MS. REBECCA SHEIR
Welcome to "Metro Connection." I’m Rebecca Sheir and what a start to the week, right?
MS. REBECCA SHEIR
Now, that the inaugural frenzy is over, high-stakes political battles are ramping up on Capitol Hill. So this week our show is all about Taking Chances.
MS. REBECCA SHEIR
We'll check out the debate over gun control and consider how it may play out in Maryland and Virginia.
MR. PATRICK HOPE
And so we think that these are common sense measures that will, at a minimum, trigger someone, whether they should be denied a gun.
We'll learn why people on the Maryland Coast are turning to a risky drug.
MS. DORIS MOXLEY
Twenty percent of the people who are walking in the door right now are choosing opiates as one of their drugs of choice.
And we'll hear about a scientific gamble as researchers work to treat spinal-cord injuries.
DR. KARL JOHE
We're actually putting in cells that are going to turn into neurons that are going to actually bridge the gap. So we're creating new circuitry.
So, since we're calling this week's show Taking Chances, why don’t we head to a place that is quite literally all about chance. It's not a casino, it's not a racetrack. No. It's actually a tiny town…
All right. So we just passed the sign for Chance, Md.
…on Maryland's eastern shore, right next to Deal Island. And on Chance's main drag…
Ah, here it is.
…you'll find this bright yellow building.
Lucky's Last Chance General Store.
…that's become an anchor for the community of 300 some people.
Geri Foster has been working at Lucky's Last Chance General Store about six months now.
MS. GERI FOSTER
And I'm not far from here, it's only about three miles away. So it's real close. That's convenient. And you get to know everybody in the community. That's nice, too.
In addition to working the register at Lucky's, Geri and her co-worker, Michelle Burr, also cook up a storm for the restaurant in back, The Paradise Grille.
This is the chicken cheesesteak. We just added that to the menu. It's our newest thing.
What do you think people order the most, out of everything?
MS. MICHELLE BURR
More so than oysters?
During oyster season, everybody loves the Rockefellers, the single fry.
Given that I'm here in the heart of oyster season, I'm treated to a big old plate of both the fried oysters and the half shells, smothered in spinach, cheese and crispy bacon.
All right. And these are for you.
Oh, my gosh, those look delicious.
They are delicious.
And Geri's not the only one who thinks so.
MS. MARGARET PALAU
Isn't it like a complete meal?
Margaret Palau owns Lucky's Last Chance. The Virginia native lived in Boston for a while, before moving to Chance and opening Lucky's about a decade ago. But her family actually has deep roots in the Eastern Shore.
My father's family actually was from Taylor's Island, just one sort of peninsula area up. And they were Methodist ship builders. And, like, if you go to Taylor's Island, there are people in the grave with the last name Lambdin, which was my maiden name. I actually saw myself there. There was a Margaret E. Lambdin buried at a Methodist church in Taylor's Island.
Speaking of ship builders, during my visit to Lucky's Last Chance, a former ship captain…
Here's one of our favorite customers. Hang on. Mr. Wesley?
…stops by. Wesley Price (sp?) is 86, retired from the Navy. Before that he captained a skipjack, that's one of those oyster dredging boats you see on the Chesapeake Bay.
Mr. Wesley Price is one of our founding fathers. That's what I call him.
For the past however many years, Mr. Wesley has visited Lucky's Last Chance two or three times a day for a very special treat.
So you come here to get ice cream?
MR. WESLEY PRICE
More specifically, a vanilla bar on a stick.
Vanilla ice cream with chocolate on top?
That's it. That's right.
Is that the only kind you ever order?
Unless I have the audacity to run out and then he has to eat a Fudge-o. But not happily, I might add.
Another long-time customer, Jim Rayhack (sp?), frequently visits Lucky's…
What makes you keep coming back to Lucky's?
…for a treat of his own.
MR. JIM RAYHACK
Because I love buying lottery tickets at Lucky's. What better place? No, the food's good. It's a nice place. Margaret's good people. We just enjoy being here and talking to her.
It is a community gathering place. We see some of the same customers about four or five times a day.
And you can divide those customers, Margaret says, into three categories.
So natives, like Mr. Wesley.
Brung-Heres. They're the poor little wives that got dragged off the main land.
And then Come-Heres.
People who retire here.
So does everyone get along? The Born-Heres, the Brung-Heres and the Come-Heres?
No, not really. But the conflicts usually arise between Born-Heres and Born-Heres. And then there's the Born-Heres that don't like the Come-Heres. And then there's people that get along with everybody. And it's just like any community.
There's a mix.
And on any given day, you'll find this mix at Lucky's Last Chance General Store in Chance, Md. Perhaps they're admiring the driftwood mobiles and animals created by Margaret and her husband.
Lucky did some dolphins and some sharks and some sturgeons.
And the birds, the birds are amazing.
The pelicans are his newest thing, the frog and the pelican.
Or maybe they're taping another news clipping to the Wall of Fame.
Anybody who becomes a high school hockey star or soccer star or Miss Skipjack and, you know, anything that happens goes up there.
Or it could be they're just walking in, ordering a single fry and talking their troubles away.
We do a lot of therapy.
Unofficial free therapy.
Whatever the case, here in this bright yellow building on the Eastern Shore's western shore, Margaret Palau is happy to give them that chance.
To see photographs of Lucky's Last Chance in Chance, Md., including those driftwood animals and mobiles and the Wall of Fame, visit our website, metroconnection.org.
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