Ghosts of Whaling

           

It was Superbowl Sunday & in hindsight ~ we should have stayed into the evening & into the next day ~ watching only cobblestone’s connections to the strident commentary of gulls overhead. BUT…that is a miserable part of the day I would prefer to just ignore with my head in the sand thank-you-very-much.

For Christmas, Tammy had given me a wonderful new book called “The Lost Fleet” which follows the experiences of a New Bedford based whaler that “happened” to be at sea upon the outbreak of the Civil War. Granted, I tend to fall asleep after a mere 8-10 pages a night, so progress is slowwwww…. BUT, it did remind me of the proximity of this incredible historical gem a mere hours drive from home AND, a visit to these southern Massachusetts waterfront and overdue one.What struck us both, almost immediately upon entry to the city limits, was the thick walls of tripledeckers that surround the ancient downtown like citidel towers in formation. Block after block. Street after street. So little that would indicate that this was once the wealthy center of sea faring commerce a short 150 years past. In many ways, it was fitting, for being a whaler was a vocation for the hearty, leathered & strong (if not at the onset~surely by greasy ends) ~ and they spilled into the city like rabid paroled convicts. But with this, it felt an extension of realness. Seafaring men are not of Disney stock ~ nor should the streets they trod be presented as such.

       

 


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