Tag Archives: Gloucester Fisherman

Update To The Post By Virginia (Frontiero) McKinnon From The Infamous Fred Buck (Update At Bottom)

Hi Joey, I recently joined the Gloucester Writers Group.
On Jan. 17th I attended my first meeting, The Inaugural Meeting of
Fish Tales, Live Story Telling. I would like to share my story and pictures
with your readers. Virginia (Frontiero) McKinnon

Michael Frontiero 19580001F V Little Flower0001

Fish Tales
My Dad, Mike Frontiero, was a Gloucester Fisherman My Dad had many fish tales to tell. I remember my Dad taking a big piece of paper and with pencil in hand he would draw and explain the process of catching fish to me. He would draw a picture of his boat, the winch, doors and net and explain how the drag net is set by lowering the doors with the net into the ocean. The doors are at the end of long steel cables attached to the boat and the winch. The net is shaped like a big stocking. The doors keep the top of the stocking open to scoop up the fish. After several hours of towing the doors and the net are hauled up, closing the doors in the process. To do this a strong winch coils up the cables. With the doors secured at the side of the boat, the net is then hauled up high above the deck. The bottom of the net is pulled open, like opening a purse, dumping he fish on the deck for sorting. Then it’s all hands on deck, as the junk is thrown back into the ocean. All the ground fish is dressed (guttered) before going down into the fish hold and iced. This process continues until the decision is made when to bring the fish to market. Whiting is very fragile and had to get to market in two days, When fishing for haddock and cod the trips would last longer.

I never realize how dangerous my Dad’s occupation could be until one morning my Mom was listening to her ship to shore short wave radio, when she heard the voice of the skipper, Busty Serio “May-Day, May-Day the fishing vessel America was taking on water and sinking.” With her rosary beads in hand later she heard a fishing boat was near by and rescued the crew. My dad was the engineer, and the skipper remained on the boat, pumping the water desperately trying to save the America, until the Coast Guard arrived. They explained to my dad that the America could not be saved and they had to abandon ship. My Dad said as they were leaving he witnessed a huge funnel hole appear and the America was sinking into this hole. The current was so strong the Coast Guard boat was having difficulty from being drawn into this hole.

My dad and the skipper had a new fishing boat built in South Bristol Maine. Harvey Gamage Boatyard was in the process of building a yatch and he accommodated them by turning this into a beautiful fishing boat, as time was money. I remember spending many wonderful weekends in Maine watching the boat building process. Soon the boat was launched and christened “Little Flower: in honor of St. Theresa. My dad was fishing again on the beautiful fishing boat. She was the pride of the Gloucester fishing fleet.

On December 13. I believe the year was 1952. the Little Flower was at sea, when a hugh storm appeared from out of nowhere. My Dad stated the waves were over 12 feet high. My Dad said a huge wave was heading toward the Little Flower. He and the crew gathered into the pilot house. They were on their knees in front of the little religious shrine. They made a sacred promise to God to never go fishing on Santa Lucia’s day, December 13th. The boat broached the wave and the Little Flower was spared from impending disaster. I believe fishermen’s faith in God is tested time and time again. I pray to God to bless our fishermen and keep them safe.

Virginia (Frontiero) McKinnon January 2013

Update:

Fred Buck Writes-

hi virginia – i know the museum will have some photos to add to your father’s story. was the ‘america’ skipper gil lafford? went aground on ten pound island in 1941? we’ve got quite a few photos of that boat and her crew going back to the 30s when she was swordfishing. also a few of little flower in the 1990s, none as good as the 2 you’ve posted on gmg. if you can let me know the year gamage built the little flower, i’ll do some digging in our files and see what we can share with you. keep on writing! we need you!

fred buck
cape ann museum photo dept

Update 2:

joey -  i posted a reply to virginia’s great piece about her father, michael frontiero.  i should have looked before i leaped, because i found answers to the questions i asked in my files.  gil lafford owned the america in the 30s, but empire fish co. bought it in 1944, and capt. serio owned it in 1948 and 49 when virginia’s dad fished on her.  i’m attaching two short clips from the museum’s "american fisherman" files.  could you add this and the clips to my reply so i don’t look like a bigger idiot than i do in the mirror?  thanks, pal.
infamous

"Atlantic Fisherman" Archive
Gardner Lamson Collectionamerica loss 1949

Fish Tales Of A Gloucester Fisherman

Hi Joey, I recently joined the Gloucester Writers Group.
On Jan. 17th I attended my first meeting, The Inaugural Meeting of
Fish Tales, Live Story Telling. I would like to share my story and pictures
with your readers. Virginia (Frontiero) McKinnon

