Chesapeake Lighthouse Sketches
These songs were written specifically for special occasions or for people who asked me to play at their own unique celebrations. They are from the tradition of the Celtic harpers of the past who traveled the country side and made their living by playing and composing for such events. This music was written to honor peoples special life events and to celebrate the Chesapeake Bay lighthouses which seemed to guide my travels with my harp. The first song is for Fanny Salter. When her husband, keeper of the Turkey Point Light Station, died, Fanny was left with no financial support for herself and her children. At that time (1920s), women were no longer being appointed as lighthouse keepers. However, Fanny was furious when she was turned down for the appointment and was not to be deterred. She appealed to her Senator and to President Calvin Coolidge and was finally appointed in 1925. The Turkey Point Lighthouse, one of the more northern Lights, is at the Elk River entrance to the Chesapeake Bay. Although there were other famous women lighthouse keepers throughout the waters of the United States, Fanny is very near to my heart, since she kept one of our very own lighthouses in the Chesapeake Bay area. Her tenure lasted 22 years. Even in colonial times, there were lighthouses guiding ships in the Chesapeake. Once, there were 74 lighthouses illuminating the Bay. Today, more than 30 are still standing. I fantasized what it would be like if a person could stand at the top of each light and could have an unrestricted vision over the surrounding area of the shores of the Chesapeake and lives of the inhabitants. My music reflects that fantasy. I hope my songs pay tribute to the beautiful lights, such as, Point No Point, with tender Holly Sandy Point Shoal, the Thomas Point Light, the Cove Point Light, Drum Point Lighthouse and the Point Lookout Lighthouse and the waters and lands which they have illuminated.