Rock and Roll, by Betsy Havens
2008 artist Betsy Havens and her husband, artist Jim Calk, live and paint on the waterfront in Georgetown, South Carolina.
For many years the Rock and Roll hailed from the port of Georgetown, South Carolina. She is a stalwart wooden shrimp boat built in 1958 in Supply, North Carolina. While working out of Georgetown, the captain and owner was Allen Miller, who, with his wife, Gail, cared for her as she glided in and out of the harbor to the seas beyond in search of the “pink gold”. The Millers sold her in 2004 and she now fishes out of McClellanville under the new name, Shirley Mae.
The Rock and Roll weighed 43 tons, was 53.3 feet long and 17.4 feet wide. Her crew took great care in maintaining the diesel engine and the wood which was constantly in need of painting and repainting. The refueling, repairs, maintenance, cleaning and washing of decks were required every evening during the season in preparation for work the next morning beginning at 2:00 or 3:00 a.m. as she headed back out to sea.
For generations watermen have harvested shrimp from our coastal waters. This way of earning a living is seriously threatened now. Shrimping is a fading part of low country history. Shrimp farming in ponds and imports from other countries are competition difficult to match. Ever rising fuel costs are an added threat to this industry in which many shrimpers have worked their entire lives in order to support their families. This painting of the The Rock and Roll by Betsy Havens pays homage to the few lovely “ladies” remaining in our beloved southern waters.