Editor's Note:  This week's guest blogger is Jennifer Ray, who comes from a long lineage of shrimpers.  Her father, Captain Wayne Magwood Junior, is one of several longtime Shem Creek shrimpers in Mount Pleasant, SC with whom I worked during my research for "Last Light over Carolina," now available in trade paperback. 

I grew up here in Mount Pleasant.  Reading "Last Light Over Carolina" brought back so many memories of growing up here.  I recall the fun and adventure my sister and I had along the Shem Creek. 

Some days were spent playing "fort" among the stacks of large shrimp nets at the dock.  Some days were spent in the backyard of my grandmother’s house facing the boat landing.  Nets were strung from the trees where my grandfather, Capt. Junior, would repair them for the boats.  These nets made great hammocks to lay in with the shade of the large live oaks in their yard.  Everyday at lunch, the crew from the docks would come up to the house for a delicious home cooked meal. My grandmother cooked for an army of hungry hardworking men and a few grandkids!

Back then our family had seven boats tied up at our fish house.  Our “fleet” was painted the traditional orange and green and named after members of the family.  My dad’s, Capt. Wayne Magwood, was the Scotty and Sherryl, named after his brother and sister. 

My sisters and I loved going out shrimping.  Grudgingly waking up before the sun only to be rewarded with the most beautiful sunrise that spanned the horizon.  Curled up on the bunk in my dad’s room, we were at least able to sleep a few more hours before the nets came up.  When the nets were opened on the deck it was time to work.  The crew, including us children, sorted the shrimp, fish and blue crabs.  As we grew into teenagers we would sunbath on the roof of the cabin.

Once my son, Matthew, was born he too would go shrimping with his Papa.  Matthew spent many days on the boat with my dad.  Other shrimpers would tell me stories of how my son would talk on the CB radio telling them where to find the shrimp.  Even at five years old he was working just as hard as any other crewmember on the back deck of the Winds of Fortune.

With another shrimp season upon us, I look forward to gathering up the kids to head out to open waters to enjoy a very beautiful sunrise, the first light, on board the family shrimp boat.


  1. Thanks so much, Jennifer, for this moving memory. Especially today, as shrimpers are having a hard time, it's wonderful to hear about the good times, too.

  2. Who knew at the time how unique and special our upbringing was. Those were some happy memories. Thanks for the look back sis!
    Love Ya,

  3. Wow ladies! You almost brought a tear to my eye. We definately were lucky to grow up the way we did. Mary Alice, I just picked up the book to read it for the second time! Thanks for the memories.
    Melissa Magwood

  4. Hey that is a pretty good job with the memory story. I remember those times on the back deck picking up random stuff just because it looked cool. But hey two things havent changed, #1. i still look the same just taller, #2. i still love shrimping with my grand-daddy. -Matthew Howard


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Mary Alice