Betty Jester

Interview Highlights

Part I

Mrs. Betty Jester was born 12/30/1925 at home on Clark Street in Chincoteague Island, Va.

Part II

4:11 – 6:20 –  Mrs. Jester talks about how she and her husband opened the Inlet Drive-In, in the 50s. It was a hamburger stand located on the only beach on the south end of Chincoteague, and there was no running water or electricity. In order to  access the  stand, patrons had  to go through a horse corral. Onions were cooked on the grill; a fan was directed toward the beach so the beachgoers would smell the aroma of the cooking hamburgers.

8:00 – 11:26 – Mrs. Jester meets famous actress Kim Novak who was visiting the Island. Mrs. Jester describes roasting oysters with friends and finding out later that she was picking her teeth with poison ivy.

Part III

00:01-1:10 – Mrs. Jester describes WWII experiences on the home front, including seeing ships at sea on fire.

1:13-3:10 – Mrs. Jester discusses wearing cloths made from chicken feedbags

3:18- 9:30- Mrs. Jester and Mrs. Buchanan discuss the 1962 storm in great detail

Part IV

00:40 – Mrs. Jester reports that  when growing up, she only visited Assateague Island to attend church picnics; there was no bridge to the island at that time, and they were transported by boat

3:40 – Pre-WWII, Mrs. Jester talks about the many merchants and retail stores that used to be located  in downtown Chincoteague

9:13-14:03 – Mrs. Jester describes in detail trips to Philadelphia via train, including a sensitive discussion about racial issues in Philadelphia and the history of race relations on Chincoteague. Please use your own discretion and preview this section of video before sharing it with younger viewers.

Part V

00:00 – Mrs. Jester discusses the various neighborhoods on the Island, the many shops located in each section of the town, and the fact that people not only lived but basically socialized and congregated in their own neighborhoods. She talks about the names given to specific sections on the island (i.e. Up the Neck, Down the Marsh, Dodge City etc.).

3:20-5:00- Mrs. Buchanan tells a story about her family and buried treasure on Assateague

6:08 -9:00 – Mrs. Buchanan describes events related to the War of 1812. Four sailors, all brothers in the Birch family who hailed from Great Britain, deserted a ship while it was in Baltimore. Two disappeared, and their whereabouts were unknown. Two came to live in Chincoteague. Mrs. Buchanan passes on a story about a farmer who was kidnapped and taken onto a British ship while walking on Assateague beach.

Part VI

00:35-4:40 – WWII stories: Mrs. Buchanan retells a story about Maurice (pronounced “Morris”) Jester, who was her uncle. He was the commander of the US Coast Guard Cutter Icarus, posted off the shore of North Carolina when it engaged in a conflict with a German U-boat (submarine). Buchanan tells this suspenseful story, and it was featured in Life Magazine

4:39- Betty Jester recalls the dishes served on Thanksgiving when she was growing up on Chincoteague.