Transcripts

Chance, Md. Gets Lucky At Lucky's Last Chance

MS. REBECCA SHEIR

00:00:09
Welcome to "Metro Connection." I’m Rebecca Sheir and what a start to the week, right?

MS. REBECCA SHEIR

00:01:21
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

00:01:38
We'll check out the debate over gun control and consider how it may play out in Maryland and Virginia.

MR. PATRICK HOPE

00:01:43
And so we think that these are common sense measures that will, at a minimum, trigger someone, whether they should be denied a gun.

SHEIR

00:01:51
We'll learn why people on the Maryland Coast are turning to a risky drug.

MS. DORIS MOXLEY

00:01:55
Twenty percent of the people who are walking in the door right now are choosing opiates as one of their drugs of choice.

SHEIR

00:02:01
And we'll hear about a scientific gamble as researchers work to treat spinal-cord injuries.

DR. KARL JOHE

00:02:07
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.

SHEIR

00:02:19
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…

SHEIR

00:02:32
All right. So we just passed the sign for Chance, Md.

SHEIR

00:02:35
…on Maryland's eastern shore, right next to Deal Island. And on Chance's main drag…

SHEIR

00:02:40
Ah, here it is.

SHEIR

00:02:41
…you'll find this bright yellow building.

SHEIR

00:02:43
Lucky's Last Chance General Store.

SHEIR

00:02:47
…that's become an anchor for the community of 300 some people.

SHEIR

00:02:57
Geri Foster has been working at Lucky's Last Chance General Store about six months now.

MS. GERI FOSTER

00:03:01
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.

SHEIR

00:03:08
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.

FOSTER

00:03:16
This is the chicken cheesesteak. We just added that to the menu. It's our newest thing.

SHEIR

00:03:21
What do you think people order the most, out of everything?

FOSTER

00:03:24
Cheesesteaks.

MS. MICHELLE BURR

00:03:24
Cheesesteaks.

SHEIR

00:03:26
More so than oysters?

BURR

00:03:27
During oyster season, everybody loves the Rockefellers, the single fry.

SHEIR

00:03:33
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.

FOSTER

00:03:42
All right. And these are for you.

SHEIR

00:03:43
Oh, my gosh, those look delicious.

FOSTER

00:03:45
They are delicious.

SHEIR

00:03:48
And Geri's not the only one who thinks so.

MS. MARGARET PALAU

00:03:52
Isn't it like a complete meal?

SHEIR

00:03:54
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.

PALAU

00:04:05
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.

SHEIR

00:04:28
Speaking of ship builders, during my visit to Lucky's Last Chance, a former ship captain…

PALAU

00:04:32
Here's one of our favorite customers. Hang on. Mr. Wesley?

SHEIR

00:04:36
…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.

PALAU

00:04:45
Mr. Wesley Price is one of our founding fathers. That's what I call him.

SHEIR

00:04:49
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.

SHEIR

00:04:58
So you come here to get ice cream?

MR. WESLEY PRICE

00:05:00
Um-hum.

SHEIR

00:05:00
More specifically, a vanilla bar on a stick.

SHEIR

00:05:03
Vanilla ice cream with chocolate on top?

PRICE

00:05:05
That's it. That's right.

SHEIR

00:05:08
Is that the only kind you ever order?

PRICE

00:05:10
That's all.

PALAU

00:05:12
Unless I have the audacity to run out and then he has to eat a Fudge-o. But not happily, I might add.

SHEIR

00:05:20
Another long-time customer, Jim Rayhack (sp?), frequently visits Lucky's…

SHEIR

00:05:23
What makes you keep coming back to Lucky's?

SHEIR

00:05:24
…for a treat of his own.

MR. JIM RAYHACK

00:05:26
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.

PALAU

00:05:35
It is a community gathering place. We see some of the same customers about four or five times a day.

SHEIR

00:05:41
And you can divide those customers, Margaret says, into three categories.

PALAU

00:05:46
Born-Heres.

SHEIR

00:05:46
So natives, like Mr. Wesley.

PALAU

00:05:49
Brung-Heres. They're the poor little wives that got dragged off the main land.

SHEIR

00:05:53
And then Come-Heres.

PALAU

00:05:55
People who retire here.

SHEIR

00:05:56
So does everyone get along? The Born-Heres, the Brung-Heres and the Come-Heres?

PALAU

00:06:00
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.

SHEIR

00:06:18
Yeah.

PALAU

00:06:18
There's a mix.

SHEIR

00:06:19
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.

PALAU

00:06:29
Lucky did some dolphins and some sharks and some sturgeons.

SHEIR

00:06:32
And the birds, the birds are amazing.

PALAU

00:06:35
The pelicans are his newest thing, the frog and the pelican.

SHEIR

00:06:37
Or maybe they're taping another news clipping to the Wall of Fame.

PALAU

00:06:41
Anybody who becomes a high school hockey star or soccer star or Miss Skipjack and, you know, anything that happens goes up there.

SHEIR

00:06:50
Or it could be they're just walking in, ordering a single fry and talking their troubles away.

PALAU

00:06:55
We do a lot of therapy.

SHEIR

00:06:57
Unofficial free therapy.

PALAU

00:06:59
Right.

SHEIR

00:07:00
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.

SHEIR

00:07:20
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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