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By Terre Mears, Museum of Chincoteague Island Board Member

Is it possible for a person to live in a place for forty years and then discover that they actually know very little about their community's history and attractions?  Unfortunately, and embarrassingly, it is!  How do I know?  I am that person!
 
Born and raised on "The Mainland," I became a resident of Chincoteague in 1975, when my husband and I married.  I like to say that even though I wasn't born here, I got here as fast as I could!
 
Forty years later, my husband and I have raised two wonderful sons and welcomed into our family a loving daughter-in-law and an amazing grandson.  I retired from a career as a teacher at Chincoteague Elementary School in 2010 and found that I had some extra time to pursue other interests.
 
In 2014, I was asked to serve as a volunteer at The Museum of Chincoteague Island.  Little did I realize that joining the museum family would lead to the epiphany of my ignorance concerning the wonders of the place I have called home since 1975!
 
From the very beginning, I have thoroughly enjoyed volunteering at the museum.  Everyone affiliated with the museum has been wonderful.  The people who visit come from such a variety of places and backgrounds, yet are all similar in their love for our islands.  Not only have I benefited from some fascinating conversations, I have also been embarrassed to realize that some who live far from Chincoteague actually know more about my home than I do!
 
Oh, sure -- I know about Misty and Stormy. I even saw the movie when I was younger.  My family and I have attended the Pony Swim numerous times, always on our boat, never on land.  I even know a little about seafood, mostly how to cook and eat it!

 
But who is this James Alone person?  What is that huge lens in the front lobby of the museum?  What did Chincoteague have to do with World War II?  What is a SeaBee?  How does that eel catcher basket thing work?  Deep Hole?  Chicken City?  Where are these places and how in the world did they get those names?
 
For the answers to these and many more questions, please join us at the Museum of Chincoteague Island.  I've learned so much about this wonderful place.  But perhaps the most important thing I have learned is that I have so much more to learn!
 
But the good news is, there is hope for me!  As a result of my volunteer experience, I have become one of the new members of the museum's board of directors.  I am very excited to join this group and lend my support.  As a retired elementary teacher, my passion is to expand the museum's field trip program.  What a wonderful opportunity for students and teachers!  I am excited to be involved in the planning and implementation of fun learning experiences.  Please stay tuned for more information in the near future.
 
So, join me at the Museum of Chincoteague Island.  We'll discover the identity of James Alone, "ooh" and "aah" over a beautiful World War II silk parachute creation, and learn where Deep Hole is and how it got its name.  We may even discover why "Will" Shakespeare wrote about Chincoteague!  See you this spring!
- Terre