A Shrimp Boat Tale and a Small Piece of History

It was four years ago this month that the hubs and I tied the knot on the Outer Banks of North Carolina. It was the most beautiful day EVER!! Following the cermony on the steps of the Roanoke Marshes Lighthouse, we were wisked away by a beautiful boat for a few minutes of ‘us’ time as were we carried over to the reception site! We arrived at the marina, where the reception was being held, joyfully perched on the bow of the boat! And when the reception was over… our sendoff was high in the sky!! We parasailed into the sunset, wedding dress and all!! It was truly the happiest day of my life!!

Outer Banks Wedding at the Marina

Ever since that day, the hubs and I always try to spend our anniversary on the water! Some way, somehow, we always find our way to the coast. This year, we skipped town for a little Gulf Coast road trip! I had never been to the Gulf Coast. We spent a few days in Biloxi, Mississippi before hitting the Big Easy! I have to say, of the two, Biloxi was my absolute favorite! Such a sweet town… with a rich history… and lots ‘o shrimp!!

Taking Home a Piece of Gulf Coast History #RustedRoots

It took us back to the day we got married, strolling through the marina, checking out all the shrimp boats. There’s just something about those old boats and all those shrimp signs. If you’ve never been to Biloxi… boy howdy! Those shrimp are BIG!!!! On our anniversary, we got to go out on a shrimp boat and learned all about the shrimpin’ business. It’s amazing how a story can’t be told without acknowledging the tragedy of Hurricane Katrina and what it did to this beautiful town.

Taking Home a Piece of Gulf Coast History #RustedRoots

We walked through that marina several times during our stay in Biloxi. Each time we passed this one particular boat that I just couldn’t stop studying. It looked like it hadn’t been moved in decades. Aboard the boat, tucked behind an old metal box was this old shrimp sign.

Taking Home a Piece of Gulf Coast History #RustedRoots

I asked everyone I saw if they knew who owned that boat. I wanted to chat with them about that sign. I mean, how cool would it be to have that shrimp sign hanging in my kitchen. But alas, no one knew how to contact the owner. We enjoyed the rest of our stay and were headed out of town, when something told me to ride to the marina one last time. So we did. I got out of the car and walked around looking for the owner, but nothing. Defeated, I got back in the car and we pulled away. Just as we were about to pull out of the parking lot… a man… a man walked onto that boat!! The hubs whipped the car back over like he had spotted an old dresser on the side of the road!! And I ran over to the man…

Taking Home a Piece of Gulf Coast History #RustedRoots

He must have thought I was absolutely out of my mind. I started by telling him that I had been looking for him for the past few days. Puzzled, he simply said, ‘oh, ok, well I’m all out of shrimp for the day.’ No sir. It wasn’t shrimp that I wanted… I wanted that old shrimp sign. I went on to tell him how I loved the shrimp sign he had and I would love to buy it from him. He chuckled and said, ‘that ‘ol thing?’ Why yes! He said, ‘I painted that old thing years ago. It’s just a piece of plywood, hun.’ I know but it’s beautiful and I feel like it tells the story of Biloxi.

I went on to tell him where we were from and a little about us. We ended up chatting for quite some time. He told me the story of his ‘lil shrimp boat and it went a little something like this…

Taking Home a Piece of Gulf Coast History #RustedRoots

Her name is Linda K and she’s nearly 90 years old… built in 1928. She’s the oldest boat in Biloxi!! Four generations of shrimpers have worked aboard this ‘lil boat. Back when Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast, the waves got so high that a boat crashed into the side of Linda K, crushing one side. If that weren’t devastating enough, the owners home was destroyed!! The only place he had to go was on Linda K. After making some repairs, he was able to tilt the boat on its side to keep it from sinking and managed to live on the little shrimp boat for 45 weeks! That ‘ol shrimp sign?? He used it to cover the hatch to keep water out. It survived the storm.

