easton, most product is distributed by 30 or so companies, some of which are large conglomerates, and comes through Miami en route to its final destination. Jason determines what to carry based on samples provided by sales reps for the manufacturers and through inquiries and recommendations from customers. This, he said, is one of the best parts of his job: facilitating the enjoyment of a niche pastime. “Most cigar smokers are pretty laid back,” Jason said, laughing. “The most pleasant surprise of owning this business is that everyone is always in a good mood.” S

The most pleasant surprise of owning this business is the everyone is always in a good mood.


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Cast your sights on waterfront living in Talbot County Enjoy waterfront living on the banks of the Tred Avon River near historic Easton on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. Londonderry on the Tred Avon is an intimate residential community for anyone ages 62+. We offer a variety of housing options from convenient apartments to spacious cottages nestled among 29 beautiful acres, including 1,500 feet of shoreline. Londonderry residents enjoy the amenities that make Eastern Shore living easy, including full-service dining, stress-free maintenance, and convenient transportation. Londonderry on the Tred Avon’s traditional cooperative real estate model offers financial and tax benefits while simplifying retirement living. Londonderry is committed to supporting your wellness and active lifestyle. The total wellness of our residents is the key to longevity and quality of life. Come and visit us today or call Rachel Smith at 410.820.8732 to find out how you can start living


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iverside LODGE


maintaining century-old


hunting and fishing traditions Story and photos by Amelia Blades Steward


he hunting heritage of the Eastern Shore goes beyond the blind. Local hunting lodges have allowed families and friends to gather for years on Maryland’s Eastern Shore – creating memories and preserving traditions for generations. While many of these rare gathering places have been lost over the years, Riverside Lodge on Hooper’s Island in Dorchester County is carrying on the family customs of a lodge that has been in operation since 1940 offering waterfowl and upland shooting on the Honga River and Chesapeake Bay. Gary and Peggy McQuitty of Cecil County were initially drawn to Hoopersville in 2007 to purchase their vacation home because of its remote location and the views from the bridge that joins the peninsula to Hooper’s Island. “One of our favorite places is the Florida Keys and when we came over the bridge to Hoopersville, the similarities to the Keys were obvious. We both loved the views of both the Honga River and the Chesapeake Bay,” said Gary McQuitty. In 2015, the hunting lodge next door to the McQuitty’s home came up for sale and with the encouragement of their realtor, the couple decided to go to the public auction just out of curiosity, with no intention of buying S P O R T I N G L I F E 2 0 2 3 | S H O R E M O N T H LY. C O M


People like the traditions we have kept and most guests rebook for the next year


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the lodge. There was minimal interest at the auction, so they decided to bid – setting a limit of $1 million for the 1000-acre property with 15 miles of shoreline, nine large ponds, and two structures – a lodge and a Bayside cottage. Before they knew it, bidding on the property reached $1 million and the couple found themselves the new owners. “We did our first hunt two days after settlement – we were completely clueless on how to run everything, but the staff from the Doeller family, who owned the lodge before us, stayed on and helped us through that first booking,” Gary quipped. “We pray that we continue to be good stewards of this small portion of God’s masterpiece just as the Doeller family did for generations before us.” Under the McQuitty’s ownership, the lodge became open to the public for the first time. Formerly known as the Hoopers Island Gun Club, the Riverside Lodge had been operated by the Doeller family as a private hunting club since the 1940s for their friends and family. After a devastating fire in 1967, the current lodge was reconstructed in 1968 to its original flavor of the great gunning clubs from the days of Walter Chrysler in Dorchester County and has been meticulously maintained with the original decor. The destination continues to reflect Eastern Shore's hunting history and tradition. When guests walk into the lodge, the spacious entrance hall gives each hunter his or her gun rack and a personal locker that can be used for everything from hunting gear to storing personal belongings. Hunting heritage surrounds guests in the large wood-paneled living room with a

grand fireplace and bar. The Doeller family left many of its furnishings and artwork, keeping the lodge’s original décor alive. On the walls, Art LaMay and duck stamp prints, decoys, Tadd Beech carvings and taxidermy welcome the seasoned hunter or angler to relax and share his or her day’s adventure with friends while enjoying a cocktail. The formal dining room, with detailed murals depicting the waterman’s life on the Chesapeake Bay and the Hooper Strait Lighthouse (which the former owner helped save), is the setting for the signature candle-lit dinners featuring authentic home cooked Maryland Eastern Shore cuisine. A large, enclosed climate-controlled porch is the perfect spot for a crab cake, soft crab lunch, or a crab feast after a morning of crabbing on the Honga River. The lodge also features five double occupancy bedrooms, each with a private full bath and spectacular sunrise and sunset views of the Chesapeake Bay, the Honga River and the lodge property. The Bayside cottage can also accommodate eight guests. The pier at the lodge offers quick access to boats, kayaks and jet skis. During hunting season, the basic two-day hunt package includes a formal dinner upon arrival the evening before the first hunt. Dinner is followed by socializing in the relaxed casual atmosphere of the den. The next day begins with breakfast followed by a morning hunt. Upon returning to the lodge after the morning hunt, guests have time to relax and enjoy a typical Eastern S P O R T I N G L I F E 2 0 2 3 | S H O R E M O N T H LY. C O M


Shore lunch. An afternoon hunt is followed by another spectacular meal in the formal dining room. The third day begins with breakfast before the morning hunt, followed by lunch before an early afternoon departure. The lodge also offers three-day hunt packages. All hunts are based on a four-person minimum and a tenperson maximum. Non-hunting spouses are welcome. “Guests come to the lodge from all over the world, but everyone meshes when they come here,” Peggy added. “It’s about the hunt and the experience.” The lodge offers hunting six days a week during the season which runs 20 days in October, 14 days in November, and from December 2 through January 31. There is no waterfowl hunting on Sundays. The lodge even offers a youth hunt the first weekend in February every year to help interest the next generation of hunters in the sport. 42

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“It’s pretty busy here during hunting season. We get one group through and another one is coming later that day,” said Peggy, who coordinates the staff and lodging logistics. Gary, who also has his captain’s license, handles the guides and the hunt. “It’s just a small price we pay for paradise,” Gary said, chuckling. The new owners have carried over many of the Doeller’s customs and traditions, including not letting the guests see the dining room until candles are lit for the formal dinner, keeping staff separated from the guests, and only allowing guests to use the lodge’s front door. Some of the traditions have been harder to maintain, like keeping track of guest meals so they never experience a repeat meal from their previous stay and or have a meal served in the same china they did the last time they visited. “People like the traditions we have kept and most

It’s about the hunt and the experience guests rebook for the next year,” Peggy said. “We offer something a little bit different and it’s very memorable.” The lodge also offers fishing packages, mostly focusing on rockfish, bluefish, croakers, White perch, Spot, Speckled trout, Spanish Mackerel and Red Drum. The lodge can even prepare the catch for dinner upon returning to the Lodge. Crabbing packages provide guests the opportunity to see how the commercial trot liners have been catching blue crabs for years and can include a crab feast. For guests who wish to enjoy the hospitality and amenities of the lodge but have their own boats, the Riverside Lodge can accommodate that as well. The lodge and cottage also offer weekend packages for couples and families who just want a quiet getaway. “Hoopers Island and the local island residents have become such a special part of our lives, that we wish to

share this little paradise on Earth with those of you who would never have had the privilege of experiencing this very unique and spectacular community on the Eastern Shore of Maryland,” Gary said. The Lodge is a licensed Regulated Shooting Area by the State of Maryland which enhances the possibilities of exceptional waterfowl shooting throughout the waterfowl season. Its guides are licensed and represent more than 50 years of guiding experience on the lodge property and the southern Dorchester County area. Guests will be responsible for hunting clothing, firearms, ammunition and licenses to include Maryland and Federal Waterfowl stamps. Riverside Lodge is located at 1713 Doeller Road, Fishing Creek, MD 21634. For further information, call 410-658-HUNT (4868) or Toll-Free: 1-844-477-9277 or visit S S P O R T I N G L I F E 2 0 2 3 | S H O R E M O N T H LY. C O M



