More Stories from Wendell Seavey's Working the Sea
By Richard Grossinger
I went for a walk today with Wendell Seavey, author of Working the Sea: Misadventures, Ghost Stories, and Life Lessons from a Maine Lobsterman. Wendell tells great stories, and here are two, one we somehow missed in the book and another since the last edition was published.
Wendell works as a greeter at the Walmart in Ellsworth (and recently had a book signing at the grand opening of the Thomaston, Maine store, as you can see below) and since his hip-replacement surgery earlier this year, uses a cane. After he made his way to his stool and settled himself unsteadily, a woman came up and asked, “What would happen if I could give you a little push?”
“Why, ma’am, I’d land on the floor.”
Wendell Seavey with Sarah Shink and Betty Albrecht
The nearing 50th anniversary of the JFK assassination brought to mind the older story.
On that fateful day Wendell and his father Frank were out hauling lobster traps. They were just inside Duck Island. It was a beautiful fall afternoon, no other boats in sight, vision as far as you could sea in all directions. The sea was quiet. All of a sudden, they heard three loud shots, bang, bang, bang, just like that. They looked at each other, and Wendell said, “Where do you suppose those came from?”
“I haven’t the slightest idea,” Frank said.
When they got back to Thurston’s wharf and learned about the events in Dallas, Frank said, “That’s what we heard.”
This afternoon Wendell added, “Now Frank didn’t often talk like that, so I knew he meant it.”
Wendell also recalled the one time he saw John Kennedy in person. He was a young soldier at a base on Oahu (as described in Working the Sea) when the President visited Waikiki in a motorcade.
“The car was open, and he was standing up, waving to the people, but he had to sit down every few moments, I think he had a bad back. You know what passed through my mind: he’s like a caged lion that’s been brought out to the circus; he’s not free. Here I am, a 24-year-old enlisted man, and I’m feeling sorry for the Commander-in-Chief.”