A Conversation with Maynard Lowery by Gary D. Crawford
I’m a newcomer to these parts, a Buckeye transplanted to the Eastern Shore via Micronesia, San Diego, the Navajo Nation, and Arlington, Virginia. We’ve been here a third of a century, which is longer even than some of the locals. Nevertheless, those weren’t the first 34 years of my life. I didn’t grow up with the folks around me here, didn’t know them as kids. I didn’t confound the teachers, chase the girls, or raise hell with the boys. My parents weren’t kin to anyone here. Miss Minnie wasn’t my teacher; Slipknot didn’t sell me Cokes; Aunt Edith wasn’t my aunt. As one senior local said to me the other day, “I’m related to just about everybody on this island. Except you.” And that’s the truth of it, of course. Still, a third of a century has been long enough to become acquainted with some very memorable people, locals and newcomers. I’ve come to realize that these human contacts ~ even more than the spectacular scenery all about us every day ~ are what give this experience its depth and color and value. There is much to learn from each of them. Sometimes that enrichment comes in the form of stories. Confidences must be respect-
ed, of course, but perhaps it will be okay to share this one. Being the neighborhood bookseller, people ask about the value of a book they own or wonder how they might sell some books they no longer need. I’m happy to help if I can. One day a few years back, Maynard Lowery came into the store. He had some automotive books, ones old enough that he thought they might have some value. He knew they wouldn’t fit in with our collection of nautical books, but he asked if I could look them over and give him some advice. We arranged for him to bring them over to our house the following week. This might be a good time to introduce Mr. Maynard. He was a gifted third-generation boat-builder who worked in a modest Quonset hut beside Knapp’s Narrows.
Maynard Lowery’s shop.
Tidewater Times July 2014