This was kind of funny. The other day, Paul was cleaning out some drawers in his room and came across a little packet of saved notes and cards. He’s had them for many, many decades now… at least since before we were married because I’ve never seen these things before and surely he would have shown them to me if I were here when he got them.
The story is that, for as long as he’s been an adult, Paul has been selling lobsters on the weekends at the harborside in Marblehead. He sells most of his catch to a wholesaler, but he’s always held out a bunch of “bugs” to sell to the public – and he always has the best prices around. He has built up a nice little clientele of mostly locals who know they can get their lobster from Paul when they need it and that he will go out of his way to accommodate them – even delivering to their homes, if needed. You never know when you will need lobster emergently!
So for years he had one such customer and she was called Sally Low. I never knew her, and Paul only remembers that she was a small frail woman, older in age, and very sweet. She apparently was an artist, as well. I have tried to find out more about Ms. Low but to no avail. She lived (and died) before the time of the internet, so there is nothing about her life to be found online. But here are a few little trinkets that Paul has saved all these years that were made with her very own hands.
The first is a printed card, a note card, that is an image she sketched showing Gerry Island in Marblehead.
Inside she wrote “Greetings from Sally Low”. I have no idea why she sent that to Paul but it’s the only commercial note amongst the group he has.
And following are several more notes that she made herself, but these were meant to be her version of orders for lobsters. She would regularly buy a few lobsters from Paul when she had company or just wanted one or two for herself. But rather than just leave a boring handwritten note like most people did, she would produce a little masterpiece and leave it in Paul’s truck for when he got in from lobstering. And here they are:
(I love the “but not too small” notation!)
(For a “luncheon” and you just know that a luncheon down in Old Town Marblehead was a treat!)
I love the wording “4 small LARGE” – I figured this meant she wanted four lobsters in the large group (which are “pound and a quarter to pound and a half”) but at the smaller end of that large group… she knew the lingo! I also love the little jottings on this note with Paul’s name on the little buoy floating along… but there is no lobster boat – just sailboats… and of course the ever-present rowboat, or skiff, moored in the cove.
And last but not least:
A large order – 10 or 12 mediums… a good sale for Paul. That must have been for a special occasion, as well.
When Paul found these, he brought them down and asked me if I thought these little works of art would be worth a fortune now (he’s always hoping we’ll come into a fortune one day!!!). So I tried finding out more about our Sally Low and was unsuccessful. If I learn anything new, I’ll let you know. Paul has some friends over in Marblehead who are historians and they might know more. We shall see.
For now, we’ll just hold onto these little gems. I might even consider making them into a collage of some sort with a frame…
Cheers for the artists among us, and for the lobster lovers!
Bex & Co.
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