By Richard E. Noble There are certain people who believe, wholeheartedly, that oystermen and seafood workers make a lot of money. You can even ask some oystermen and they will probably tell you about that day back in '06 when they made $300 or even $400 in one day. Of course, they may forget to mention how many people were on the boat. Many oystermen discount their wives' participation. Fruit Pickers and migrants have similar tales of that day of glory when money poured in faster than sweat but those days were few and far between. In my career of studying people, I have learned that people who are making good money will always tell you how little they earn and what kind of expenses they suffer. Poor people will always brag on how much they have earned and the good choices or purchases they have made. They both lie. There is an old shrimper's joke that was once very popular locally. A shrimper is asked what he would do if he won a million dollars in the lottery. The shrimper thinks for a moment and then says, "Oh, I suppose that I would just keep right on shrimping until the money ran out." Oftentimes, when the bay would shut down many oystermen would run around town looking for odd jobs to do for the retired or better-off folks in the neighborhood. It seems that when they were asked how much they would charge for their services they would often be prone to ask for a large remuneration. In consequence many non-seafood types have often said to me, "I know that seafood workers make a lot of money, but $100 just to mow my lawn? They better keep oystering if they want to make that kind of money." I would suggest that the oysterman didn't ask for $100 to mow your lawn because he was accustomed to making $100 an hour oystering, shrimping or fishing. When he looked at your home and how you were living as compared to his home and how he lived, he probably felt that you had money to burn and that $100 would be peanuts to a "wealthy" person like you. One morning, while waiting for the fog to lift, the wife and I went to a local eatery to have breakfast. We were attired in our white boots and our unattractive and well-worn work clothes - not an unfamiliar sight in the Eastpoint community way back when. A man who had been sitting at a table with the owner of the restaurant and his wife came over to our table after he paid his check. Quite to my surprise he went into a rant. "I see that you are an oysterman and I just wanted to come over here and speak my mind. I think you oyster people ought to be ashamed of yourselves - working everyday and making all that good money and then going down and collecting all them food stamps. I think that is a disgrace and I just wanted to let you know." I was shocked, of course. I was first shocked that an individual from another area could walk up to two strangers and say such a thing. The second thing that shocked me was that it seemed to me that he had gotten his information from the owner of the restaurant and his wife. Why would local business people, who should know better, tell some strangers that type of slander? I thought at that time that if an individual felt that he had the right to say whatever stupid thing came to his mind that I should be granted and equal right to respond in kind. I mean if we are going to have a "stupid" contest, I'm sure I qualify. The restaurant owner quickly rushed over to our table and apologized to me and my wife while ushering his buddy to the exit. I have been all over the U.S working menial, physical jobs that pay no money. The lack of respect for such workers is prevalent everywhere. Where seasonal workers are necessary, the citizens of that area want these marginal workers to be seen and not heard. And when the seasonal crop has been harvested or picked, they want those workers who came to vanish. They want them to pay their own way to get there and live in the bushes while they are there if they must. Some people actually think that migrant farm workers make good money - and of course farmers will actively support that fable. The poverty that comes hand in hand with minimal wages and low income is considered a personal failing and not a social problem. To be poor is judged a personal disgrace and has nothing to do with the fact that America is full of jobs that barely pay a person enough to buy food never mind provide himself with adequate housing or hospitalization or other "luxuries." And there are more and more of those jobs on the way. Many will say that the above is not true but don't bother telling that to me - I have been there, done that and seen it with my own eyes. My answer is, get real folks - it could be your job next!
“The Eastpointer” is R.E. Noble most recent publication. It consists of a series of selected columns from the Franklin Chronicle. It is available now at Amazon.com or from the author. Local bookstores or businesses who would like to sell The Eastpointer or other books written by R. E. Noble should contact the author for discount opportunities. Richard Noble is a freelance writer who has lived here in Eastpoint for nearly 30 years.
Books by Richard Edward Noble. Click on covers below for more info and purchasing instructions.
Classic Tragic Novel
Don't Laugh - This Could Have Been Your Life
Funny stories and some strange characters.
Monkey Dishes and Cocktail Fawks
My Harrowing days in the restaurant business. Great Read.
It's a Long Story
Long Short Fiction - Great stories!
Bloggin' Be My Life
"Bloggin' be My Life" contains a selection of some of my more popular Hobo Philosopher blogs.If you enjoy reading this blog, you should love Bloggin' Be My Life.
It's All About Love
It's All About Love is ... all about love. This is the 2nd book of poetry from The Bard From Chelmsford off Arlington. Every poem in this book comes with a prose introduction. If you enjoy poetry this is a simple choice. Have fun!
