Here and there across the world are places whose names are magic; their very sounds convey security and comfort, adventure and romance. Such a place is Bon Secour.
To the founders of the village, the French, the Spanish, the English and the Baltic German, it meant exactly what it said, "the good security". They settled down to make it truly a safe harbor to lie up snug in. They wanted freedom, and a lee shore, and a little boat and a farm, but they were sea-faring men who loved blue water as an inebriate loves liquor and could no more live without it than any drunkard can live without his drink. They built fishing schooners and roamed the great, wide, blue Gulf outside of Mobile Point, careless of its treacherous shoals, its violent winds, and the sharks which, in southern waters, are more dangerous than rocks or winds to sea-faring men.
They had security plus adventure; Bon Secour became the golden charm, which gives men their deepest desires. Greatly loving Bon Secour they preserved its stories of heroism and humor and gentleness, of faith, miracle, privation and gallantry.
These stories, accompanied by recipes, which the villagers made famous, are in this book. Both—legendary now except for the few who love good stories and good food. Charley and Meme Wakeford have long desired this book and collected the stories and recipes for it.
Bon Secour is not a legend, it is a place. From its docks shrimp boats, oyster boats, and fishing smacks still set out every day, and a big fish and oyster house handles their catch. Charley and Meme are very much alive, and they serve the foods for which Bon Secour is famous. Come and See.
Written by Kate and Susie Tucker, May 31, 1965 for
Charley and Meme Wakeford to be included in their book “Food, Fun, and Fable.”
They haven't very much to do
With open seas and heavy sails
For they are tired, through and through,
With gusts and gales.
They put behind them reefs and wrecks,
Sea-captains, and their cruelty
And walk their little quarter-decks
And if the salt, surpassing brine
Calls to them, why, they come ashore
And digging round a tree or vine,
Forget its roar.
A wife, a child, a farm, and then
A quiet dock at which to moor-
These are the gifts God gives to men
At Bon Secour.
God made the world and, here and there,
Left quiet places for the poor
In answer to a sailor's prayer
Like Bon Secour.
Written ca 1940 by Rev. Louis Tucker
vicar of St. Peter's Episcopal Church by the Sea.