Monday, May 28, 2012

PHILADELPHIA -Ferry Boat that worked on the Chesapeake

"Philadelphia Ferry Boat" oil on board (18" x 24") 2012
Who does not get excited at the sight of a ferry boat? The sounds of the cars and buses being loaded has the percussive, clattering rhythm of an island song for me.  The deliberate energy of the crew while hurrying the drivers to maneuver precisely into the compact space on board is exhilarating and nerve wracking. Like all public transportation, they run on deadlines. During the crossings there is always something to do. Perhaps you like to ogle the other passengers while enjoying the spume of the sea.  And then there is the anticipation of the destination at the end of the ferry boat ride.

 You  already know that I sure wish we had ferries back on the Chesapeake Bay. The double-ended ferry in my painting here is named "Philadelphia," but she has an important Baltimore connection. She was built at Chester, PA in 1899 for the Pennsylvania Railroad. They needed this beautiful  ferry boat for their crossings on the Hudson River at New York City. After a while, the Philadelphia served the Pennsy in Baltimore for the crossings to Love Point on Maryland's eastern shore. She was  called "Smoky Joe" as she made her three, daily, 24-mile trips across the bay from Light Street in two hours and 20 minutes. The upper deck had a restaurant which served fresh seafood from Kent Island. "Philadelphia's" last service was in 1948 for the Delaware-New Jersey Ferry Company. She is shown here with a final paint job before being scrapped.

Sunday, May 13, 2012


In the days before air-conditioning, Mago-Vista Beach in Arnold, MD was one of our summertime getaways. My mother would pack us into the car with a picnic lunch and a one or two additional children from the neighborhood and off we’d go. I don’t remember if we wore our bathing suits or changed when we arrived.  The  friendly, family beach was  pleasantly sandy.  I loved the big silver raft that was anchored not too far from shore. We could wade out to it and jump off into the warm water. There was a dance pavilion that the grown ups used for night time dances. According to a web site devoted to Mago-Vista Mr. Benson began building the resort  on the Magothy River  in 1938. There was an amusement park  and houses to rent. How I wish I could recall seeing that. The image here is from my collection of Maryland ephemera. While I don't remember canoes, I do love the bathing suit on our paddler. Some have told me that the Mago-Vista of our youth is long gone and now, but of course, condominiums have taken its place.