January 26, 2021 – Last week, the Waterfowl Festival learned of the passing of Betty Perry, who along with her husband Bill was a founding member of the very first Waterfowl Festival in 1970. Betty was a longtime volunteer for the Festival and its unofficial historian before her retirement. Today, her family continues to support the Festival through the volunteerism and Chair of especially the Carving Pavilion. We were also shocked to hear of the passing of former photography Chairman David Bishop. Bishop was the unofficial photographer of the Festival and will be greatly missed among the marketing staff. Dave was the former owner of Hobby Horse, a photography shop in town and was an avid fan of drag racing – even starting his own publication, East Coast Drag Racing News in his later years.

Betty Perry

Betty Perry was most well-known as a Waterfowl Festival co-founder, along with her husband Bill Perry in 1970.

Elizabeth ‘Betty” Rice Perry died at her home early Thursday morning, Jan. 14, 2021. She was 87.

Born on Aug. 5, 1933, in Bergen County, N.J., Elizabeth Jane Rice was the daughter of Harold and Mary Brower Rice. She grew up in Laurel, Md., where she graduated from Laurel High School. Always a strong swimmer, she became a Red Cross lifeguard. She attended Pennsylvania State University for two years before attending the University of Maryland at College Park, where she received a degree in home economics. She moved from Laurel to Easton in the late 1950s to take a job as the 4-H Agent for Talbot County with the University of Maryland Extension Service.

On Nov. 24, 1958 she and William Arthur Perry were married at St. Mark’s United Methodist Church in Easton. In the mid-1960s, she and her dear friend, Margaret Dise, operated the Yarn Shop on Dover Street in Easton. Mrs. Perry worked for several years as a social worker for the Talbot County Department of Social Services. Later, she was office manager for the Talbot County Mental Health Association.

For many years she was a volunteer for primary and general elections at the polling place in Royal Oak.

Betty Perry said the Waterfowl Festival was born on her kitchen table, because her husband, Bill Perry, and Dr. Harry Walsh held many of their early planning sessions for the Festival there. She was a dedicated Festival volunteer from its birth in the fall of 1970 until ill health forced her retirement. For several years she served as the Festival’s historian.

For many years she accompanied her husband on his annual summer trips across America with the Outdoor Writers Association of America. She was an avid golfer until about age 80. She enjoyed fishing and landed several impressive catches. A skilled seamstress, she made clothing for family, did extraordinary upholstery, made fine drapes and knitted. She was dedicated to membership in her quilting clubs. She had an entire room equipped for sewing, with a sewing machine and lots and lots of material. In the late 1960s, Betty and her husband built their home in Royal Oak.

Memorial donations may be made to the Waterfowl Festival’s William H. Perry Scholarship Fund, 40 S. Harrison St., Easton, MD 21601, or Channel Marker, 8865 Glebe Park Drive, Easton, MD 21601.

David Bishop

Former Photography Chair, member of the Waterfowl Commission, was the Waterfowl Festival’s unofficial photographer.

David was born in Easton, Maryland to the late Virgil Bartlett Bishop and Elsie Kathryn Carpenter on February 26, 1947. David spent his childhood in Oxford, Maryland where he was known as one of the “Oxford Boys”. Living in Oxford was one of the joys of his life. He enjoyed playing baseball in the church yard as well as basketball and scouts. His lifelong friendships from the early years were always special to him and he always enjoyed attending the “Oxford Boys” reunions. He graduated from Easton High School in 1965 and went on to receive his Associates degree from Wesley College. Several years later, he received his B.S. degree in business management with a minor in journalism from High Point University in North Carolina. David loved journalism and photography and was involved with the yearbook committee at Easton High, Wesley and High Point. After graduating from college, David was employed with Jefferson Pilot Life Insurance Company in Greensboro, North Carolina where he worked for 6 years. In 1970, he started his own business, Competition Photos Inc., which he operated for most of his adult life.

In 1976, after his father became ill, David returned from North Carolina and took over the family business – The Hobby Horse Audio Visual Services Inc. He owned and operated the Hobby Horse as well Competition Photos, until he sold the Hobby Horse in 2006. In 2004 David founded East Coast Drag News, LLC, where he wrote various stories and published photos about the drag racing industry – one of the passions of his life. David semi-retired in 2010 and held various jobs up until his death.

Drag racing and photography were lifelong passions for Dave. In the eighties and nineties, Dave was the proprietor of one of downtown Easton’s iconic shops – The Hobby Horse. His place provided photographic services, cameras of all vintages, film processing, custom photography and other specialties like model airplane and car kits. Dave put this passion to use as the Photography Chair for Waterfowl Festival for decades. In addition to taking pictures of all the activities at the Festival each fall, he also worked with other professional and amateur photographers to capture the spirit of our event.

Dave also served as a local business representative on the Waterfowl Festival Commission for many years. This Town of Easton Commission includes business and residential representatives that help ensure the downtown area retains the historic charm we are known for during Festival weekend.  The commission cooperates with downtown businesses to make sure codes are followed and it also juries in food vendors for Festival weekend. The valuable work of the commissioners is just one of the many little-known, behind-the-scenes management that makes Waterfowl Festival work smoothly.