If the weather is right, Tyrone will most likely be out sitting by the river or on his boat fishing for striped bass and catfish. He does not eat what he catches. In his opinion, the water is “pretty nice, but sometimes it gets pretty junky out there.”
His wariness of the pollutants that may be hiding under the murky surface does not inhibit his deep connection to the Wicomico River. After spending countless hours observing the comings and goings of the tide, boats, and wildlife, Tyrone has realized that he is drawn to “just the beauty of it [all].”
He feels that even in the midst of the Salisbury industrial center, there is a unique attractiveness to the Wicomico. There is constant human activity and boat traffic, but one still feels immersed in nature. Geese spear through the sky in a familiar V pattern; the sound of their honks fill the air as they rush by. An occasional splash draws one’s gaze to the water. The fish has already disappeared below the surface, leaving behind a ripple that fades away before reaching land.
There is a therapeutic atmosphere around the river. Life slows down, and there is time to observe and reflect on what truly matters to you. Few people take the time to just sit down and enjoy the sunlight. Tyrone has a simple suggestion that may go a long way in drawing people away from their everyday lives and inviting them to experience what the river has to offer. “A couple more benches would be nice. You know ‘cus sometimes you come, and you don’t have but two benches, and it is full.”
The Wicomico River and benches along the Salisbury marina; Photos by Todd Mignosa