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Pickering Creek Audobon Center

BIG-PICTURE Conservation

Barnstable Refuge 46

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ATMOSPHERE Chesapeake Wildlife Heritage: Preserving wetland habitat through restoration Story by Katie Melynn Photos courtesy Chesapeake Wildlife Heritage


t all started with a group of sportsmen in the 1980s who wanted to hunt ducks. Even though they had access to available land, the habitat didn’t attract the wildlife that they hoped to see. Trying to figure out why they kept coming up empty-handed, the group realized that developing wetland habitats suitable for waterfowl would make their properties more hospitable for these animals. “They needed a field ecologist, which is how I got involved,” said Ned Gerber. Alongside coordinators, team managers, and field technicians, Gerber works with landowners to develop waterfowl habitats on private land that would otherwise be part of a larger farm plot or left unattended. With an emphasis on big-picture conservation, the efforts of Chesapeake Wildlife Heritage are far-reaching. “The good news is that if someone wants to build a wetland on your property just because they want to hunt ducks, they’re going to help a lot of other species as well,” said Gerber, who is the director and a habitat ecologist for Chesapeake Wildlife Heritage. Painted turtles, dragonflies, numerous species of frogs, and countless others all benefit from the native environment that was once so common on the shores of the Chesapeake Bay. Butterflies, native bees and other pollinators also increase. Water quality improves as the environment becomes more hospitable to native animals and plants. Partnering with the Conservation Reserve Program Chesapeake Wildlife Heritage has strong relationships with the community and beyond, with representation on their board of directors from local landowners and business owners, as well as advisors from prominent legal teams and the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center. But one of the most important partnerships that they enjoy is with the Conservation Reserve Program, CRP. “This program took millions of acres of farmland and converted it to wildlife habitat,” said Gerber. Since it was signed into law in 1985, CRP has worked with farmers by leasing sensitive land from them at a premium price to convert it to protected wildlife habitats. What might have

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been an obscure portion of farmland, such as the banks of a creek, is incredibly valuable to the native plants and animals that call it home. Designating it as CRP allows Gerber and his team to come onto the land, prepare it for development as a wildlife habitat, and even maintain it as it blooms and grows once more. This program is as advantageous for the farmers as it is the ducks, frogs and other animals and plants. Administered by the Farm Service Agency, CRP pays annual leases for the land directly to the landowners. Organizations like Chesapeake Wildlife Heritage do the work to develop and maintain the habitat. Many landowners like the appeal of seeing native species come back to their land, whether they want to hunt ducks like the original group who dreamed up Chesapeake Wildlife Heritage or just want to get closer to nature. “We’ve figured out how to be the extension nonprofit side for that program and help landowners put CRP into practice on their farms,” said Gerber. What makes a good wildlife habitat? Gerber and his team follow a few guidelines and best practices when it comes to establishing wetlands and other habitats. They often begin by targeting the plants that are not part of the natural environment, such as lawn or crops. “When we get the call, we’ll visit the site and take a look,” he said. “Then, we typically spray an herbicide to get rid of the bad plants that are invasive or that can get out of hand and be bad for the native species. We’ll do this in the fall and later in the spring in some cases.” Then comes the fun part to develop the land. The exact steps vary based on the conditions and location. Chesapeake Wildlife Heritage has done everything from creating buffer strips along creeks, cultivating meadows on lawns and in fields, and even building homes for vulnerable species such as Purple Martins, ospreys, and Eastern Bluebirds. “You walk through someone’s lawn and there’s no life to see other than the earthworms a few inches below the soil,” said Gerber. “Then you walk through one of these meadows and it’s buzzing with bees and butterflies. It’s amazing.” Today, they work with landowners on everything from large farms to small homes with yards. The focus is on creating habitats for native species, such as bumblebees and orchard bees, to support the overall health of the species and ecosystem. It doesn’t take a lot of space to create something spectacular for wildlife to enjoy. “If you have a lawn, everybody can do something,” said Gerber. “How that land is situated will dictate exactly what you can do. But everybody who has a little patch of ground can do something.” For more information about reestablishing wetlands and other habitats to support native species and the critical Chesapeake Bay ecosystem, visit or follow @cheswildlife on Instagram. S 48

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GOAT Small town brewery with big taste


Story by Niambi Davis| Photos submitted by Jeffrey Putman

hen Jeffrey Putman and Jacob Heimbuch chose Bull and Goat as the name for their brewery, the choice had nothing to do with barnyard animals and everything to do with workplace banter. Both men were employed by Zodiac of North America, a manufacturer of rigid inflatable boats.

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“I was 20 years older than Jake,” Putman said as he recalled the origins of the nicknames they gave each other. “I was the old goat and he became the bull.” After Putman and Heimbuch were plucked away from Zodiac by another company they set up shop in Centreville. “We were bored,” Putman said. Their office came equipped with a full kitchen, which prompted Putman to declare “I think I want to make some beer.” In the beginning, the partners ran a very small-scale operation until they created a drinkable product. When Putman and Heimbuch decided to increase production, they discovered that it came with an equipment cost of nearly $20,000. The partners hammered out a budget and presented their plan to the town of Centreville. The town wasn’t set up for the proposed brewery. “But they made some zoning adjustments and fast-tracked the process,” Putman said. 54

In 2016, Bull and Goat, the “small town brewery with big taste” opened at 204 Banjo Lane in Centreville. In its early days of operation, the taproom opened on Thursdays. On Saturdays, the partners sold beer at the farmers market. When the brewery’s output jumped from five gallons a batch to sixty gallons, the men plowed their earnings into a seven-barrel system. “From beginning to end, it was kismet,” Putnam said. Currently, Bull and Goat’s taproom keeps seven house beers on tap with three seasonal rotating selections. In a nod to local and maritime history, Bull and Goat carries County Seat Pale Ale, Front Street Porter (for the porters who worked Centreville’s wharf ), Queen Anne’s Revenge, and Raft Up. Their porter has been described by a visitor and TripAdvisor reviewer as having the flavor of “rich semi-sweet chocolate malts that stand up well to

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the flavors of an Eastern Shore crab soup.” Putman recommends the porter to fans of venison and game meat, along with their latest seasonal West Coast IPA or British Birmingham Extra Special Bitter. And with the recent addition of a bourbon highball and vodka spritzer to its drink menu, the taproom also serves cocktails. For Bull and Goat, each success has been built upon the foundation of another. In 2020, in partnership with Jason Guest, the brewers ventured into the spirit world with the creation of the Old Courthouse Distilling and the production of bourbon and tequila. It was named for Centreville’s historic circuit courthouse, which until 2019 was the oldest courthouse in continuous use in the state of Maryland

(and a site featured in Johnny Cash’s Grand Old Flag Super Bowl spot). “My partner loves bourbon,” Putman said, “but in the meantime, we needed to make something we could turn around quickly, like vodka or gin.” They chose tequila — with no barrel aging, it required less time to cure. “It’s the best tequila. And we make the best margarita in the world,” Putnam stated, with confidence in the product’s superiority and the customer appreciation to back his claim. Banjo Lane continues to serve as the epicenter of the business as a taproom and a production facility. “Owning a business in Centreville is fantastic,” Putman said. He’s always lived in Queen Anne’s County and the brewery was 15 minutes from both partners’ homes.

