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Thread: shrimp tales from the 60's in mount pleasant

  1. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by Palmetto Bug View Post
    You need to find a good editor and write a book.
    I was just thinking, if this man is really writing this stuff (which I believe he is), then he
    is very talented and paints a vivid picture with each story. I have enjoyed the thread as well.
    Having lived on Hatteras Island for many years, I can relate to a lot of this
    "I am going to plead with you, do not cross us. Because if you do, the survivors will write about what we do here for 10,000 years"


  2. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by mudflat View Post
    Niece Facebook?
    OK, hang on, I'll find it.

  3. #43
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    Again I can't thank ya'll enough. Nice people R U.

  4. #44
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    FATHER LEE
    I first met father Lee at the Kiesel docks where he was the rigman for Cap'n Arty, a Jewish fisherman born in NYC of all places. The boat was owned by the owner of Ralph's Net Shop right next door to the kiesel fish house. The owner's name was ralph in case you were wondering. He had a great reputation as a net maker and repairing of torn and damaged nets. He was always busy working on nets. He hardly ever took a break. He used to blink a lot. I guess it had something to do with net work. The nets were soaked in tar and that might have contributed to his excessive blinking. He was quite a successful 30 year old beach native and had a hot looking wife.
    cap'n Arty was a pretty good fisherman. He had lots of help, though, from other fishermen who were friends of Ralph. The name of the boat was the "Miss Betsy". It was a small trawler, 68 feet long, drawing nine feet of water. It was kept in tip top condition. No money was spared in it's upkeep and was a sharp looking clean trawler. Arty used "balloon nets", a recent alteration of a texas "flat net". the big difference is that the balloon net was designed for the Pink shrimp of florida that lived on sandy bottoms as compared to a texas brown shrimp who lived on muddy bottom. pink shrimp are very hyper and the balloon effect is that the throat of the is puffed out, thus a balloon effect. I hated them because they picked up a lot of "trash" (no market sea life.) I had heard that they were such a good tasting shrimp that most of them were sold to restaurants in FL and not many were exported out of state.

    (getting) ready to write continuation of Father Lee.)

  5. #45
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    FATHER LEE 2
    Father Lee was about 50 years old when I first met him, He was sort of like the captain jack bartender. guy. "He'd light up your smoke and was quick with a joke". He was about 5-10 tall and weighed about 200 lbs. He had a full head of gray hair.
    Father Lee was once a catholic priest. A few years before I met him he quit the priesthood very abruptly when his whole family of four were instantly killed in a car accident. That's the reason why he quit. He still remained a faithful catholic, going to church and stuff.
    It didn't take long for me to find out he was gay. He was not in the closet but he was a conservative gay person who didn't broadcast his sexuality and kept a low profile. He was super popular at ft Myers Beach. the Kiesel fishouse is where the Miss Betsy docked and it was there that father lee met Hilbert and Scoop, the co-owners.
    Hilbert reminded me of a john wayne kind of man. He was about the size and weight as john wayne and was a good hearted person. He did all of the nechanical work on the diesel engines always in need of some sort of repair. You could usually find hilbert there in an engine room of one of his boats repairing the engine. He was very skilled at this. Hilbert was one of the most moral persons that I had ever met. He was a devout Catholic and was no fake or hypocritical views were ever expressed by him. Hilbert used to invite him to his beautiful home on macgregor ave in ft myers right across from the T. Edison museuem. It was his winter home with a labatory and all the trimmings.included.
    Father Lee (who was nicknamed mother lee, in friendly jest, with no disrespect intended.. He was highly educated and socially very sophisticated and could carry on a conversation about any subject. He was like two different persons. One was hs fishing persona and tthe other was there when he was taking off from work. He would often go to south miami beach, which some people think is the gay capital of the world. He would wine and dine at the finest hotels and restaurants/bars. I guess you could say he went there to trawl for a mate.
    RIP:
    Father Lee died about four years after I first met him of a heart attack. He was being treated by a doctor a few years before his fatal heart attack. If it had happened at this time it would have been an easy procedure to keep him alive for many more years. He told me he was going to try to get in touch with me after he died but he hasn't contacted me yet. I'll keep waiting for him.Hey Father Lee, I'll leave the candle burning. (no that is not gay code)

