Wall Street Journal reviews “Down at the Docks”

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Bill Kauffman reviews Down at the Docks a new book by Rory Nugent about life on the New Bedford waterfront. (That Sinking Feeling – The last of the independent fishermen – and their troubles. – free content)

I haven’t read the book yet but plan on picking up a copy ASAP.  Regular Sea-Fever readers know that New Bedford is my homeport so I’ll be really interested to read Nugent’s take on things. From Kauffman’s review:

Mr. Nugent decries the regimentation of “ill-mannered watermen” who once did business by handshake and lived by codes that an outsider might appreciate but could never really understand. He and his dockmates prefer the yesterdays when “every fisherman was an independent cuss working alongside an independent cuss who happened to own a boat. It worked damn good for a hundred years.” Another of Mr. Nugent’s characters, the superannuated mob fixer Pink, worries that small-scale commercial fishing is going the way of whaling and that soon, in Mr. Nugent’s typically pungent paraphrase, “the docks will turn into some sort of Sturbridge Village by the Sea, sanitized and saltless, with college boys pretending to be deckhands and former pencil pushers posing as captains.”

If this is any indication it should be an interesting read.

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Peter A. Mello

Husband, father, son. Lifelong mariner, student of leadership, photographer. Professional creative placemaker.

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