It’s the best tequila. And we make the best margarita in the world.

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“The area where we are is perfect — it’s a light industrial area, and we’ve got public parking and private parking. We have great landlords who encourage and support us, and we have great relationships with our vendors and clients.” “We’re super local,” Putman said. “We see old friends all the time and we get new friends. People can come in, talk to a friend, listen to some music, read a book, or even paint. We’ll do anything or talk about anything as long as we’re just talking. I’ve come to realize in this time of partisan politics that we have more in common than apart, and we can still find common ground. It’s fantastic, like an old-school meeting house. I can imagine the founding fathers of Centreville sitting around in 1776 talking about the Revolution in here.” Going forward, Bull and Goat plans to ramp up its bourbon production while keeping beer output at its current level. “We want to keep it to a level where we can service our accounts without a distributor.” Starting this year, the Distillery plans to put up three barrels and over time build up to 24 or 27 barrels. “We’re going for six-year bourbon — it’s a long game,” he said. In addition to the taproom, Bull and Goat brews can be found at Pip’s Liquors in Chestertown, Bakers Liquors in Chester and Drapers Liquors in Centreville. Mama Mia’s and Doc’s in Centreville, Knoxie’s Table in Stevensville, Bad Alfred’s, the Retriever Bar in Chestertown and the Rock Hall Yacht Club serve Bull and Goat brews on tap. 56

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“I really love what I do,” Putnam said. “It’s not work if you like it. It’s sweaty, dirty work sometimes but if I knew working for myself was this much fun I would have done it years ago.” For information on Bull and Goat and Old Court House Distilling, go to To keep up with what’s happening at the taproom visit them on Facebook at Bull and Goat Brewery. To find out what’s on tap, and new from the distillery, stop by Bull and Goat at 204 Banjo Lane, Suite E, Centreville MD 21617. S

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ou could say the salt marshes of Dorchester County run through the veins of Dakota Abbott Flowers, six-time Women’s World Champion Muskrat Skinner, who grew up on Taylor’s Island and now lives in Fishing Creek with her husband and waterman, Dusty Flowers. Fishing Creek is part of Hoopers Island — a chain of three small remote islands on the Chesapeake Bay and Honga River. Two of the islands are connected to the mainland by bridges and include working waterfront villages like Fishing Creek, with a 2020 U.S. Census population of 202. If the remote area’s old Loblolly pine forests, waterways and tidal guts could talk, they’d share hundreds of stories of Dakota and the generations of her and her husband’s family members who have lived here. These stories would center around the challenges and rewards of living off the land and water in places where nothing but stars or the flashing white light of Hooper Island Lighthouse illuminate the evening skies and winding roads. It’s a place where hunting, trapping, crabbing, oystering, and fishing are necessities and have most residents witnessing the sunrise each day. Reverence is always given for a hard day’s

work and everything nature provides. The songs of generations of crab pickers, oyster shuckers and cannery workers who have lived and worked here — including many of Flowers’ relatives — seem to carry in the brackish breezes and waters lapping on the docks and shorelines. Cadence comes in the rumble of diesel engines as workboats head out and back in for each day’s work. Deep traditions are made in the name of survival here, with grandmothers and grandfathers alike passing down techniques and sharing stories of living off the water and land. These stories include time spent in the woods or out in the marsh for an early morning of hunting and trapping— including muskrat—with many participating in fierce skinning competitions through the annual National Outdoor Show in Golden Hill, Maryland. Flowers is the youngest of three daughters of Bruce Abbott, a native of Crapo, and Kathy Abbott (nee Bronushas) of Baltimore County. Her mother grew up visiting her family’s hunting farm near Hoopers Island, where she met her future husband. “My grandparents had contracted my father to do some work for them when he noticed the girl with the strawberry blonde hair down her back,” Flowers said. “He said


ABBOTT FLOWERS Story and photos by Tracey F. Johns

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Muskrat skinning is a tradition — there used to be processing plants here for the hides and meat, and almost every woman in my immediate family competes against one another 62

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my mom was driving a tractor the first time he saw her, and he knew he was in love. They married a few years later.” Flowers, now 32, was born at Dorchester General Hospital and attended school at South Dorchester Elementary School and Cambridge High School before spending a year at Penn State University. She is currently enrolled at the University of Maryland University College pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Public Safety and serves as a volunteer EMT and ambulance captain with the Hoopers Island Volunteer Fire Department. The public safety schooling is a part of her current office work as a Compliance Officer with Safe Chain Solutions in Cambridge, where she handles state and federal licensing and FDA notices. Her previous work includes serving at the oyster hatchery of the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science’s Horn Point Laboratory, where she oversaw all spat, or baby oyster production for the State of Maryland. Flowers said she has always been more comfortable in jeans and a T-shirt and enjoys being in the woods because it’s quiet — especially while hunting — because it gives her a surreal sense of calm, especially in the marsh. “Muskrats are making tunnels in between marshes and under every road in Dorchester,” Flowers said. “Hunting is as much about protecting homeowner’s properties from the nuisance and damage of these animals as it is about the hide and meat markets.” Flowers grew up in the marshes hunting and trapping with her father and began competing in the muskrat skinning competitions at the age of 14 in 2005, after her best friend and now neighbor, Trish Yinger (nee Hayden), introduced her to competing. Flowers won the Miss Outdoors pageant in 2008. She says her Uncle J.R. and dad taught her everything, including the two-cut skinning method her Grandfather Elihu Abbott founded, saying that he was one of the ‘good ‘ole boys’ who started the show and had won multiple competitions before he passed away. She uses a Queen 19-A double-bladed knife, using only one side and keeping the other as her backup spare. The winner of these competitions is the person who can skin the muskrat the fastest, with the cleanest sellable hide. Qualifying criteria include the requirements of two eye holes, and the nose intact and on the hide, with no more than one square inch of fur on the meat, and no meat on the fur, including body parts. Flowers started in and won in the Girls’ Beginners category and continued placing first in Juniors for two years. She joined the Women’s category at the age of 18. She won in that category in 2014 and 2015, with her Aunt Rhonda out-skinning her in 2016 and 2017. Flowers’ winning streak picked back up in 2016, with her holding the title as the World’s Women’s Champion