I almost couldn’t bare to ask again, if he’d sell me the sign. But I didn’t have to. He said he hated to take my money. But it’s been a slow shrimp season, so if I really wanted it, he’d sell it to me. I couldn’t believe it. It truly made my day and is the absolute best souvenier I have ever brought home from a vacation!

Taking Home a Piece of Gulf Coast History #RustedRoots

What a story of triumph over tragedy and a reminder to never give up!! If this man can live on a shrimp boat for 45 weeks after losing nearly everything to his name. I think we can all make it through what we think is a ‘bad day’. And if that’s not beauty stemming from Rusted Roots… well, I don’t know what is!!

Until next time, let us remember..

Beauty Stems from Rusted Roots

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  1. That truly was a beautiful day ; Not to mention a very beautiful bride and handsome groom! I love you both and am so very proud of what you both have accomplished in the past 4 years.
    I also loved reading about the shrimp boat…It is definately a story of endurance and Faith! He didn’t give up and neither did you on getting your shrimp sign.
    I love you,

    • Thank you, Mom!! That day four years ago was quite perfect! Thank you for supporting us over the last four years in ALL of our endeavors! We wouldn’t be where we are today without you!! We love you too!!

  2. What a great story and what a great sign:)
    You find the best stuff. Hope to visit your market soon!

    • Candace says:

      Thank you, Janet!! And congrat on your new store!! It’s so cute!! I look forward to following your journey as your dreams come true!! Thanks for stopping by!!

  3. Loved your blog post. You have a beautiful way with words!
    Congratulations to you two for four hardworking years. Amazing what you two accomplished in your newlywed years!!

    • Candace says:

      Oh, thank you, Lori!! Your comment means more than you know!! We have indeed been working hard over the last few years, but that hard work has paid off two-fold. You get out of something what you put into it.. and we have for sure put our everything into Rusted Roots!! My mom tells me all the time that I have a way with words. I don’t see it as a talent. I just tell the story the way I see it. But she tells me all the time to cherish this gift that I have been given. I am slowly learning to appreciate this talent that I have been blessed with and use it to better the world around me!! Thank YOU!!

  4. Brenda Scott says:

    What a sweet, sweet story…so glad you were able to bring that sign home.

    • Candace says:

      Thank you, Brenda!!! So glad you stopped by the blog!! We love that new (old) sign!! I saw a red lobster at Homegoods the other day that I thought would be just perfect beside it!! I just gotta find the perfect spot!!

  5. Fonda Rush says:

    Sweet. This brought tears to my eyes. Best wishes for a long journey together. It seems like you were made for each other. My wife and I have been together for over 20 years, and wonderful things are happening for us right now. We have been truly blessed, and we wish the same to you and your love.

    • Candace says:

      Awwww… you are so sweet, Fonda! Thank you for your kind words. I truly believe there is someone out there for each of us! I am happy that the hubs and share this passion of salavaging the past and saving it for the future. I am a lucky lucky gal!! And congrats on over 20 years!!

  6. I have also loved reading your blog, but I have to tell you, YOU DO have a way with words. Now that is not just your Mamma talked!!!! This has got to be one of the best ones yet. As I’m from Iowa, I’m looking forward to seeing you in the fall!! Can’t wait to see your place. Is there a time and day(don’t mean date) that you are or are not at the shop? Mary

    • Candace says:

      Woot woot!!! Coming all the way from Iowa, Mary?!?! I can’t wait to hug your neck!! Be sure you find me!! Sometimes it can be a bit CRAZY!!! But the Fall Market will be one for the record books!! I just confirmed yesterday that we will have PONIES!!!! Yup!!! For the kiddos to do pony rides!! It’s gonna be great fun!!! I can’t wait to share all of the other details with you all as it gets closer!! We sure hope to see you there!!! (As for when I’m at the shop… if the shop is open, I’m there!! Always!! Be sure to check the dates and times of our events on the homepage here on the website!! Our shop is only open during our special events!!)

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