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Saturday, September 12, 2015

No. 131 "There's twelve months in a year ..."

Ole' Pa (Charlie Hancock)
The northeast winds of the last few days have reminded me that fall was the best (most profitable) time of the year for the proggers who worked the waters around Harkers Island. Long-hauling, sink-netting, floundering and roe mullets combined to allow local fishermen to make up for the leaner months that had culminated in the dog-days of August.

When the bigger shares were paid out, usually on Saturdays, it was tempting for some crewmen who worked with Ole' Pa to splurge just a little and spend money on things they had been obliged to pass up in the preceding weeks and months. Observing that, and understanding that the sparser times would someday come again, my grandfather would dispense some advice along with the paper money that he handed out to his crew.

"Remember now," he would warn them as he grudgingly let go of their pay, "There's twelve months in a year, and you've got to eat in every one of 'em."