  6. #46
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    Bizarre twist

  7. #47
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    Must have gone on another trip

  8. #48
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    Wild life were you able to settle down with the wife and have a decent retirement. My dad was a jr game warden around that time around perry fl. His friends dad was a game warden they both were only armed with 12 gauges heard a shit ton of fully automatic fire and radioed it in and hauled ass the smuggling was just picking up when my dad go out to finish a degree in marine biology at the university of Florida he got kicked out for hippie activities and had to finish out at Florida state lol. Ran a tug out of New Orleans for a short time before getting into managing a grocery distribution warehouse were he started in the wild world of computers eventually many jobs later becoming a Vice President for Bank of America (not a giant big wig there’s a ton of vps) I always wonder if taking the safe route is the wrong way and if everything works out better for the Mavericks in the end.

  9. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by Freemotor View Post
    Wild life were you able to settle down with the wife and have a decent retirement. My dad was a jr game warden around that time around perry fl. His friends dad was a game warden they both were only armed with 12 gauges heard a shit ton of fully automatic fire and radioed it in and hauled ass the smuggling was just picking up when my dad go out to finish a degree in marine biology at the university of Florida he got kicked out for hippie activities and had to finish out at Florida state lol. Ran a tug out of New Orleans for a short time before getting into managing a grocery distribution warehouse were he started in the wild world of computers eventually many jobs later becoming a Vice President for Bank of America (not a giant big wig there’s a ton of vps) I always wonder if taking the safe route is the wrong way and if everything works out better for the Mavericks in the end.
    Glad everything worked out well for you.

  10. #50
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    Introduction: I was going to write about my first trip on a shrimp boat but I realized I would rather write a prolouge of how I wound up there in brownsville texas as a header on my uncle cap'n john's trawler.
    Prolouge
    It all began in youngstown, ohio; also known as little chicago. There was a book written about it called, "Murdertown, Ohio. It was 1959 and I had just finished high school. The city was booming with powerful worker's unions. Hundreds of factories lined the horrobily poluted mahoning river. The color of the river was orange and it baks were lined with orange foam with no plant life within a hundred yards from its banks.
    The mafia was all powerful then. There were many hits, especially car bombings by the mob. People were wondering when the current boss would be hit!
    Mayor Franco, a disbarred gay judge was the mayor and was bought and paid for by the mob. Across from the police station there was a restaurant where police would have their moring breakfast and coffee with mafia members. The "bug" (an illegal gambling lottery) was their top source of income until the government stole their idea.
    I actually liked the mafia. As long as you didn't mess with them, they would not mess with you. I went to High school with the sons and daughters of high ranking mafia members. They all drove the latest muscle cars like, chevy impalas, pontiacs, etc (with four on the floor monster v-8s). I got along great with them including the hottest girl in school who drove a new cherry red with a white top convertable. I was a very shy guy at the time. I used to think about that song, "summertime blues" by eddie cochran ("she goes with guys from out of my class"). If eddie cochran would have been as great as elvis if he had lived.
    Years later I found out that she liked me a lot but I was to shy to know, aargg. But then, such is destiny and God's will.
    I loved the people of youngstown but hated the city. It was cold, bleak, and really polluted, air and water. At the present time, the Mahoning River was cleaned up and has edible fish in it. At least some good came out of global economics.
    I borrowed my father's car, a Renault 4CV (four cylinder vehicle) that was fairly new and got the hell out of dodge. It got like 40 mpg. It's engine was in the rear like a volkswagen.
    A friend from school named Chuck, went with me. He had money that he had made charging admission for other kids to watch his mom and dad's porno movies at his home while his parents were working. We headed west until we were north of new orleans then turned left right rudder heading to it. I wanted to go there because the legal dring age was 18 instead of 21. I started drinking when I was about 10 years old at the family christmas get together at my grandmother's house. Everybody there was too drunk to know I was drunk.
    After arriving in NO we stayed for a few weeks until the novelty wore off. We then departed to Miami, FL. Upon arrival we got a job on a 115 ft. gaff rigged ex racing schooner that had seen its better days. It was docked at merril stevens. a drydock and boat repair facility.
    The pay was $125.00 per month plus room and board. I made $44.00 payments on my father's car and still saved money. In miami at that time you could get a breakfast with coffee at royal castle for 35 cents. A movie ticket to a certain theater cost 35 cents and they showed four movies.
    The captain was only 21 years old and he acted like captain bligh. He was a silver spoon rich kid who had attended a naval prep school. The crew all hated him. We spent most of our time sanding and stripping the bright work made from teak wood and mahogony. Lots of painting too.
    When the "southwind" was ready for sea we departed for the car races in Nassau. There were some pro football players and plenty of sweet cream ladies aboard. The smell of vinegar was heavy in the air. We used sailpower most of the way and did not have to rely on the boat's engine, a GM 671 diesel.
    We stayed about three weeks and I had a great adventure there. One morning after getting plastered I woke up in an undertaker's home which also harbored a whore house. Whoa!
    to be continued.