since. Flowers' fastest time to skin five muskrats is two minutes and 14 seconds. In addition to trophies and cash prizes, her World’s Women’s Muskrat Skinning Champion title comes with a required appearance at the National Outdoor Show’s sister show, the Louisiana Fur and Wildlife Festival in Cameron Parish. “They have their Miss Fur and Wildlife like we have a Miss Outdoors pageant, which includes a skinning component,” Flowers said. “So, we teach the queens how to skin.” Now, Flowers is passing on her winning techniques by coaching Trish’s daughter Kenzie, 11, and niece Carrie Hayden, 15, both of Hoopers Island. She says both have won competitions, including against one another. “Muskrat skinning is a tradition — there used to be processing plants here for the hides and meat, and almost every woman in my immediate family competes against one another,” Flowers said. “The hugs and handshakes and cheering each other on always make it fun.” When she and Dusty married in 2017, their honeymoon was spent hunting for 8-point Sika and white-tail deer in Texas. Back in Dorchester County, she prefers walking over sitting in a blind or tree stand and uses a favorite rifle and crossbow to hunt dove, goose, duck, turkey, white-tail and Sika deer. A back injury and subsequent surgeries have sidelined much of the hunting and trapping Flowers has enjoyed. She’s now learning taxidermy, with a Sika deer and turkey as her next projects, and says she prefers to do birds because they require a lot of colors and brushing. She continues to butcher and skin her hunted meat. She also helps her husband and her father-in-law with their soft crab business. She says she grew up working with Dusty’s Aunt Bonnie Gay Willey who ran a peeler

pen on Taylor’s Island — long before Dusty and Dakota became romantically involved — where she could go any time she wanted to fish up shedding crabs before their new shells hardened, which is a process that needs to take place every few hours around the clock during the warmer months. Now, her summer afternoons are spent cleaning, packing up and shipping the day’s catch, with her father-in-law Mark, Jr. watching over the 12 floats on Back Creek during the morning and day shifts, and her mother-in-law Teresa taking the night shift. Flowers said she finds joy in spending time with family, which includes numerous aunts, uncles and cousins on her and Dusty’s sides of the family. Both her sisters live in Madison, with get-togethers usually involving a dock or a driveway full of kids playing together. She said in the summers everyone is eating crabs outside, with fall offering grilled oysters and a game of darts for family gatherings in her sister’s garage. There’s even muskrat to eat in the winter months, prepared as the grandmothers make it — Flowers said — with sage, carrots, potatoes, salt and pepper, cooked in a Dutch oven. According to Flowers, these gatherings can also include some of the best dishes around, like Aunt Brenda’s ‘bomb cornbread,’ Aunt Sheila’s potato salad, Aunt Dawn’s baked Christmas pretzels, and her 90-yearold grandmother Doris Abbott’s beaten biscuits, cooked on a wood-fired stove that she’s used most of her life while living in Crapo. She says the gatherings also offer up a great opportunity for banter and conversation. “All my sisters hunt,” Flowers said. “When we get together, there’s always a bit of bragging and showing off of trail-cam footage among us.” S

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Connie Loveland

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EASTON CLUB - EASTON Perfect 4 bedroom 3 ½ bath two story has lots of upgrades, including a main floor luxury primary suite, upstairs bonus room with private bath, formal living and dining rooms plus spacious gourmet kitchen that opens to family room with fireplace, sunroom and huge deck, hardwood floors throughout, side entry garage, and bonus - backs up to green space for added privacy. $725,000

EASTON EXCEPTIONAL Cooke’s Hope townhome on the pond. This unit is very spacious at 3,494 square feet with 4 bedrooms and 3 ½ bathrooms and an open concept floor plan. Structural, systems and major cosmetic renovations have been completed. Beautiful views facing south over the pond. $849,900

5468 WELLINGTON DR. TRAPPE, MD 21673 3-BR, 3-BA home nestled on a sprawling 2 acre lot within Lloyd’s Crest. Numerous updates including paved driveway, new downstairs flooring, quartz countertops, and new Cafe kitchen appliances. Backyard with heated, inground saltwater pool, outdoor kitchen and double sided propane fireplace. $715,000

Nestled on 2+/- acres within the waterfront community of Deep Harbour Farm w/multislip boat dock & kayak/SUP launch. Home boasts an open floor plan, HW floors, crown molding, large updated kitchen, DR, laundry/ mudroom, spacious primary suite, 2-add’l BRs, bonus rm w/sep. office. Hard scaped outdoor living space w/18’x36’ in-ground saltwater pool, built-in fire pit & seating & mature landscaping. 2-car attached garage plus detached 24’x48’ insulated garage. $749,000



SYMPHONY VILLAGE CENTREVILLE Updated 3-bedroom, 2-bathroom home nestled located in a 55+ amenity filled retirement community. This move-in condition single story home has an expansive openconcept floor plan, primary suite with reading nook and a large eatin kitchen, formal living and dining room along with Hardwood floors, gas fireplace, custom built-ins, and two car garage. $499,900

ROCK HALL WATER ACCESS This 2.31-acre lot in Long Cove Court is your canvas for the perfect home! With a community pier on Long Cove shared by just 4 lots, public sewer availability, electric on site and paid impact fees, it's shovel ready. Plus, you'll enjoy the peace, serenity, and no HOA. Not in a flood zone! $179,000

0 ST. MICHAELS RD. NEWCOMB, MD 21653 20 acres on St Michaels Rd overlooking Newcomb Creek and out to the Miles River. Seller has cleaned up the shoreline to offer breathtaking views of the water. Beautiful sandy beaches and high elevation. Great for goose and duck hunting. $1,370,000


Prime retail space located in the heart of downtown St. Michaels amongst shopping & fine dining. 3,979+/- sqft of commercial space. 1st floor is modern & open creating a perfect retail space. 2nd floor w/3-offices & an open area. Potential to create a STR on 2nd floor. The building backs to a large public parking lot, perfect for customer parking and use for delivery trucks. Income producing long-term NNN tenant in place. $895,000

Under Contract

BEECHWOOD - EASTON Convenient to downtown and shopping but sited on over 1.4 acres this 3 BR, 2.5 BA Rancher offers a country kitchen with fireplace, an open floor plan with a comfortable family room, den or office, and a bright, cheerful sunroom that overlooks the park like back yard and patio. The primary bedroom has a full bath with a new shower. $429,900

EASTON – WATERFRONT LOT This 3.29-acre lot in Radcliff Manor is the last lot available. Offering privacy, high elevation, deep protected water on Dixon Creek off the Tred Avon River. Ready to build with engineering work yielding 6-bedroom septic capacity and layout that can accommodate a basement. $895,000

5816 ROSS NECK RD. CAMBRIDGE, MD 21613 Beautiful 4 BR 4.5 BA Craftsman situated on over 9 acres with views across Hudson Creek. Fenced in, in-ground pool, putting green, and 3 car garage. $1,995,000


Looking for land and privacy to hunt now & build your dream home later? This 7+/-acre parcel was perc approved in 2022 & is ready to be built on. Conveniently located to both Easton & Cambridge offering back road living w/easy access to Rt 50. No builder tie in so bring your building plans & make this place your own. $120,000

24 N. Washington St • Easton, MD • 410-770-9255 • 220 N.Morris St • Oxford, MD • 410-226-0111


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Hunt to Table Making the connection with Modern Stone Age Kitchen


