Monday, June 22, 2009

Very Vera

Vera Freeman was an eccentric but charming, and quite a character. Too bad that this legendary hostess passed a few years ago. Vera decorated her restaurant on St. Leonard’s Creek like a Polynesian village, which the new owners have adapted, while adding fake palm trees. She used to glide through this restaurant wearing a long flowing gown and a diamond tiara—visiting each table during the evening with amartini in hand.

I doubt she was attracted to this scenic river because of its role in a War of 1812 battle. The British burned down the town at the headwaters, on their way to or from burning Washington D.C., and not much has been built here since then. The view is spectacular from both the beach club and her nearby home which is the beginning stages of restoration.

I somehow think Vera was in her heyday during Tallulah Bankhead’s time. Tallulah was also attracted to the Bay in her senior years after a very scandalous life. Then again, John Lennon owned a farm on Mobjack Bay, and quite a few other folks in the headlines seek quiet lives on Chesapeake shorelines.

The cruising guide recommended reservations be made for dinner at Vera’s. I can just imagine the look on the face of the gal at Vera’s who answered Pete’s phone call who told him no reservations were taken. When we got there, it was quite a surprise. Vera must be turning over in her grave.
It was the 4th anniversary of the new owners who bought it from Vera shortly before she died. We had just missed the afternoon rock band and the bikini contest! NASCAR and a poker tournament were playing on the two TVs over one bar. We had hoped to see some of the US Open, but this was not a golf bunch. One homely busboy with greasy hair wore a “Chick Magnet” t-shirt (that took cojones). One very tall “big-haired” and big-bosomed bikini contestant was now clothed—but still wearing her 6-inch rhinestone stilettos.

And once again. . . we missed another biggie on the Chesapeake. We were one week too early for the annual “Badass Boat Poker Run” next Saturday at Vera’s. Another dance band was setting up when we left; atmosphere was definitely festive. Surprisingly, my crabcake was as good as Chef Tony’s, and even bigger. I will never order another one at Two Rivers without thinking of Vera’s. Now you’ll understand the smile on my face.

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