    My water pipes have been frozen up for a week. Good news/bad news: They became unfrozen during a warm spell, bad news my pipes are leaking like crazy.

  11. #51
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    Awesome keep them coming. If you didn't get the drip back then, sounds like you got a bad dose of it now...
    you aint did a dawg gon thang until ya STAND UP IN IT!- Theodis Ealey


    Quote Originally Posted by Rebel Yell View Post
    The older I get, the more anal retentive I get.

  12. #52
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    thanks, lol.

  13. #53
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    Well. I finally got back. My previous computer conked out on me. I'll be gabbing at you a little while later after my beauty nap.

  14. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by River Rat View Post
    Probably one of the better threads to hit SCDucks in some time. Love the old stories.
    thank you.

  15. #55
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    I really met some interesting characters during my fishing career. Most, but not all, had nicknames. Here are a few short stories about some of them.
    "Cap'n Kaiser's famous campeche fishing trip"

    A lot of shrimpers used to go on long fishing trips to the campechece fishing grounds off the coast of mexico. Some of the trips would last for sixty days. You could always spot a trawler heading for campeche. The boat would be just about drawing water to it's scupper holes.

    In the sixties there were no freezer boats. They would unload their shrimp onto a boat returning to its home port. Iced down shrimp could usually be only kept for about 15 days. Boats arriving at campeche would also bring them fresh provisions.

    The advantage of fishing campeche is that the crews would usually have huge paychecks upon the completion of their trips.

    There was one major disadvantage to fishing campeche. The trawlers would fish at night and anchor close to the mexican coast during the daylight hours. Many mexican vendors would approach their boats while they were anchored to sell their "products" such as prostitutes, drug dealers (a giant bread bag of pot would sell for $80.00) would sell you just about anything you wanted or needed. You could party like a rock star. Their products were usually bartered for shrimp or most anything on the boat.

    Cap'n Kaiser had been in campeche for about 60 days without sending any shrimp back to the boat owners. Finally, after 63 days his boat arrived at his home loading docks. After he docked and secured the docking lines everybody nothiced a bold message written in black on the side of the 500 gallon water tank on deck aside the boat's cabin house. The message read, "I WOULDN'T HAVE NOTHING I COULDN'T FEEL SOMETIME!".

    All of the trawler's rigs and nets were missing also. The fish hold was empty.

    It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out what happened.

    NEXT: "The great tickler chain fight"

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