Crabbing; Olde world style
Well, normally I'm better poking fun at myself, but as I was writing about a subject I know some about, I had a memory that wouldn't quite fit into the hub I was writing, so here is the yarn, First I will begin where I left off, from my previous hub "Land of Pleasant Living".
Well, too bad that wasn’t the case for this kid’s step-dad. See my step-dad was an avid fisherman. Only not on the Chesapeake and not even in this country, no he was a fisherman from the old country, Alberobello, Puglia, Italy that will be where I leave off though.
So that's how the previous hub ended and now for the main event. get comfortable and make sure you have some paper towels, just in case you spill your drink ,or something just sayin.
My stepfather was quite the man, a real character actually.He came here on a boat, no not a fishing boat, but close, I think it was a destroyer of the Italian naval fleet ( I saw a picture when I was little). His name is actually very aristocratically sounding, remember to roll your tongue, Cosmo Armando Lippolis, yes this is a real name. Let's say it together Cosmo, easy right? Armando, like a suit, not e, but dough. Lippolis, I think that's latin for the city of lips. He sure could tell some tall tales, so it kinda fits.
Now Cosmo, his real name and I'm not kidding, was also known as Mino. Mino is prounounced Meen-o and not minnow, well maybe the latter fit his physique better, oooh that's low, sorry God, sorry Mino. Anyway, Mino tried very hard with myself and my brother to be a father figure, when he wasn't womanizing, gambling, or boozing so about 5% of the time I would guess. Well it just so happened one gloriously bright and shiny summer day our chance at male bonding had arrived. We knew from the night before that we had plans to go crabbing, and our stepfather, Mino, the crabber/fisherman from the small seaside fishing villa on the east coast of Italia, was to be our teacher of the trade and we were excited! This would be a big day for all three of us, for we had never had a moment to revel together in such a manly manner, an opportunity to display our talents and that certain heightened level of testosterone that only comes along with such deeds, Hooyah!
The big day arrives
The morning was somewhat cool and crisp for summer, well at least it was cool, not sure what crisp would mean just used it cause I read it somewhere once describing a morning. Anyway, it was a cool and bright morning and my brother and I were up very early, too early it seemed for we were the only ones awake, imagine kids on Christmas morning, yup you got it. OK, so about 9ish in the morning Mino awoke and we were on him. "Are you ready" my brother and I chimed, no reply except poooouuiii, Oh man somebody grab a gas mask. We kinda backed off a bit after that. now about 9:30 a new man emerges and we prepare ourselves for what will surely be a trip to remember. He makes a cup of coffee, grabs a sandwich from the fridge and hollers for us to get the cooler and the net, We get them both and tossem into the rear of the Pontiac station wagon, then we head back to grab a soda for ourselves. Soon, we are all out the door and in the car, our first destination, the grocery store. We need bait. My brother and I are both curious to see what crabs eat, worms maybe? We were sure surprised when we stopped at the m"eat counter.He reached into the refrigerated case and grabbed out a whole roaster chicken, "Crabs eat chicken" I said, "Oh yeah" was his reply and next we get some sausage and cheese "they eat that too" my brother said, He replies "no". Well there you go crabs eat chicken, but they don't eat sausage, or cheese, kind of picky if you ask me. Then we exit the grocery and travel all the way next door, to the liquor store, for beer and then finally one last stop, the hardware store and for string. We are now ready to crab!
Fortunately for us, we are only in a miles radius of all these places, including our final destination, the South River where it meets the Chesapeake Bay. We arrived just at about 10:something and we went directly to the waters edge and peered in, sure seemed a bit windy and rough and man what a stench, seems there was a recent fish killing red tide pheww. He goes to the rear of the car and motions us to help him net, check, cooler,check, string, check "let's get going" he says, "where" we say, "to the seawall there" he says and points. Over at the wall, we watch as he carefully measures out about 20 feet of string and then proceeds to open the package containing the whole chicken. He then does what I would never have expected, he ties the entire chicken to the string and tosses it into the water. My brother and I stare at each other both dumbfounded and amazed, then we snicker, "hee hee hee". "What is so funny"? he asks. We ask "is the chicken supposed to be floating"? His response is "you'll see, I'll make a fishermans out of you both". Again we snicker, this time more discreetly. Half an hour, one hour and kicking at the dirt poking at the weeds growing along the shoreline skipping rocks across the water. Finally, he gets off the cooler and says "let's see what we have, grab the net". My brother and I literally jump out of our shoes to be first to grab that net, but he wins and takes it to him. "Slowly start pulling in the string" he says, my brother begins to slowly retrieve the floating chicken from the water and my stepfather sets down the beer and picks back up the net in the exchange, the net goes into the water and under the carcass of the bird, lifting it from the water he swings it inward, towards the shore and us. He empties the net's content and we stare, this time at the chicken, I poke my finger at the bird, ice cold, frozen. huh, um "why is it frozen still" I ask? No reply. Then I spy others headed toward us, great, I think to myself, what idiots we look like.