As oystermen, we had all the oysters that we wanted to eat. We also had plenty of fish caught while out on the bar oystering. We had stone crabs once or twice a month that I received in trade for helping to load/unload a late night truck at the campsite. We caught mullet with Carol's cast nets and we bought shrimp wholesale occasionally from a bay shrimper unloading at the dock. But the bay was also loaded with Blue Crabs and we wanted to try those also. The picked and packaged Blue Crab meat, shredded or lump, was very expensive. Everybody told us to pick up a few crab traps and just toss them overboard on our way out to the oyster beds in the morning. We stopped in Panacea to check the price on some new crab traps. There was a fellow who made the traps and had stacks of them displayed in front of his shop on highway 98. But new crab traps were out of the question. They were too expensive for us. It is the same with fishing poles – it takes a lot of catfish to pay for one hand wrapped, graphite rod and Penn reel. We noticed that there were always a few crabs traps buried in the sand that had washed up on the beach after bad weather. They were usually bent, bashed and damaged and the crabbers didn’t want them. We picked up a half dozen and patched them by tying in some old wire here and there. We bought some large Styrofoam bobbers and a little rope and we were in business. We baited them with chicken necks and fish heads and tossed them overboard as we had been instructed. It took two or three days to accumulate any amount of crabs, but finally there we were back at the “mansion” boiling up a large pot full of Blue Crabs. We covered the table with newspapers, drained the crabs and dumped them in the middle of the table. We started in grinin’ and pickin’. About two or three hours later we had exhausted ourselves. We picked our last crab. The crab meat that we had salvaged from the crabs was delicious - sweet and tasty - but we were still starving. It seemed to us that the crab meat that was gained from picking was hardly enough to replace the energy that it took to pick the crabs in the first place. We wrote it all off to inexperience and tried again a few more times. It was always the same. After an evening of pickin’ and grinin’ we had to fry up some hamburgers or boil up some hot dogs in order to get our bellies full. We discussed the situation and opted for a new system. When we brought in a batch of crabs we would first eat our supper and then put the crabs to boil. Later in the evening, while we watched the TV with our full bellies we picked the crabs and put all the meat into a Tupperware container. It only took a few pickin’ sessions to have a good serving of crab meat in the refrigerator. The first time we simply heated the meat, melted some butter, and with the addition of some Saltine crackers and a beer we had a real nice time. After awhile we started experimenting with our own crab cakes, crab cocktails, Crab AuGratin, Crab Imperial with capers, deviled crab and plain old crab salad. I suppose if we had added up all the time in harvesting, pickin’ and grinin’ it might have been cheaper to buy the crab meat downtown. But with our income that option was not available. Besides, this was a part of the fisherman's way of life and that is what we aspired to be - fishermen. It really wasn't work it was fun - and when it did become work we could quit and find something else to do. Eventually we did give up the crab pickin’ because we had too many other seafood delights that were easier and more fun to get. And the stored crab meat in our opinion never quite matched up to the sweetness of the fresh picked crab. It was a sort of Catch 22 situation. It was a lose-lose situation. Today whenever we see a restaurant ad boasting all the blue crab that you can eat, we just smile. We aren't going to fall for that one. A person could literally starve to death attempting to satisfy a hard earned hunger by picking his fill of blue crabs.
The Eastpointer, a selection of columns from the Franklin Chronicle, is Richard Noble latest publication. It is now for sale on Amazon.com. Richard Noble is a freelance writer and has been a resident of Eastpoint for 30 years. If you would like to stock any of his books in your store or business email Richard at email@example.com.
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.