This book attempts to relate stories from the pre-Disney, pre-cruise ship and pre-electronic reservations era, primarily in Key West, Tarpon Springs and nearby areas such as North Wales and Hong Kong.
From diving for coins in the "Turtle Kraals" of Key West where thousands of large green turtles were slaughtered, to being lowered headfirst into the mouths of four hundred pound giant sea bass forty miles offshore, these and other recollections tell of growing up without malls to hang out in and e-mails to respond to.
Racing along at twenty-five miles an hour in pitch black darkness trying to put a two-inch dart on the end of a twelve-foot harpoon into a terrified two hundred pound fish that you can't even see...
Walking on the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico with sixty pounds of lead strapped on you and having large red fish race up and tightly circle you as nine-foot bull sharks break through the school so close you sometimes have to kick them as they speed by.
Trying to help out the world's worst fisherman when sometimes the end justifies the means, even if the means is just a little bit shaky.
Of a stranger's whisper in your ear as she passes by on Nantucket Island...
Of a nine year-old granddaughter deftly wrapping you around her little finger.
The contrast of seeing the first nuclear powered submarine in the world gliding by and then watching old Chinese women crawling in the bilge of your ship scraping grease and sludge. All on the same day.
These, and other events, having been pigeon-holed in my mind, some for over half a century, are now set free, primarily for my granddaughters before the lights grow dim and then fade out.
Photos by Lisa Ann Steelman Published October 04, 2009