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Story by Amelia Blades Steward | Photos by Christina Schindler


hristina and Bill Schindler of the Modern Stone Age Kitchen and their nonprofit, the Eastern Shore Food Lab, located in Chestertown are transforming the foods we eat into their healthiest versions by using ancestral and traditional approaches to maximize the safety, nutritional value, and flavor of everything they produce. Recently, they ventured into butchering classes for waterfowl and deer, which is changing the way hunters approach the hunt and the resulting food they eat. “We’re always trying to create that really genuine — what I call visceral — connection with our food and where it comes from,” Bill said, who has become an international expert on fermentation, stone tools, primitive hunting technologies, and foraging, learning from experts from around the globe. “And the more that I become connected to the food itself, the more I realize how much waste there is in the way that we process animals today.” In 2016, he was a co-star of National Geographic’s “The Great Human Race,” and is the author of Eat Like a Human: nourishing foods and ancient ways of cooking to revolutionize your health. He points out that hunters often butcher the very same cuts that they see in grocery stores, particularly with waterfowl where hunters often just focus on the breast of the bird and discard the rest. “We realized how much waste was in the food system and wanted to do something about it,” he said. “But just as importantly, if you look at the archaeological record and all our ethnographic work with groups around the world, this isn’t the way that traditional groups around the world approach wild and domestic animals. They actually nourish themselves with over 90 percent of the animal as opposed to the 50 percent that we eat.” Bill explained that they started to understand more about real nutrient-dense, bioavailable nourishing food, realizing “what an incredible resource the other parts of the animal are.” “So, when we started to put it all together, the basic thing that we discovered is that when we use all of an animal – nose to tail – we not only are doing something that is ancestrally appropriate, but it is also the most ethical, sustainable and nourishing way to approach animals.” “Bill has shown me the power of eating the whole animal, not just the nutritional piece, but the sustainability and the ethical piece of it as well,” added Christina, Bill’s wife and business partner, and a recovering vegetarian. “And I think that’s important. Also, there is the misconception about some of the organs that they are quite strong, but when Bill mixes them in hamburgers, it is very different and more consumable that way – it makes it delicious.”

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In their Waterfowl Workshops, the couple starts with the whole goose or ducks, removing the feathers and cleaning them with the intent of reusing the organs and not just throwing them out. The class includes making things from bone broth with all of the carcasses. “One of the great entryways into this world of eating the entire animal is to just grind it all together,” Bill said. “It sort of masks some of the flavors and textures that are odd just because we did not grow up with them. But, even better, when you learn how to cook the organs properly, you have the ability to celebrate the textures and the flavors of those parts of the animal. One example is pâté, which is one of my favorite things in the world. And you cannot do it any better than when you use duck and goose liver.” The Schindler family has learned a lot from spending time cooking, sharing food and learning from Indigenous and traditional families and groups around the world — whether it has been in Mongolia, Bolivia or Peru. The point the couple makes is that the inspiration and insight they gained from conducting research with all of these cultures, no matter how remote, have direct relevance to our modern lives and can make a powerful difference in our health.

“One of the weird things is that everybody used to eat the whole animal,” Bill said. “I am convinced that including the entire animal allows us to get enough nutrition to support body-brain growth. Unfortunately, it has been taken out of the middle class diets. Now, you either find it in areas of economic need, because of the cheaper cuts of the animal, or in incredibly high-end restaurants.” Bill said if a person wants to improve their nutrition or their connection with their food or sustainability, seeing it in print like in a cookbook does not get them over the hump. “It is trying it and realizing that it can taste good,” Bill said. “That is why we love our classes, because not only do we show them how to do it and give them recipes, but they actually get to taste the food too.” Both point out that another really big advantage of butchering your own animal is for families to see the entire animal — taking the feathers off it, skinning it if it is a deer, or removing the scales if it is a fish.

Christina and Bill Schindler, owners of Modern Stone Age Kitchen, in their newly expanded space on 236 Cannon Street in Chestertown. (Photo by Amelia Blades Steward) Bill Schindler demonstrating general butchering techniques for waterfowl. 70

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Kent County

There is no better place than the Brampton Inn on Maryland’s Eastern Shore when it comes to enjoying your sport of choice without roughing it. After a day in the field, the historic manor house, built circa 1860, and private guest cottages flanking the 35-acre country estate provides a quiet respite where you can create your own personal getaway. When you’re ready to kick back and relax, enjoy a cocktail on the terrace by the firepit and a satisfying dinner. Then unwind with an inroom massage.

BOOK YOUR RESERVATION TODAY 25227 Chestertown Road, Chestertown, MD 410-778-1860

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Kent County Maryland

A hunter's paradise... explore the countryside in pursuit of deer, waterfowl, and more along the upper Chesapeake Bay. PLAN YOUR ADVENTURE



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“Going through all those steps creates a connection that is lacking in a lot of households in the modern world today,” Bill said. “Most kids today cannot equate the chicken breasts in the package with something that was running around on the farm. So, we are bringing back feathers, skin, scales, hair, and bones back into the kitchen and bringing something in that has the shape of an animal. There is power in that. It is reconnecting our entire family, especially our kids, with where the meat comes from, so they can build that sense of stewardship

we are bringing back feathers, skin, scales, hair, and bones back into the kitchen and ethical approach to their food that is missing today.” In reflecting on the hunt itself, Bill takes incredible pleasure in everything leading up to the actual harvest — the preparation, the practicing scouting, setting up a tree stand, and understanding the behavior and patterns of the animals.

Participants at one of Modern Stone Age Kitchen’s Waterfowl Classes, removing the feathers from their ducks and geese.

TIPS FOR SUCCESSFULLY HARVESTING AN ANIMAL: 1. When hunting, always carry a few Ziplock bags to transport organs when field dressing. 2. When waterfowl hunting, keep the entire bird instead of simply breasting the birds. 3. Start with the heart — it is essentially a muscle with more nutrition that regulates muscles so the flavor and texture will be very familiar to meat. 4. Reserve the bones from all animals to make a nourishing and delicious bone broth. 5. Make pâté from the livers. 6. Use the intestines (or skin from goosenecks) for sausage casings. 7. Grind organ meats together with the meat to use in burgers, meatballs and sausage.

Waterfowl Class participants learning how to use all of the bird in cooking. S P O R T I N G L I F E 2 0 2 3 | S H O R E M O N T H LY. C O M


MODERN STONE AGE KITCHEN goose and duck liver pate recipe INGREDIENTS: 250 grams goose and/or duck livers 250 grams butter (divided) 2 tablespoons brandy

1 tablespoon thyme 2 garlic cloves chopped Salt and pepper to taste

Completely defrost, wash and trim the livers. Set them aside. Cut half the butter (125 grams) into cubes. Place cubes of butter in the fridge to keep them cold. Chop garlic.

The results of the Waterfowl Class have participants enjoying everything from pâtés to bone broth.

