Tuesday, April 6, 2010


This gorgeous vista can be enjoyed at the end of a very long dock in the heart of bustling downtown Redart, which is the word "trader" backwards. As I've mentioned many times, there isn't a lot to do in Mathews, so for entertainment we just sit around and spell things backwards, then slap it up on a sign and assign it a zip code.


Mathews Mark, who has been missing in action for weeks now due to lack of internet access, was working down Redart last week. He gave me a call.

(Ring, ring...)

Chesapeake Bay Woman: "Hello?"

Mathews Mark: "Hey, CBW, I'm working down Redart at a gorgeous place that would make some really good pictures. What are you doing right now?"

CBW: Is not even on the line any more because she's spinning gravel out the driveway to get there post haste. An opportunity for legal trespassing does not present itself ever every day.

Mathews Mark was right. This piece of property was gorgeous, ideally situated on a point with not one but two docks, one of which was about a mile long if it was a foot.
Prior to coming out here, I ventured to the other dock closest to the house, over on the other side of those pine trees.

Scoping out the views for the ideal picture, I happened to look downward since I was approaching an incline onto the dock. There, lying inches in front of me in all his sunbathing glory, was this:

The rest of him was stretched clear across the dock, and he wasn't in any hurry to move. He'd probably just swallowed a small pony or something and was just taking an after-lunch nap.

The trip to Redart was productive, black snakes and huge herds of fiddler crabs notwithstanding. I'll share more photos of the place when I can.

But before I forget, the other night Anonymous Hallieford Resident invited several of us over to her restaurant, Sandpiper Reef. While she was busy pouring drinks from their new margarita machine, Mathews Mark regaled the crowd with stories.

A platter of fried oysters was placed in front of him. (They were delicious, by the way.)

Mathews Mark: "Did y'all ever used to tie strings around raw oysters?"

CBW: "Ummm. What did you say? Strings? Around oysters?"

Mathews Mark: "Yeah, you know, you take a string and tie it around the middle of an oyster and swallow it.

CBW: "What the ... why in the world would anyone want to swallow an oyster with a string tied around it?"

Mathews Mark: "So you could pull it back up."

We won't ask the ever-so obvious question of why at this juncture, because that is not germane to the point of this story, which is this: There ain't a whole lot to do around here.

And this: There is a killer boa constrictor on the loose in the vicinity of Redart, and he isn't afraid of anything, up to and including small ponies a frizzy-haired woman carrying a camera.

And also: Dear Reality TV Show Producers, there is a gold mine of television fodder here in Mathews County, Virginia. Truly.


Ann Marie said...

I am still weirded out a bit by your snake and my dream of our chasing a snake... and how the heck did I miss oysters and that story??? Oh... and my answer is.. umm maybe .. who's asking.

Meg @ Soup Is Not A Finger Food said...

OK, I'm going to just skip right over the oyster-on-a-string part (TMI, MM) and simply share that in western PA, there's a little crossroads town from wheremy brother-in-law comes. It's called Colver. (Not Clover; Colver.) And the neighboring town? Is Revloc. Seemed as good a way to name a town as any, I guess!

I suppose it's good my mom named my younger sister Betsy instead of Gem. (Meg backwards. Get it?)

Anonymous said...

I am pretty certain, in fact, 100% certain that I NEVER wanted to hear that story again much less read it over my morning coffee. Ugh..ick It is just as disgusting to read as it was to hear.

Clearly I need a proctor at the bar to keep the conversation appropriate for delicate ears!

Anonymous said...

Oysters are a delicacy...very expensive. Why only eat em once when you can eat em twice?

I am trying to get the owner of Sandpiper Reef to offer them on a string.


Mrs F with 4 said...

I fear my visa may remain permanently mislaid. I LIKE snakes, don't get me wrong - I used to keep one (a gigantic boa constrictor, since you ask) - but running wild around my feet? Thank you, but no.

And.... I would rather swallow my own snot than an oyster - once, never mind twice.

MM - it's great to see you back!

Trisha said...

Yikes! That snake looks a bit intimidating!

Okay - the string on the oyster story. Really????

TSannie said...

That snake better be gone come July!

Caution Flag said...

Do you really think I would ever attend Blog Fest after seeing that snake?? AND eating oysters twice??? Detroit is looking mighty beautiful right now.

Daryl said...

OOOOH .. a margarita machine, I may drink my dinner vs the alternative

Breezeway said...

