Looking for Pearls: Memories of a Ambos house and Agnes Marie arise in …
December 18, 2015 - accent chair
This summer we was invited along on a birthday highway outing out of Tybee Island.
Before dawn, Capt. J.B. Riffle directed his shrimp boat, a Agnes Marie, underneath a seemly arch of a Lazaretto Creek bridge. Beside him sat Louis Ambos, in a wheelhouse for a initial time in substantially 30 years.
Ambos’ eyes shined as he looked during a object rising over a immeasurable Atlantic.
“There’s a large red ball,” he pronounced to his mom Suzanne. “It peeks out during first, afterwards seems to lay on a horizon, before it breaks giveaway of a red cord joining it to a water.”
The Ambos family has been connected to these waters, to shrimping and to Thunderbolt for some-more than 100 years. This outing was all pleasure, set adult by Ambos’ sons Drew and Hal.
Last spring, Drew had radically been a plcae director for a uncover in expansion for a Inspiration Network. Hosted by Maureen McCormick of “Brady Bunch” fame, “State Plate” facilities dishes from each state. The premiere episode, to atmosphere in early 2016, facilities Georgia shrimp, uninformed and wild-caught by a Agnes Marie.
After spending a day filming with J.B., Drew and Hal had a good idea. For his 76th birthday in July, they would take their father out on a operative shrimp boat, like he had finished when they were boys. With their mother, wives and children on board, too, they done it a family event and a special present.
J.B. pronounced he was respected to have Louis on board. J.B.’s mentor, W.G. Smith, had sole his shrimp to Ambos Seafoods years ago. W.G. had shrimped out of Thunderbolt, and he and his mom Agnes had lived on their boat, tied adult to a Ambos docks.
That Jul day, shrimping in Calibogue Sound, was an desirous birthday gift. we could see that, for Louis, sitting in a captain’s chair felt like going home — looking out of a wheelhouse windows, respirating a salt air, rocking on a open water, unbarred gratification and a lifetime of memories.
J.B. and Louis talked about outriggers and winches, nets and doors, though also about old-timers and aged boats. It was a review between group with low ties to these internal creeks, rivers and beaches.
On a wall of his bureau during Ambos Seafoods, Louis has a print of his great-grandfather Henry and a appreciated family document. It is a certificate from 1868 dogmatic that Henry, before “a theme of a King of Prussia,” is postulated U.S. citizenship.
On another wall is an aged stipple of a Henry Ambos Restaurant in Thunderbolt. Circa 1870, there are no phone or energy lines in a picture, only rowboats and skiffs during a grill dock, and announcement of oysters, terrapin, etc.
Louis’ grandfather (after whom he is named) was a initial local of Thunderbolt to start blurb shrimping. He did that in 1927, a year Lindbergh crossed a Atlantic, and his initial dual boats were a Sweet Pickle and a Lindbergh.
He also operated a sea use railway, and during a off season, he built homes along River Drive. Louis was innate and lifted in one of them — a grill territory of what is now Tubby’s Tank House. Now that is some provenance.
Louis’ grandfather Louis and father Henry built a really successful swift of shrimp boats during a 1930s and ’40s. But in 1948, his father and Savannah grocer William Mullis done an allege that revolutionized a shrimping business.
After many recipe trials in their possess kitchens, they grown battered, solidified shrimp that were pan-ready and could be shipped distant and wide. Their company, Trade Winds, mushroomed in expansion and by 1950 was distributing solidified oysters, scallops and fish to all 48 states. The association combined many bureau jobs and put Thunderbolt on a inhabitant seafood map.
It’s an Ambos approach of life. You could contend Louis was there during a creation. His father took him and his twin hermit Henry Jr. out in his vessel while still in their cradles and crib.
Louis worked in a streamer wharf of Trade Winds during a age of 10, punching cards of workers to keep count of their buckets of headed shrimp. He remembers too going out with his grandfather on weekends to check his oyster beds.
He remembers a Greek boatwrights from Tarpon Springs pleat a ribs as they built a Miss Tradewinds. He showed me a injure on his ankle where he ran into one of their pointy axes.
Louis, his hermit and boyhood friends desired to float a cradles of a sea railway, removing regularly baptized in a River Wilmington. And they forsaken to a H2O from tire swings unresolved from a davit cranes.
Those kind of memories came behind aboard a Agnes Marie. And speak of Thunderbolt friends like Anna Modestino and her restaurant, Anna’s Little Napoli. Anna had progressing worked on Louis’ father’s shrimp breading line, and he desired Anna’s hospitality, a insinuate atmosphere and her shrimp au gratin.
Louis talked about his father’s low loyalty with Tassey Salas, who owned Tassey’s Pier. He removed many smashing dishes during Tassey’s, generally a she-crab soup that done a pages of Esquire. Just yards divided from Trade Winds, and unaware a intracoastal, those crabs were not distant from home.
Right now, for a Ambos family and seafood, it’s 5 generations and counting. And a day aboard a Agnes Marie was one for a family album.
Each time a nets were drawn in, dolphins raced alongside, seagulls and pelicans offset on a outriggers and cables. As a locate was dumped onto a deck, a kids were discerning to go by it.
Drew’s daughter Ashley and son Wynn were prepared to collect adult all a curiosities for his mom Liz to photograph: quarter-size horseshoe crabs, little triggerfish, dulcet ribbonfish, lustrous tiny pompano and Spanish mackerel. Hal’s daughter Caroline chased his mom Nichole around with blue crabs, stingrays and slim sharpnose sharks.
These kids, on a shrimp vessel rug for a initial time, were right during home. Ashley asked, “When do a squid start to run?” Wynn took a spin during a circle and watched a abyss finder closely. It might be early to tell, though it could be another era with shrimp in their veins.
Ben Goggins, a late sea biologist, lives on Tybee Island. He can be reached during 786-6181 or email@example.com.
BY BEN GOGGINS