About the Authors
"During the seven-month research stage of Crab Decks & Tiki Bars of the Chesapeake Bay, we estimate we consumed about 11 gallons of crab soup, 300 oysters, 85 crab cakes, 40 pounds of mussels, 25 rockfish, 200 steamed shrimp, and an undisclosed amount of beer and rum," say the authors. "It was a tough job, but someone had to do it."
This husband-and-wife team approaches the Bay from different perspectives. Bill Wade was born in Bethesda, raised in Montgomery County, MD, and attended the University of Maryland. His blood runs red, black, yellow, and white, just like the state flag. His father, a former D.C. firefighter, hadn’t intended to become a waterman -- until Bill’s mom entered a jingle-writing contest sponsored by a Wheaton car dealership and won a boat. The family started with a 16-foot fiberglass run-about, upgraded every time a child was born, and ended up with a more spacious
24-foot wooden cabin cruiser. The boat was called “Limey” and was built on the Chesapeake Bay. They docked at Kent Narrows when the Red Eye was little more than a general store. Summers for Bill were spent cruising around remote necks of the Bay, crabbing with chicken necks tied to the end of strings. Bill can still pick a crab faster than most workers at a Phillips processing plant.
|Susan Elnicki Wade grew up in Oil City, a small, blue-collar town in western Pennsylvania, eating brook trout that she and her brothers caught from Allegheny mountain streams. The closest she’d come in her youth to a blue crab were the crawfish they used as bait. She worked in restaurants and catering companies in Pittsburgh and later in New York while getting her Masters degree at NYU. After moving to Washington, D.C., she continued in the restaurant biz and then shifted to publishing. She first experienced the Bay during her courtship with Bill when he whisked her off on weekend adventures to such far-flung places as Chestertown, Cambridge, and Ridge. Picking crabs still doesn’t come easy to her, even after visiting every county on the Bay over the past 20+ years. But she can whip up a mean batch of fried oysters and recently baked her first Smith Island Cake.|
Bill and Susan currently live in Washington, D.C., with their two sons. For years, they’ve brought their boys to the Bay, revisiting the same necks on the Eastern and Western shores where their father used to play and teaching them to appreciate the charms of the Chesapeake. Both Bill and Susan have 20+ years experience in the publishing industry and hope to make enough money on this book to buy a boat.