Rich and Famous? I think not…

A very weird morning so far. First the news about the horrific shootings in Colorado. Sickening. All over the news. It’s making me depressed but that’s my problem. The parents, relatives, friends of the dead and injured – what they must be going thru – I can only imagine. I am praying for them – for the ones who are teetering – for that little 3-month-old baby who was shot – what are we turning into? Like I said, it’s sickening.

~ ~ ~

I was asked by The Boss last night if I would take on the job of getting a referral from our roofer for a gutter installer. In the storm the other day, we realized our rainwater gutters are totally broken, useless, kaput. We need new gutters, sad but true.

He usually handles house repairs but he asked me to organize it, so I agreed. I called our roofer this morning to get a recommendation but all I got was the answering machine. I left a message but haven’t heard back.

If I don’t hear by the end of today, forget them, I’m going to the phone book.

So that’s one thing.

Then, the phone rang. I hate answering the phone. I usually don’t and let the machine answer it, but I did today because I was waiting for the roofer to call back.

It was some guy from Marblehead who said he knows Paul. He has had conversations with Paul about the situation the lobstermen have found themselves in lately, namely low boat prices from their dealers and the inability to even “eek out a living” as this man put it. I just nodded in agreement.

I heard the other night a spot on NPR (radio) by Emily Rooney (Andy Rooney’s daughter) about the lobster crisis, and people were saying that the price of lobsters hasn’t gone down in restaurants or in stores but the price the lobstermen are paid has been plummeting rapidly, some even receiving only $1.50 a lb. for soft-shell lobsters! $1.50 a lb. That’s criminal. Especially since people are still paying $16 for a one-lobster dinner when they eat out! Something is not kosher smelling right here. And Paul is the victim. He’s working harder than ever for less money than ever. His gas prices are climbing daily, his bait prices don’t ever go down, so his expenses are going up while his income goes steadily down. Someone is making out good here and it’s not him.

Anyway, this guy who called lives down near where Paul sells his bugs on the weekends in Marblehead. He wanted to be of some help somehow so he said he spoke with the editor of the local newspaper, The Marblehead Reporter, to see if a story could be done on Paul and the situation of the lobsterman in this area in trying to “eek out a living.” Paul never mentioned this to me. So he said the editor liked the idea of a big story and that a reporter might be contacting Paul in the near future to set up an interview.

It’s been done before. Reporters, I mean. They see the problem, talk to the fisherman, and once a female reporter even spent the day out on the boat with Paul and wrote up a huge story on The Day in the Life of a Lobsterman. Years ago. So now they want to do it again. I suppose Paul has agreed to do this but I don’t know because I haven’t spoken with him about it yet.

A little while ago the phone rang again, and I got it. It was Amy, a reporter with the Marblehead Reporter, and she wanted to talk with Paul about the story. I told her she can call here after 7 p.m. but not after 8:30 because that’s when we go to bed. She mumbled something about “well, I don’t work Friday nights…blah blah blah…” so I said well then, you could go down to where he sells on the weekends from 2 to 5 p.m. and talk to him there. She said how about Mondays? I said it’s the same every day. After 7 but before 8:30 at home, 2 to 5 on the weekends down at the Landing. She asked if I’d take her number in case he calls in today, but I told her he won’t call because he dumped his mobile phone and besides, he never turns it on anyway. So she will get back to him sometime, I know not when!

I would think if you were tasked with doing a big story on the plight of the hardworking, underpaid lobstermen in this area, which are becoming something of a lost group these days, you would make the effort to get the interview when you could, not during regular 9-5 M-F working hours.

Geesh.

So, still nothing from the roofer and it’s after noontime. Back to my book now. I need to get my mind wrapped around something other than the news, it’s too depressing today.

Cheers,

Bex

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8 Responses to Rich and Famous? I think not…

  1. Bex says:

    That Lobster Prices page you found, TT, is new. Paul wanted someplace online that his customers could go to quickly get his most current prices. They change weekly usually. Rather than calling here and trying to catch him at home, now I have added this web page to the business cards I make up for him on my computer, and they can check there any time. Just a little bit of technology that I never thought Paul would avail himself of in a million years! It was my design and my idea to add the photos at the bottom…you know how I love a photo on a page! This way when they come down to buy lobsters, they know who they are looking for… a weathered old geezer in a baseball cap! He approved the design which surprised me.

    As for sending lobsters by mail, he doesn’t do that. It’s too risky. One dead lobster consumed by mistake spells trouble.

    Never eat a lobster that is dead before it is cooked. (This site has very good information on buying, cooking, and eating lobsters).

    There are many places down Maine that ship lobsters and they may be reasonable but not sure.

    Funnily enough, when Paul got home last night he had a bucket of lobsters that needed to be cooked (weak ones) and so we had a lobster dinner quite unexpectedly last night. Yum.

    And Sil, welcome back home if only for a little while! Thanks for the link, it’s HERE if anyone wants to click and read it.

    I have talked til the cows have come home about lobstermen getting a union going but they will never do it. They are too diverse and really the reason they become lobstermen in the first place is because they can work alone, for the most part, out away from the work-a-day world. Being in a union would involve a lot of organization work and I just don’t think they will ever go for that. So the carefree life of a lobsterman has it’s down side and this is it. They have to take whatever price they are offered for their product.

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  2. mz. em says:

    Well, wonders of wonders. I can’t believe the reporter is so thick headed. I can tell she doesn’t have a clue about the lobstering business. Yeah, even here, a lobster dinner is in the $40 range.

    I’m with you with prayers for the people affected by the shooting in Colorado. When we watched the news tonight, the police still had not figured out how to get into the guy’s apartment because of the booby-trapped bombs. There is definitely something wrong with the shooter.

    Like

  3. TopsyTurvy says:

    I just saw your link to Paul’s Lobster Prices page, Bex. Too cool!

    I actually thought about that for a bit, being able to have Paul mail us live lobsters, but when I look at the prices for other businesses packing and mailing live lobsters it’s just really expensive! šŸ˜¦

    Like

  4. ~ Sil in Maine (for now) says:

    I was talking to a local fellow here in Freeport, Maine, yesterday. He said a lot of lobstermen aren’t fishing. http://www.gofishn.com/gofishn/too-many-lobster-force-lobster-strike-maine/ Odd that it is allegedly illegal for lobstermen to strike in Maine. He said the Governor is threatening them with arrest. Our present governor is a “business-friendly” fellow, and not too swift. He’s one of the Koch Brother’s stooges, they say.

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  5. TopsyTurvy says:

    Sixteen dollars for a lobster dinner? Sounds like HEAVEN!!! We can barely get salad wrap sandwiches for $14 around here at a restaurant. Lobster would START at about $32 for a single dinner.

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  6. Karen says:

    You should write the lobster story and send it to National venues.

    Like

  7. Bex says:

    But I didn’t use “kosher” and “lobster” in the same sentence… you did but I didn’t! However, I get your drift, and perhaps I’ll change my choice of words…

    Like

  8. l'empress says:

    You mean you hadn’t heard about dumb journalists before? You haven’t been reading me very long, have you? The fact that Paul doesn’t have time to chat on the phone is part of the story, but she’s not smart enough to know that.

    By the way, I agree that something isn’t “kosher” when restaurants are charging the same price for lobster, whether or not the lobstermen get a decent price. But I think maybe kosher is not the word you want to use, because by definition, lobsters are not kosher. Pardon me please; I was brought up to know that lobster and kosher don’t belong in the same sentence.

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