Bernie Fowler’s New Clothes
River sneakers step into history
After 27 years, Bernie Fowler got a new suit of clothes for his 2014 Patuxent River Wade In.
“It’s a historical day. For 27 years now, I’ve waded in tattered tennis shoes,” the 90-year-old Patuxent River champion and retired Maryland senator told his crowd of followers assembled under a striped marquee on a perfect June Sunday.
Then he handed the tattered sneakers to Sherrod Sturrock, deputy director of Calvert Marine Museum. Straw hat, shirt and denim overalls followed, filling Sturrock’s arms.
Those clothes, Fowler said, “have seen in excess of 100 wades. In one year, I waded 11 times all over the state.”
Now Fowler’s old clothes belong to history.
“Bernie is going to be part of our new Estuarium,” said Sturrock. That revamped space will, she says, “tell a much larger story of habitat and wildlife in Chesapeake Bay as well as the Patuxent, with a strong environmental message that we are part of this cycle, capable of participating in solutions.”
Making no history this year was the depth of clarity in the river. Bernie lost sight of his shoes at only 23 inches, putting 2014 on the chart as the second cloudiest year on Fowler’s Sneaker Index since 1992.