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Oxford’s Yankee Pedler by Michael Valliant

Old wooden boats touch a lot of lives, and they are, in turn, touched by a lot of lives. This is the case with the miniature skipjack Yankee Pedler. She was built in 1967 by Curtis Applegarth as a pleasure boat. She is now cared for by a town-wide partnership for the pleasure of many in Oxford. One of the many lives the Yankee Pedler touched was Beth Schucker’s. She researched and wrote about the boat’s history for the Oxford Museum. Beth was a great writer, editor, and jazz aficionado who passed away in February. This story continues her work to keep telling the Pedler’s story, and builds on her efforts. Yankee Pedler was built by Applegarth for Alice and Steve Zalik. In 1966, they were living in Delaware, wanted a boat, and a friend suggested they visit Oxford. There was a boat named Little Jack on the railway at Applegarth Marine Yard that caught the Zalik’s eye. It was a miniature skipjack built for cruising. They met with Applegarth and agreed on $4,000 to build a boat modeled after it. Yankee Pedler was built and launched on July 4, 1967. Many have asked where the name came from. Steve Zalik liked it. Al-

The Yankee Pedler decorated for Christmas on the Creek in front of the Oxford Community Center. ice was worried about the name because boats are most often named after women. Beth Schucker described what happened next: “As Applegarth painted the name on the bow sprit, he ran out of room, so he left a “d” out of Peddler; a clever solution he thought. For the Zaliks, it personified Applegarth’s endearing sense of Eastern Shore practicality. They kept the name, giving Yankee Pedler the distinction of being miss-gendered and miss-spelled for 42 years.” In the winter, Applegarth would


March 2017 ttimes web magazine  

Tidewater Times March 2017

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