Bill added that he finds amazing pleasure in getting up in the morning with his son and sitting and watching the woods come alive. “Then there is the moment of the actual kill, which is a necessary step,” he said. “But then, what I find incredible reward and pleasure in is everything from that point after – how I am able to take this animal and use every single part of it to nourish my family. Now that is something that I can really get behind. That is something of which I am incredibly proud. I firmly believe that we can all do a better job to ensure that we are hunting (and field dressing, butchering, cooking and eating) in the safest, most nourishing, ethical and sustainable ways possible.” S 74

In a small saucepan over low heat melt the remaining butter. Add the garlic and thyme leaves and continue to cook (poach) over low heat for 5-10 minutes, infusing the butter with an amazing garlic and thyme flavor. Turn off heat, skim any foam that may have risen to the top, and slowly pour the golden, clarified, garlic-infused butter into a small bowl with a small strainer set on top to catch any thyme and garlic. Pour slowly and leave behind the white milky substance at the bottom. Now place the strainer on top of another small bowl and strain the remainder of the garlic and thyme away from the milky substance. Discard the milky substance or use it for another purpose. Place the strained garlic and thyme into a blender or food processor. Cook livers: Ladle a tablespoon of the clarified butter into a frying pan and heat over low to medium heat. Add the cleaned livers and cook for a couple minutes on each side until just barely pink on the inside. Add them to the garlic and thyme in a blender or food processor. Turn the heat to medium-high and deglaze with brandy using a wooden spoon to dislodge any bits adhering to the frying pan leftover from cooking the livers. Add this to the blender. Blend pâté: Process until smooth. Cool. Add butter and process until smooth. If needed, push through a fine mesh strainer to ensure smooth consistency. Distribute into jars. Finish: Pour a thin layer of the clarified garlic-thyme butter on top. Decorate with a sprig of thyme or bay leaf and make sure to cover it with butter. Cool in the fridge until butter is hardened. Serve, store in the fridge for up to a week, or store in the freezer for a few months. For further information on butchering classes, visit In addition to classes on butchering deer and waterfowl, the Schindlers also offer all sorts of cooking classes from home butchering to cheesemaking to making sourdough bread. They will also be offering demonstrations on cleaning and preparing waterfowl with a nose-to-tail approach at the Waterfowl Festival this year in Easton from Nov. 10-12. For information about their restaurant, The Modern Stone Age Kitchen, where they put their approach into practice creating nourishing and delicious food for the community visit: and come visit them in Chestertown at 236 Cannon Street.

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Big or Small, One store has it all.

Serving Kent County and the Eastern Shore for over 50 years! Your Source For: Treated Lumber · Builder’s Hardware · Fir Plywood Framing Lumber - Shingles · Insulation - Windows Doors - Millwork · Ceiling Tile - Drywall Materials

Chestertown Lumber Company, LLC 410-810-9080 805 Washington Ave. Chestertown, MD Fax 410-810-9088 Current Hours: Mon-Fri 7am-4:30pm Saturday 8am-12noon • Closed Sunday

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Saturday, November 18th 8:30 to 1:30 Free Admission Preview Party November 17th 5:30 to 7:00 Admission $20 includes drinks and hors d’oeuvres * * *

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r Chesapeake Bay Getaway

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ANIMAL SANCTUARY Story by Eleanor Pratt Photos by Cal Jackson


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ocated in Denton, Hill Hounds Rescue and Animal Sanctuary aims to provide affordable care for the community and forever homes for a variety of rescue animals. Hill Hounds is not just hounds according to Director Tammy Darrow. This full-service rescue takes in cats, pigs, ducks, sugar gliders and all kinds of other animals. The nonprofit enjoys matching its rescues with the perfect family. Addressing the need for more people to adopt, Darrow noted that “there is a misconception that just because an animal is a rescue it is damaged, but we get purebred dogs, young puppies, older dogs and they all still have so much life and love to give. They’ve just been dealt a bad hand in life and deserve a second chance.” Often an animal is at the rescue because of a sudden life change of an owner, because an animal’s initial home was just not a good match, or even because of irresponsible breeding practices. Whatever the reason an animal is in a shelter, Darrow emphasized that they are deserving of love as any animal and rescue really is the best breed. After the pet adoption boom during the pandemic, there has now been an increase in pets being returned to shelters across the nation as people stop working from home. Hill Hounds was careful about adopting out during the pandemic for this reason. People who would not have qualified pre-pandemic did not qualify during. That being said, the Hill Hounds adoption process is not intense. Those working at the rescue just want everyone to be matched up just right. In early September 2023, Hill Hounds opened a clinic that will allow the rescue to keep its doors open and will increase access to affordable care for the general public. According to Darrow, “Corporations are coming in and buying up all your local vets and prices are skyrocketing…Vet clinics are a multibilliondollar industry and they want their hands in that pot.” Without affordable care, many pet owners face impossible choices. The hope is with this new clinic and the affordable prices it provides, pets can stay with their families. Hill Hounds operates with a dedicated staff of experienced veterinarians, vet assistants and a devoted set of volunteers. While the rescue caters to a variety of animals, the clinic does not provide services for exotic pets and focuses mainly on cats and dogs. As for who the clinic and rescue are for, Darrow said, “If you can get here, you can use us.” For anyone interested in supporting Hill Hounds, there are a variety of ways to do so. Darrow explained they “desperately need fosters and people to volunteer. We’ve had a wonderful volunteer effort — there are so many things they can do.” S P O R T I N G L I F E 2 0 2 3 | S H O R E M O N T H LY. C O M


In terms of on-site volunteering, Darrow noted the need for walking dogs, doing laundry and even helping prepare and shave dogs and cats before surgery at the clinic. For those who cannot be in person, the clinic is a nonprofit and monetary donations are always needed. Donations in the form of new or gently used towels and blankets, dog toys, dog treats, leashes and food dishes are also appreciated. Other similar needs are listed on the Hill Hounds website: To get started volunteering or donating visit the Hill Hounds website to begin the process. For those interested in adopting, an application is also available on the Hill Hounds website. S

There is a misconception that just because an animal is a rescue it is damaged, but we get purebred dogs, young puppies, older dogs and they all still have so much life and love to give. They’ve just been dealt a bad hand in life and deserve a second chance



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Where we’re committed to providing Exemplary Inhome Care for our clients.

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TRUSTED and LOCAL Anchored in relationships. Our team approach encourages each

staff member to develop meaningful relationships with our residents. Our activities program includes daily exercise programs and walks, crafts and games, active volunteer program, visits from children’s groups and Pets on Wheels, outings for picnics, luncheons, local music and theater performances, tours of local attractions. We also have a separate Memory Care Director just for our memory care residents.

410-770-9707 106 W. Earle Ave., Easton, MD 21601

Cornelia C. Heckenbach Associate Broker Premier Service Excellence and Results

Call Today 410-310-1229 Originally from Germany, Cornelia moved to Talbot County with her family and quickly became one of Talbot County’s leading agents. Sophisticated, warm, and accomplished, her real estate successes range from starter homes to stunning multimillion-dollar waterfront estates, farmland and new construction. Motivated to understand her client’s needs, she expertly pairs a natural listening ear with 30+ years of unparalleled international expertise. With award-winning results and passion for the beauty of the Eastern Shore, her clients quickly come to know Cornelia’s integrity, leading-edge marketing talent, persuasive advocacy, and exceptional skill at the negotiation table. With dedication and business savvy, Cornelia leads sellers to top-dollar results, and buyers to the home of their dreams.

New Location Coming Soon: 105 S. Talbot St., St. Michaels

(o) 410-745-0283 (c) 410-310-1229 82

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Legendary boat repair and restoration. Long and short term rental slips available








Enhancing Homes, Making Friends



Celebrating 20 years of child advocacy in Caroline County 114 Market Street Denton, MD 21629 (410) 479-8301


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C R E AT I O N S Thomas Jewelry makes life on the Eastern Shore into beautiful collections


Story by Brian Shane | Photos by Amanda Robinson and Maggie Trovato

ustomers walking into Thomas’s Fine Jewelry in Cambridge are sometimes caught off guard that the master jeweler behind the counter isn’t some snowy-haired grandfather in a cardigan — at least, not yet, he isn’t. “There is a thought that people usually have where, if there is a jeweler, he is an older man,” said Amanda Robinson, who co-owns the store with her brother Thomas. “So, people would come in and say ‘where’s the jewel – where’s your father?’ And Thomas would go, ‘well, I’m the jeweler. Dad’s not a jeweler. It’s just me.’ “It really would surprise people,” she added, “and I would remind them that he’s going to be here for a long time.” For seven years now, the brother and sister duo of Thomas and Amanda Robinson have owned and operated Thomas’s Fine Jewelry in Cambridge. At age 34, Thomas already has two decades of experience in the business.

