Did You Know? (Joey C.)

Joey C. (Ciaramitaro) working on the dock at Captain Joe & Sons

Photo by E.J. Lefavour

That before I even moved to Cape Ann, I was being positively influenced by the inspiring energy of Joey Ciaramitaro through reading Good Morning Gloucester?  The man is a non-stop package of powerful positive energy, a goodwill ambassador for Cape Ann, and a guru of social networking; but I only knew the Good Morning Gloucester side of him.  I’ve gotten to know him personally now, learned a little about his family history and wanted to share it with those GMG readers that might not know. 

Joey’s Grandfather, Captain Joe Ciaramitaro was born in Detroit, Michigan on January 6, 1915. He was two years old when his father died. His family then went back to Sicily where he learned to fish. At the age of fifteen he returned to the United States and settled in Gloucester, Massachusetts where he fished on several trawlers.  Captain Joe met and married Felicia Curcuru at the age of 23 in 1938. With the help of Ben Curcuru, Captain Joe had his first boat built – the “Ben and Josephine”.
The Ben and Josephine was launched in March of 1941, however the vessel was sunk off the coast of Maine by a German U-Boat.  When Captain Joe tried to board the Ben and Josephine to get the compass out, the Germans thought he was going to radio their location to the Coast Guard. They shot at him with machine guns so he came out of the Pilot House with his hands in the up and without the compass.  The crew of the Ben and Josephine got into the lifeboat and rowed for 36 hours and finally landed at Mt. Desert Rock off the coast of Maine. Navigating by the stars of the night, Captain Joe led his crew to shore after a day and a half of rowing.
The next boat built for built by Captain Joe was the “Benjamin C”. The Benjamin C was launched in 1946. He fished the Benjamin C from 1946 to 1952. The boat was then sold to National Sea Products of Nova Scotia.  In 1953, Captain Joe bought the former Slade Gorton property on East Main Street. The property was used as a smokehouse, salted fish house, fillet house and flakeyard. It was then that Captain Joe & Sons was formed.
In the 60′s and 70′s, Captain Joe & Sons, Inc. was known for processing whiting and the company supplied A&P grocery stores throughout the United States. The company was run by Captain Joe and his two sons, Benjamin (Libby) and Charles Ciaramitaro.
In the mid-70s Joe (our Joey C.) & Frank Ciaramitaro joined the company to form the third generation. Joe and Frank worked summers until they graduated from college to work full time along with their fathers.  As Joey tells it, their fathers paid them slave wages, so they decided to do a little lobster brokering on the side to make a little extra money.  The Captain Joe & Sons fleet has since grown to handle the fish and lobsters of 37 fishing boats and 39 lobster boats.
Today you can visit Captain Joe & Sons, in Gloucester, seven days a week to buy fish and lobster directly as the boats are being unloaded.  Stop by Captain Joe & sons at 95 East Main Street, say hi to Joey, get yourself a Good Morning Gloucester bumpersticker, and of course some lobster or fish.  http://www.wholesalelobster.com/

E.J. Lefavour


About E.J.

Artist, researcher, writer, spiritual traveler of this fascinating orb we inhabit, lover of life and all it has to offer. Hi everyone out there in GMG land. My name is Ellen “E.J.” Lefavour (a/k/a “Ejay Khan” – the pseudonym I used during my years as a political activist artist). I moved to Cape Ann in September of 2010, and was thrilled to be invited by Joey to become a daily contributor to Good Morning Gloucester in December of that year. I am a painter, photographer and writer who has lived and worked as an artist for 20 years, since leaving the corporate world in 1990 to pursue my passion. My contributions to GMG will consist of images (either my paintings, photographs, montages or the occasional video) and a little history about the image, called “Did you Know?” I hope to come up with tidbits of information that people don’t already know, or had forgotten they knew. As I am new here, everything is new and fascinating to me, especially the amazing history, so bear with me if I post something that is common knowledge – I’ll eventually come up with something that’s new to you. As an artist, I will also write about the incredible art scene on Cape Ann. Please take a minute to comment on my posts, like them or not, especially if you have corrections or something to add, as that is how I, and all of us, learn. Have a Good Morning Gloucester, and a blessed day.
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7 Responses to Did You Know? (Joey C.)

  1. Alicia says:

    Great family history Joey! E.J. thanks for sharing the story.

  2. bowsprite says:

    great photo! I love that clever, self-weighted swinging pulley system! i’ve seen it in action!

  3. Sharon says:

    Thanks for sharing, EJ! So that’s the history behind the man! :)

  4. blackswanbeth says:

    Nice! Too bad the compass was lost but glad they made it to land safely. Has the Ben and Josephine been dived for or been risen?

    • Joey C says:

      Great question, but not that I’ve heard of. It’s a big sea and I don’t they had the type of electronics to mark where they were to go back to the spot.

  5. Cynthia Hill says:

    How does he stay so clean? I’ve never seen the man grubby!
    Great story…thanks EJ

  6. lobsterlady says:

    Cynthia, I can’t answer that for you but I can tell you Joey does work. I was actually surprised to see his speed.

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