Page 157

aboard Angelica Blackburn was to tow the net. His father didn’t look worried. The men went about business as usual. So Sal decided not to worry. When the cook handed him a broom, he used it. And when it was time to take coffee to the pilot house, he quickly pulled on his foul weather jacket and was standing ready, halfway up the ladder, when the cook turned with the container. The cook hesitated, the boy reached out. At the look in his eyes, the cook handed him the cup. In thirty seconds he was back, soaked to the bone, biting back the pain of a banged knee. A second time he came back, his tears lost in the salt water that dripped from his hood. Again the cook prepared a container, saying nothing, and this time the boy managed to navigate the greasy, rolling deck, shoulder open the heavy, wind-held door to the pilot house and deliver the coffee. His father, who had watched the boy’s ordeal, hugged him fiercely and averted his eyes. Sal’s own son was now 11, and it was different for him. Until he came back on the boat, Sal had been an at-home father most of those years. Carlo and his sister Andrea had enjoyed normal American childhoods, whatever that meant. And Sal was pleased about that. But now was a different story. He was fishing, and the home front was shaky over it. He had broken the promise and altered the dy-

namic. It would take some time and some doing to level it all out. The kids were having their problems. All Carlo and Andrea knew was that their daddy had gone from executive to fisherman. Fishermen enjoyed as much status in Gloucester as anywhere, but all that swashbuckling, romantic stuff was a bit sophisticated for elementary school minds. In public school, with a broader mix of kids and a firmer allegiance to the Gloucester heritage, it might have been different. But in the private day school Andrea and Carlo attended, from executive to fisherman was a step down, period. The real responsibilities of the boat and the additional money Sal made fishing didn’t figure to kids who got their values from television and their status from riding in their dads’ Mercedes. It was toughest on Maggie. She had been very specific about not wanting to marry a fisherman. Maggie. What a face. It had stopped him completely the first time he saw her. Everything had hit him at once: the round blue eyes set against skin that glowed with a hint of olive, the high cheekbones, the rich brown hair that fell to her shoulders in soft waves. And a mouth that enchanted him with a captivating mystery of sensuous shapes. She had been making a banana split at the student center snack shop where she worked. He had been in line, automatically sliding

155

Profile for Tidewater Times

Tidewater Times  

January 2019

Tidewater Times  

January 2019