He got his start at 14, as an apprentice at Randolph’s Fine Jewelry in Philadelphia. Bench jeweler Randy Tartaglio was a close family friend who needed help around the shop, and took Thomas under his wing. He apprenticed there for 10 and a half years, intimately learning not only the skills of the trade, but how to work with customers. Randolph’s closed in 2014. “I started in the business young, and it’s all I know,” he said. “I love it, the personal service. The gentleman comes in, saying, ‘I need an anniversary gift.’ Or, ‘I have this broken watch, I need it repaired and cleaned and polished.’ “The apprenticeship is kind of a lost thing these days,” he added. “Whether you apprentice as a jeweler or a plumber, it’s kind of a unique beginning.” How did Thomas know, as a high school freshman, that he wanted to pursue this career path? His sister noted that the vocation was a perfect fit for her brother’s sense of curiosity. “Even as a child, he was a tinkerer,” Amanda said. S P O R T I N G L I F E 2 0 2 3 | S H O R E M O N T H LY. C O M


“Always liked to tinker with things and figure things out. I feel like it was the right area for him to go into. I’m sure it taught him a lot, how things work, how things fit together.” Amanda, 36, likens their business partnership to a restaurant: Thomas is the chef in the kitchen, and she’s the front-of-house manager, making sure everyone is happy. “When he’s making all the magic happen behind the scenes. I get to build rapport with people and figure out what they’re looking for, especially if they don’t really know,” she said. With Christmas only a few months away, they keep busy crafting new designs and stocking inventory. Even with the shop’s three off days, they still work six days a week. For Thomas, that’s when he catches up on repairs and orders, and gets to make time for creating things on his own. There is a lot to keep track of with literally thousands of customers. “We open the doors,” he said, “we don’t know who’s going to come in or what we’ll be asked to do — from a simple watch battery to, ‘I lost a little diamond, can you fix and re-tip a prong?’ Or ‘I inherited this from my grandmother, it’s too small, can you make it larger to fit?’”

The Robinson siblings are continuing a tradition of running a jewelry store inside an iconic Cambridge building. For the better part of the 20th Century, their Poplar Street location had been home to Lednum’s Jewelers. Constructed in 1899, it was a pool hall and a bowling alley before Charles Lednum, Sr., opened his jewelry store in 1944. His son Charles Jr. took over the store in 1966 and ran it until it closed in 2014, according to The Dorchester Star. Now, the building’s history and beauty live on with the Robinsons. Customers are greeted by rich mahogany everywhere, built from a surplus of WWII-era glider lumber. Amanda said their modest renovations, which included adding a beautiful chandelier, aimed to make the space feel open and inviting. “Timing-wise, it all worked out perfectly that there already was this beautiful space that already had the reputation as the jewelry store in town,” Amanda said. “To be able to bring that back to life was pretty neat.” One hurdle the Robinsons faced came only a few years into business, when the COVID-19 pandemic shut the world down in March of 2020. As scary as it was, the determined siblings cleverly

Always liked to tinker with things and figure things out.


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found ways to keep working with clients at a distance — “because there were still birthdays, still anniversaries, people still trying to celebrate,” Amanda recalled, “even in a time when you weren’t allowed to do anything. “Jewelry is a nice way they could still celebrate, if that makes sense. We were arranging that someone could pull into the back lot, we could arrange a check or credit card, and safely deliver it, gift wrapped and all, with no contact,” she added. Thomas and Amanda like to have a little bit of everything in the store. They’re proud of their collection of estate jewelry, pearls, watches, engagement rings, and wedding bands. And, in addition to traditional handengraving, they have a laser engraver that lets them customize metal, glass bottles, plaques and awards. Better still, if a customer wants to design their own original ring, necklace, pair of earrings, they will start with a sketch or idea. Then, on the computer, they create a digital rendering of what it will look like — and then, fire up a 3-D printer to create a physical copy.

From that point, it’s cast in wax, then reproduced in gold or silver, setting any stones. The process for custom jewelry can take 3-6 weeks from start to finish. The shop is also known for carrying one particular niche category of jewelry, based on a theme close to their hearts — that of good old-fashioned outdoors hobbies like hunting and fishing. Their collection of Eastern Shore-centric jewelry pieces feature original designs like oysters, crabs, rockfish and even a muskrat trap. For Thomas and Amanda, not only are these specialty pieces a way to relate to their customer base in a meaningful way, but harken back to their own childhood summers, and the many hours and weekends spent outside with family on the Lower Eastern Shore. “A lot of the outdoor pieces, the themed things, you know, we feel personally a connection to, having spent so much time growing up here,” Amanda said. “Thomas and I have a little competition between us for fishing. We love to go out fishing, go out on the dock, and try to out-fish each other. It’s a friendly rivalry.” Are there other jewelers who sell crab trinkets? Sure, but not like these. Amanda was proud to recount how their specific style and line of jewelry is becoming recognizable. Recently, as a vendor at Cambridge’s world-famous National Outdoor Show, Amanda said she counted

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five ladies wearing their signature muskrat trap necklaces, “which was so cool.” “It’s one thing to sell something and it goes out the door, and you hope someone likes it. But it’s another thing where someone’s wearing your design,” she said. At the end of the day, running a small-town jewelry store is about more than just selling and making stuff, but building relationships over time. As Amanda put it, “we almost become a therapist for our clients.” “We’re there for the happy, but we’re also for the sad,” she said. “I have held customers while they cried — and we’ve laughed while crying. Tears happen. Sometimes you don’t know what you’re in for. It can be hard, but I absolutely love being able to turn someone’s day around. It’s something special that I never thought would be a part of my job, but it is every day.” S


Thomas’s Fine Jewelry 525 Poplar Street, Cambridge ONLINE:

Wednesday 10 - 5 pm Thursday 10 - 5 pm Friday 10 - 6 pm



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Hours: Saturday 10 - 5 pm Closed on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday

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By: Ryan Helfenbein My wife and I recently looked into getting a hotel room for a few nights in Washington DC. We went to good ol’ Google to see what the options were. Immediately at the top were hotels offering stays for $80 a night, with the listings continuing down the page to rooms well over $1,000 per night. Knowing that regardless of the price, we will have a roof over our heads, a bed to sleep in and running water, my wife and I prefer a few creature comforts. My wife is particular about the bed. She prefers a softer mattress and not one that feels as if we are on concrete with paper thin pillows. Housekeeping service is also a must, and we’d like the hotel to be located in a safe area of the city. Lastly, we both want to be at a facility that would provide some assistance with where to go and what we should do. This ultimately pushed us closer to the higher cost range, but we were ok with it simply because we understand that’s the tradeoff for the care and comfort we wanted during our stay. According to, the majority of people visiting the city bypass the $80 per night stay, choosing an average hotel stay of $447. The lesson here is that even though consumers could get a bed, roof and running water very inexpensively, the average guest desire more out of their hotel experience. As a matter of fact, this holds true with most things. Much like the Google search for a hotel room, when we search for cremation prices, we are immediately presented with the least expensive options available. Since most people purchase cremation services far less often in their lives than make hotel reservations, we should have a better understanding of what goes into the ‘how much’ before meeting with one of the dark suited undertakers. Much like the $80 hotel “deal”, we should carefully consider if the least expensive option is in fact the experience we really want. The cost of a cremation service ultimately comes down to what the expectations are for our loved one and our family. Take for example the ‘businesses’ today that operate out of commercial warehouse facilities providing the least expensive option, like the $80 hotel room. These companies often are affiliated with multiple other businesses offering disposition in a mass volume. They are primarily focused on disposition only with very little, if any, guidance or care provided to the survivors, friends and family. These are also the ones we typically read about in the national news and local state boards fine on what seems to be a regular basis. None the less, it is an option for those who seek solely the disposition of a deceased – ie. A roof, bed and running water only. From there we move to funeral homes that offer a cremation service, yet do not own a crematory. We could compare this


