• Cap’n Charlie’s Choppers

                Somerset Choice Station is often a gathering place for friends. Many stories are shared and this is one of the more unusual true stories.

                Tommy Northam came in on a Friday afternoon to visit and found a gift waiting for him. The gift was from Shop Guy Doug Akley. Out of the bag Tommy pulled a beautiful, glass Christmas ornament shaped like teeth. With feet. He laughed and thanked Doug for the most appropriate present.

                 I didn’t get the joke.  I had missed the story Tommy had told Doug on a previous visit, so I asked him to tell it again. He was happy to share the much-repeated story about his father. He even gave permission to post the story on my website, using real names.

                Charles Thomas Northam, Sr., was a waterman who raised his family down Wenona. Cap’n Charlie, as he was known, had a habit of rinsing his false teeth over the side of his boat after lunch.

                One day, in the 1920’s or 1930’s, the teeth slipped from his fingers and swirled to the bottom of Holland Straits on the west side of Tangier Sound. There was no chance of retrieving them. He replaced them and that was that. Or so he thought.

                About twelve years later, Cap’n Charlie was in Horace Webster’s store down Wenona, when he heard fellow watermen Stanford White and Guilford Abbott talking about pulling up false teeth while crabbing one day about a year earlier. He told the men he’d lost teeth twelve years before, and told them where. Cap’n Charlie said he could identify his teeth because of a chip in one of them.

                Turns out, the men had kept the teeth. For a year, they’d been riding around with the teeth in the glove compartment of one of their trucks. They brought in the found teeth, and reunited them with their long-lost owner, to laughter all around.

                The story has become legend and Tommy has always enjoyed telling it. He says of the footed teeth Doug gave him, “They must have walked up out of Tangier Sound.”

  • Take Down

    “Take Down”

           Your Daddy watched this scene play out. He laughs throughout the story every time he tells it. It sounds like he’s playing back a tape of the show in his head. You handled the situation perfectly! He is so proud of you.

           You were at church, in a room with other three-year-olds. You were all playing. One little boy was a little rambunctious. You and Daddy both saw him run at a little girl, bump hard into her and knock her to the floor. She came up screaming and crying. He ran at another child and knocked him to the floor. The boy, too, came up screaming and crying.

           Then the randy rascal looked over at you. You had looked away, but you were clearly watching him in your peripheral vision, with a slight, sly smile on your sweet little face as you saw him coming. When his body made contact with yours, you reached around and grabbed his arm, pulling on him so he stayed with you as you tumbled to the floor. You both landed face down beside each other.

           You popped right up, looking around to find the location of your attacker. There he was, still on the floor with his face planted in the carpet. You watched him as he slowly stood up, shaking himself, and looking confused, as if he was thinking, “What the heck just happened?!”  Then you quietly hip-hopped away to play somewhere else, in your fancy dress, frilly little socks, black patent Mary Janes, and with your long, blonde curls bouncing. No big deal.