Monday, May 13, 2019

Eastern Shore Journal: Far From the Madding Crowd

Tallulah Bankhead is buried in the cemetery of a small church on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, but it’s not a place that dazzles on the first approach. The traffic lights take forever, perhaps because the infrastructure is ill-equipped for the outside world. Rather than being characterized by resplendent vistas, the landscape is populated with low-lying weather beaten houses, some of whose backyards are filled with generations of pass-alongs which could constitute the makings of an antique or junk shop depending on the luck of the draw. Most of the action in this neck of the woods actually occurs at sea (you're not far from the U.S Naval Academy at Annapolis). The Eastern Shore is the kind of place that has been home for generations of families and naturally there’s tourism, but the demographic is a bit different from that of the Hamptons, Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket which all cater to the gilded gentry of the Northeast who can afford the ever steepening prices. Baltimore, Philadelphia and Washington are the nearest metropolises and though the Eastern Shore may be gentrified like everywhere else, it's still feels as Thomas Gray put it in "Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard," "far from the madding crowd's ignoble strife."

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