A Little Something
Traditional poetry from The Bard From Chelmsford Off Arlington with some poignant prose introductions. If you enjoy any type of poetry, you will enjoy this volume. Thanks.
Talking To Myself
This is my third book of poetry.
Bits and Pieces
The Hobo Philosopher - My first book using the Hobo Philosopher brand. Featuring a variety of writing styles and ideas. Look for the Thoughtful Hobo on the cover.
A Baker's Dozen
The Hobo Philosopher: My Second book of Fiction, Creative Non-Fiction and Short Stories. All varieties of short stories - lots of laughs!
Cat Point - and Them Dang Oyster People
Cat Point is the sequel to "The Eastpointer." Both books contain humorous tales about life in a fishing community on the Florida Panhandle. Lots of laughs.
Won 1st Place award for humor in 2007 from Florida Press Association. More wit, wisdom and humor from the yet to be world famous author, R.E. Noble
A Summer with Charlie - Lawrence
Fiction - Salisbury Beach, Lawrence, Mass. Featured in Merrimack Valley Magazine July /Aug. issue 2010
Travel, Humor, Commentary on migrant farm work and illegal immigration still very pertinent today.
"Just Hangin' Out Ma"
Thank God for the Street Corners of Lawrence, Mass. Anecdotes and humorous escapades about growing up in an industrial mill town in the 40s,50s and 60s.
This is the sequel to "Just Hangin' Out, Ma"
That Old Gang of Mine
This is # 3 in my Lawrence Hometown series. The series is about growing up in the 40's, 50's and 60's in an industrial mill town. Sorta like a Huck Finn goes to vist Uncle Ralph, the bus driver, who lives in a big, rundown city. Lots of fun.
Come On-A My House
This is # 4 in my Lawrence Hometown series.The old homested at 32 Chelmsford ST is pictured on the cover..
Down By The Old Mill Stream
# 5 in the Lawrence My Hometown series.
Standing on the Corner is # 6 in the lawrence My Hometown series.
The old Howard Playstead on Lawrence St.
Eat, Drink and Be Merry
# 7 in the Lawrence my Hometown series.
Honor Thy Father and Thy Mother
Classic tragic novel written from child's perspective. Deals with abuse, poverty, unemployment. Pulls no punches.
Noble Notes on Famous Folks
Humorous, satirical notes on everybody from Constantine to Bill Clinton. Inspiration: Willy Cuppy.
America on Strike
History - documented survey of labor strikes in America
Mein Kampf - An Analysis of Book One
Who are the American Nazis - the Liberals or the Conservatives?
MY NAME IS RICHARD EDWARD NOBLE. I AM A FREELANCE WRITER AND I HAVE PUBLISHED 12 BOOKS:"THE EASTPOINTER" - SELECTIONS FROM AWARD WINNING NEWSPAPER COLUMN - "A LITTLE SOMETHING" - POETRY WITH PROSE -"HONOR THY FATHER AND THY MOTHER" - A NOVEL ABOUT GROWING UP IN THE NEW ENGLAND MILL TOWN OF LAWRENCE, MASS, "HOBO-ING AMERICA" - A WORKINGMAN'S TOUR OF THE U.S.A. - "A SUMMER WITH CHARLIE" - THE STORY OF A YOUNG SAILOR'S LAST DAYS AT SALISBURY BEACH, "NOBLE NOTES ON FAMOUS FOLKS" - HUMOROUS ANECDOTES ON FAMOUS FOLKS IN HISTORY,
"AMERICA ON STRIKE" HISTORY BOOK - A SURVEY OF LABOR STRIKES IN AMERICA; "A BAKER'S DOZEN" A BOOK OF HUMOROUS SHORT STORIES; "JUST HANGIN' OUT, MA" - GROWING UP IN THE 40'S, 50'S AND 60'S IN LAWRENCE, MY HOMETOWN, "TENEMENT DWELLERS" - SEQUEL TO JUST HANGIN OUT, MA; MEIN KAMPF - ANALYSIS OF BOOK ONE - HISTORY. CAT POINT - AND THEM DANG OYSTER PEOPLE - SEQUEL TO THE EASTPOINTER
All 12 BOOKS ARE AVAILABLE ON AMAZON.COM, BARNES AND NOBLE AND OTHER INTERNET SOURCES OR FROM NOBLE PUBLISHING. ALL 12 OF MY BOOKS ARE NOW ON KINDLE AT BARGAIN PRICES TOO. IF YOU WOULD LIKE MORE INFORMATION ABOUT DISCOUNTS AND SPECIAL OFFERS E-MAIL ME. MY EMAIL IS ON MY PROFILE PAGE.