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to the hotel that may greet us with a smiling face but doesn’t provide daily housekeeping and perhaps outsources any food service options. According to a 2019 survey by the Cremation Association of North America, 70% of funeral homes do not own a crematory. These funeral homes provide guidance to the families and oversight of service, but outsource the cremation to a third party, and often the transportation of the deceased as well. While this type of service does allow the funeral home to keep their staff small while possibly serving a large number of families, they cannot be 100% certain what happens when the departed is taken off sight due to another company performing the cremation. In 2002, we learned of the Tri-State Crematory, which was accepting decedents for cremation from funeral homes who did not own a crematory. Instead of providing the services they were paid to perform, let’s just say the cremation was not being carried out and what was being received by the families from those funeral homes was not at all the cremated remains of their loved one. As upsetting as it may seem, this third-party outsourcing process is still being utilized today. The next option available to consumers is the all-inclusive funeral home. These are the licensed establishments that provide coaching to the survivors on next steps and complete oversight of the deceased. We see them often using the tag line “Your loved one never leaves our care” and “Cremation with Confidence.” These firms do not outsource any part of the process. The individuals who transport the deceased from a local place of passing are employees with that funeral home, not a contracted third-party transport company. On staff licensed employees also oversee the entire cremation process. The firms that provide this full-service approach, including owning and operating the crematory, make up only 30% of the entire profession (according to a 2019 survey by Cremation Association of North America). These funeral home cremation providers ensure peace of mind that all is being overseen by one single company and those ashes being received are, in fact, those of our loved one. It is the hotel with the concierge assistance, daily linen service and a breakfast with made to order omelets. Many consumers are not aware of the multiple options available to them when it comes to the loss of a loved one. We need to be sure to make educated decisions. Take the time to learn why costs are what they are in order to prioritize what is most important. It is always advised to talk with the local undertaker far in advance to answer your questions about the things that matter most.


11/10 - The Rough and Tumble

12/7-11 & 14-17 - Elf LIVE on Stage

11/11 - Charlie Mars, 7pm & 9pm

Avalon Gift Cards Make

11/15 - Spy Nights - “Word Girls, Speaker, Author,

Great Holiday Gifts!


Give the Gift of LIVE Experiences this year.

11/17 - JETS: The Music of Sir Elton John

Plan ahead for:

11/18 - Livingston Taylor

March 15, 2024 - An Evening with Tom Rush with

11/19 - Donna the Buffalo

Matt Nakoa

11/24 - Clones of Funk Dance Party

April 2, 2024 - Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain

11/25 - Seldom Scene

May 4, 2024 - Madeleine Peyroux

We wish everyone a wonderful Thanksgiving and Holiday Season with family, friends and a show at The Avalon! For tickets and more information you can call The Box Office at 410-822-7299 Or please visit online at

The Avalon Theatre - 40 E. Dover St. Easton, MD






home I N S P I R E D

H O M E ' S



HIGGINS & SPENCER 902 S. Talbot Street St. Michaels, MD 21663 || 410.745.5192 ||

/higginsandspencer || Monday-Friday 8am-5pm

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Gear Guide Local goods tailored to the Eastern Shore sporting life. Perfect gifts for the people in your life!

Deejo Pocket Knives See more at Deejo was born from the desire to recapture the elegance of a timeless gesture from the past...the everyday pocket knife. These ultralight pocket knives offer personalizing “tattoos.” The handles are adorned with various woods from the deep blacks of ebony to the fine beige of olivewood. Any fisherman or hunter would appreciate such a gift.

From The Hickory Stick 21326 E. Sharp St. Rock Hall, MD 21661 410-639-7980

Lodestone Candles - Whisky Candle Find it at There is a stone building nestled under an outcropping of stone on the Sound of Kerrera in Oban. It is said that the magic of the locale–the setting where the whisky is brewed, the seaside warehouse where the oak casks coddle the elixir as it ages–that gives whisky its personality. This mix of rich oak, spicy citrus, sandalwood and smoked peat with infusion of patchouli and birch tar essential oils create a feeling of warmth and dreams of tweed.


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Winging It Duck Necklace Find it Handcrafted on Maryland’s Eastern Shore in Cambridge at TFJ Sterling silver - Stamped 2-D unisex design Rounded box chain feeds through the wing for a seamless look. Pendant comes on a 20 inch rounded box chain with a lobster clasp.

Bull & Goat - Beers & Cocktails Find it at The brewers take their beer very seriously. They carefully hone the recipes to get the most refreshing brew for your enjoyment. With a quality staple of fantastic beers, they have no trouble mixing it up with experiments to excite your tastebuds.

Three Across Ring Platinum, 3.77 carats diamonds, GIA Certified Stones

Gold Pin 18k yellow gold, diamonds, ruby

Find these pieces at Possessing over four decades of experience in the jewelry industry, Guilford & Company maintains relationships with some of the finest craftsmen and gem brokers in the country. It is our pleasure to place their services at your disposal to aid you in the restoration and repair of your jewelry S P O R T I N G L I F E 2 0 2 3 | S H O R E M O N T H LY. C O M


Enjoy A Relaxing Dining Experience While Overlooking Cabin Creek


CHOPTANK RIVERBOATS True Sternwheeler Reproductions Lunch-Crab Feast • Dinner-Sight Seeing

INSIDE & DOCKSIDE DINING • CARRY OUT Featuring a Seafood Rich Menu Including Award Winning Crab Cakes, Choice Cuts of Beef, Great Pasta & Homemade Desserts

CATERING FOR YOUR EVENT At your Location or Ours

We also offer a waterfront wedding venue for your perfect day!

SUICIDE BRIDGE RESTAURANT 6304 Suicide Bridge Road, Hurlock • 410-943-4689 • 94

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Favorite Event Venue, Place to Watch a Sunset, Business Lunch, and Outdoor Dinning.

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Cover photo by Audrey Wozny Bobby Connolly shows off the decoys he has created through the years. Handcarving, shaping and painting the detailed waterfowl has been a passion of his and continues to bring the sporting lifestyle into his everyday life year around. 96

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Decades of National Experience and Regional Focus WILLIAM (SANDY) W. MCALLISTER, JR.









Largest Firm on the Eastern Shore

MCALLISTER DETAR Showalter & Walker

100 N. WEST STREET EASTON, MD 21601 410.820.0222 WWW.MDSWLAW.COM

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Embrace the hunt, live the Lifestyle! $381,000,000+ in sales volume over 12,000 acres sold 13 Realtors

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