Thursday, June 7, 2012

The Greybeards



It's been an incredibly busy year so far, with summer coming on and the start of the fishing season. As I have mentioned  numerous times on this blog, I've been working for months trying to get the boat wrapped up. It was hauled out for a major renovation and it has taken most of my time. While I was working on that, the second book I had been writing  had to be completed, so there was added stress. Once it's written, there's still all kinds of back and forth with the publisher and graphic artist. It's all quite exciting, but also time consuming and nerve wracking. Since I am self published, it's pretty much up to me to sell it, so that takes added time. I've been fortunate that my first book was so well received, so at least selling this one locally has been pretty easy so far. Several years ago I found myself down at the harbor checking on the boat in early spring. There were one or two other fishermen hanging around so I sauntered on over and joined them. The conversation turned to fishermen who used to live here and the characters that they were. One fisherman who has since passed on is old Charlie Tubbs. He was a foul mouthed fellow who smoked a pipe that was equally as foul. He told one of the men I was visiting, that during world war two he was in a submarine off the coast of Alaska, and the submarine dove so deep that when they came to the surface, their eyes popped out just like a rock fish. When he was asked how he dealt  with it he said-" Oh they just pop right back into the sockets." It was hilarious to hear. There was another fellow who used to come to town named Frank who lived by himself on his boat down at Spasski Harbor. He always had a black lab named Blackie. I think he went through about three Blackies in the time I knew him. About once a month he would come to town and buy a case of corn flakes, a case of canned milk and a forty pound bag of dog food. I think that's pretty much what he lived on. (not the dog food) Anyway, he had no laundry facilities and he wore the same wool clothes every day. I have to tell you, it was hard to have a conversation with him for more than a few seconds. I used to see him come into L. Kanes where I was working and I had to run upstairs and hide and pray he didn't come looking for me. The smell would take your breath away.  Anyway, while I was talking to these fishermen, I noticed that all of us were starting to show our age. There aren't many young people coming into the fishery any more, and those who have been fishing all their lives are starting to pass on. Because of this, I wanted to document a few of the lives of the Hoonah fishermen; get their stories down on paper before they're gone and are a topic of  conversation when their fellow fishermen gather at the dock. The Greybeards is a compilation of interviews that I did with ten local fishermen, told in their own words. I didn't try to correct anything that might be politically incorrect or offensive. If I had done that, the true character of the speakers would have been diminished. For those who might be interested in a look at the lives of these commercial fishermen and how things used to be, I hope you'll consider getting a copy of  The Greybeards. You can order from Amazon.com- it's available in book form or kindle or you can contact me for a signed copy.  Just send me an email at tbotts52@yahoo.com or call me at 907-945-3585. Thanks- now it's time to get back to the boat.

8 comments:

  1. It's a hell of a good looking book dad..Looking forward to reading it. Candace as well. Take care

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  2. Yeah that cover looks impressive. I can't wait to read this. Sounds like you are doing good and keeping busy dad. Take care. brian

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  3. Hi Fellows-I was really pleased with the cover. A gal named Ann Clayton was the graphic artist. Because I'm self-published I was allowed to give my input, but there wasn't much that needed changed. I did have the color go from a grey-blue to the present color, but otherwise,it's pretty much the same. She really did an outstanding job on it. I'll try and get all you kid's books out soon. It's just been crazy busy lately. Thanks for commenting. You guys be careful.

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  4. Can't wait to read it dad, sounds like its going to be interesting! Are they selling it at the cannery?

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  5. Hi Autumn- yes, Candy's mom is carrying it at her shop. She convinced me that she could move more of them because she can give the book personal attention as opposed to being one book amongst a hundred others in one of the other shops.

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  6. Well that's good! I'm sure it will do well. Just checked amazon and it says that neither of your books is in stock...hat the heck?

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  7. I don't know Autumn- guess I'll have to get in touch with the publisher and find out what's going on. Thanks for checking.

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  8. Sounds like a good book dad, congratulations.

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