Anne & Shawn’s Crab Shack
Once upon a time, on a Monday afternoon, in the spring of 2009, Shawn was
hammering in the nails that held a large sign that said “Going Out of Business”. Anne
was inside the restaurant cleaning and putting old food and dishes into boxes. Anne and
Shawn’s Crab Shack was going out of business. The restaurant, known for its Smith
Island cakes, fried and grilled shrimp, rockfish, oysters, and flounder, sat on a large dock
bordering the Chesapeake Bay, where the water is as brown as Anne’s dark eyes. The
small shack was made of white boards and a silver roof made of tin. It was surrounded by
huge stalks of wild rice that animals such as, Mallard, Wood Duck, American Black
Duck, Canada Goose, Bobolink, Black Sora, Song Sparrow, Fish Crow, Northern
Bobwhite, and Red-winged Blackbirds frequently devoured. Shawn walked outside and
stared at the shack that he called home.
“Well, I’m really going to miss this place”.
Anne tiptoed outside and watched her husband say his goodbye’s to the old restaurant
that contained so many memories.
Tyler Town was very quiet and empty. The business started in 2000 and had
many tourists and visitors stop by. It was a great success. Around 2003, a rumor started
that the fish being cooked in their restaurant were unsanitary and polluted. Everyday, less
people came to eat, and the shack was losing their business. The day of May 10th came,
and Anne and Shawn got the letter that said the restaurant was finished, and they had to
be out in two days. As they were packing up, three kids walked in the door. A young boy,
probably 17, stepped in front of his two friends.
“Hey, I’m Aaron. My friends and I heard the Shack was going out of business and
we have come here for a long time. So, we decided to put up signs and start cleaning the
bay. Maybe, we could get enough money raised to start the business up again”, he said
Anne spoke up. “Oh, that sounds great! Thank you guys so much for doing this”.
“Oh, no problem, we love this place and hate to see it go”, said the young girl
behind Aaron, “By the way, I’m Alice”.
“Alright, well we will be back around Noon tomorrow to start putting up signs
and all that”, said the other young girl.
“Okay, see you then!” Shawn said thankfully.
The sky was getting darker while Anne and Shawn were still packing up. They
finally loaded the truck and pulled out of the little parking lot.
The next morning, they drove back to the restaurant to meet the kids. The three of
them were outside making posters. Anne hopped out of the truck.
“Hey, how are you guys?” she asked.
“We’re good, just trying to finish up the signs”, said Aaron.
“Alright, well let’s get this done. The quicker, the better”, said Shawn.
The group got to work. Around 3:30, they had finished all the posters and set
them up around the town. Many people spoke about the signs and why they were being
put up. After about 5:00 more and more people started to join in on the act.
Two weeks later, they had raised $5,000. They were amazed by how many people
donated money to the cause. They started to clean around the bay and on the beaches, and
after they were done with the outside, they began to move to the water. About five
months later, they had raised $15,000. By the spring of 2010, they were ready to start the
business again. Anne and Shawn were so excited. They had hired many future workers to
help with the restaurant. Everything had happened so quickly. Shawn pulled the nails out
of the sign that said “Going out of Business” and painted over it. It then said “Now in