Never pulled oysters back out, but really? Who hasn't swallowed the end of a piece of pasta and then pulled it back out? I realize I'm from Gloucester, therefore I had a lot of time on my hands as a small child, however....
That snake pic is giving me flashbacks to Sunday's trail ride, during which a HUGE black snake slithered directly underneath my horse. God love his heart, he just kept walking.
The rest of the Redart story, at least as told by my father, is that Trader was a VERY common name in that area, so they just spelled it backwards and went with it. Could have ended up a lot worse, depending on the popular surname!

Kate said...

Ugh! snakes and raw oysters? I'm not stickin around this place today!

Noe Noe Girl...A Queen of all Trades. said...

I like beer with my raw oysters!
I dont like anything with snakes!
WV= galatin.

Anonymous said...

Remlik in Middlesex, same thing: Kilmer spelled backwards.


Bayman said...

trader or Redart has the exact same letters as re Tard. Just fyi.

big hair envy said...

WV: inabar
The only place I can tolerate a snake OR a raw oyster is in a bar. With a side of wine.

big hair envy said...

HI Bayman!!

Chesapeake Bay Woman said...

Ha! Y'all are doing the impossible: making me laugh after a very long and hectic day.

Thank you for commenting and thank you even more for making me laugh.

Anonymous said...

So Bayman...are you in your oh, so subtle way, suggesting that MM might be a reTard for eating an oyster on a string.
We have been arguing all day about the topic.
I am trying desperately to get the thought out of my head.


Chesapeake Bay Woman said...

AHR-I look well beyond the gross factor --it's a survival tactic that has served me well through these many years--and can't get over the "How in the WORLD does someone think up something like that??"

I tend to attribute it to the male brain, but then again Breezeway pulled up spaghetti, so there goes that theory. Honestly, I've never considered pulling anything out once it gets passed a certain point.

And on that note, I will not be eating supper tonight.

Anonymous said...

I am officially banning string at Sandpiper Reef. I am now worried about what might happen there. My God, all the visitors will think we are savages! Well, will think some of us are savages.

Ann Marie said...

Dearest AHR,

Not only can I eat them on a string and reeat them on a string I can also blow them out my nose.. there goes your XY theory.


Anonymous said...

Dear AM,
You are officially invited to perform your circus trick at Happy Hour!..but......only on Mon-Wed when we are closed to the general public. I've got enough freak acts there as it is!

And it was CBW with the xy theory. I am just trying to forget this whole post was ever written. I am certain that I forbid her the other night to ever repeat MMs horror story.

Chesapeake Bay Woman said...

Circus Tricks and Freak Acts...
aka Life in Mathews.

And there we have the name of our new reality TV show. Any producers reading?

Ann Marie said...

Dear AHR,

While I do appreciate greatly the invitation to hang with most esteemed Mon-Wed clientele that aren't really there when you aren't really open, I do think my circus tricks would require me to prove that I am less than human and massive amounts of alcohol.. at least it used to. So if you could have a driver on stand by that would be required.

Much Love

Anonymous said...

Circus tricks and Freak Acts would defintely describe a day at work for me where it is a common occurence to find very realistic plastic mice or snakes where you LEAST expect them...or...a dd who replaced the cooks dip with old coffee grounds...where someone is always dared to 'eat this' or 'drink that' for large sums of money. (they almost always do it).

yup...life in a restaurant. no cameras please..i have to live it...no need to relive it!

Anonymous said...

Dear AM,
Sounds like you need to be there Sat night for Lowbottom. Not sure about circus tricks but I can guarantee the alcohol. Rides home are never a problem.

Bayman said...

MM should be having an enjoyable evening tonight, that's all I am saying.

I could eat them with a string,
I could eat them in a swing.

I could eat then by the lake,
I could eat them with a snake.

Chesapeake Bay Woman said...

Bayman - Excellent, especially coming from a guy who doesn't really care for oysters.

BTW-I saw your son the waterman today making the turn onto Rte 3 at Farm Bureau. He's a handsome fellow.

big hair envy said...

Shoot! I'm going to be in town tomorrow, and the Sandpiper is closed:(

Chesapeake Bay Woman said...

BHE-I'm sure AHR could work you into the private event which occurs Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays. If you mention that you don't like oysters on a string and find the whole concept repulsive, you'll probably get a discount.

p.s. Wish I were off tomorrow and could join you.

foolery said...

My thought is, regarding regurgitated oysters, how could you tell?

The word verification is


Shoot me now.