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I often wished our time here had overlapped, but he passed away ten years before we moved here fulltime. I really wanted to ask him about the house ~ and, of course, how he got his nickname. Then, one day, thanks to Jim Dawson of the Unicorn Bookstore in Trappe, a small miracle occurred. My questions were answered, not by Jim ~ but by Capt. Funny himself! Jim had come across a set of audio tapes, recordings made by Gilbert Byron, the Eastern Shore poet, author, historian and teacher. Almost half a century ago, Byron had interviewed Parks, probably for a magazine article, and thankfully, he recorded their chat. And so, though it had seemed quite impossible, I

was able to listen to Capt. Funny tell his story. Byron: This is a conversation bet ween Capt. Nathan Parks of Tilghman about his early boyhood, his family childhood, his boats, and friends, and so on, and we’re beginning to make it on January 31, 1970. P a r k s : OK . I w a s b o r n o n Holland’s Island in 1898, 18th of February. And my father died when I was six weeks old. Left my mother with five boys and two girls. And when I come to go to work, why, we had to go to work. When I graduated from the third grade, well, I slipped and never got in the fourth grade. And I had to go to work in order to make a livelihood. And if I didn’t make a dollar or something, we

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