Michael Frontiero 19580001F V Little Flower0001

Fish Tales
My Dad, Mike Frontiero, was a Gloucester Fisherman My Dad had many fish tales to tell. I remember my Dad taking a big piece of paper and with pencil in hand he would draw and explain the process of catching fish to me. He would draw a picture of his boat, the winch, doors and net and explain how the drag net is set by lowering the doors with the net into the ocean. The doors  are at the end of long steel cables attached to the boat and the winch. The net is shaped like a big stocking. The doors keep the top of the stocking open to scoop up the fish. After several hours of towing  the doors and the net are hauled up, closing the doors in the process.  To do this a strong winch coils up the cables. With the doors secured at the side of the boat, the net is then hauled up high above the deck. The bottom of the net is pulled open, like opening a purse, dumping he fish on the deck for sorting. Then it’s all hands on deck, as the junk is thrown back into the ocean. All the ground fish is dressed (guttered) before going down into the fish hold and iced. This process  continues until the decision is made when to bring the fish to market. Whiting is very fragile and had to get to market in two days, When fishing for haddock and cod the trips would last longer.

I never  realize how dangerous my Dad’s occupation could be until one morning my Mom was listening to her ship to shore short wave radio, when she heard the voice of the skipper, Busty Serio “May-Day, May-Day the fishing vessel America was taking on water and sinking.” With her rosary beads in hand later she heard a fishing boat was near by and rescued the crew. My dad was the engineer, and the skipper remained on the boat, pumping the water desperately trying to save the America, until the Coast Guard arrived. They explained to my dad that the America could not be saved and they had to abandon ship. My Dad said as they were leaving he witnessed a huge funnel hole appear and the America was sinking into this hole. The current was so strong the Coast Guard boat was having difficulty from being drawn into this hole.

My dad and the skipper had a new fishing boat built in South Bristol Maine. Harvey Gamage Boatyard was in the process of building a yatch and he accommodated them by turning this into a beautiful fishing boat, as time was money. I remember spending many wonderful weekends in Maine watching the boat building process. Soon the boat was launched and christened “Little Flower: in honor of St. Theresa. My dad was fishing again on the beautiful fishing boat. She was the pride of the Gloucester fishing fleet.

On December 13. I believe the year was 1952. the Little Flower was at sea, when a hugh storm appeared from out of nowhere. My Dad stated the waves were over 12 feet high.  My Dad said a huge wave was heading toward the Little Flower. He and the crew gathered into the pilot house. They were on their knees in front of the little religious shrine. They made a sacred promise to God to never go fishing on  Santa Lucia’s day, December 13th. The boat broached  the wave and the Little Flower was spared from impending disaster.  I believe fishermen’s faith in  God is tested time and time again. I pray to God to bless our fishermen and keep them safe.

Virginia (Frontiero) McKinnon                                 January 2013 

Update: Series- A question About The 100 Year Old Gloucester Postcards From Peter Dorsey- A Gloucester Fisherman

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Jonathan Olly writes-

Hello Joey C,

While doing a Google search just now I came across the postcard you posted on March 22 of the old fisherman posing in oilskins.  Would you happen to know the name of this man?  I ask because I’m a graduate student down here in Providence, RI, and I’m writing a dissertation chapter on old salts.  They’re found around the world, but in the United States they’re almost exclusively found in New England.  Your postcard photo (which is rare, and one of the old salt postcards I’m still hunting for) may have been done by Gloucester photographer/engineer Herman Spooner, who photographed a number of retired fishermen (John Scott, Lemuel Friend, Oliver Emerton, and David Stanwood among them).  But, I don’t recall seeing this image in his photo collection at the Cape Ann Museum.  So if you have any additional information about your postcard I’d be happy to hear it.

Best regards,

Jonathan

Deepest Sympathy To The Family of Fisherman Joe Cracchiolo- Pictures of The Herring Seiner Sunlight

Our deepest sympathy does out to the family of Joe Cracchiolo who was working aboard the herring Seiner Sunlight.

Here are my photos of the Sunlight from the past couple of years.

click the picture for a slide show-

image

Click here for the story at the Gloucester Daily Times website

Stoga! Video

Stoga Talks About How He Lost His Fingers, How he Got His Tattoo, And What He Would Say To a Youngster Thinking About Getting Into The Fishing Industry

Add Stoga To My List Of Dream Team Fisherman Reality Series Stars

The cast includes- Mark and Tom Ring, Tom and Manny Porter, Busty Brancaleone, Carlo Moceri, Stoga, Peter Libro, Tony Marquis, Suzie Byrd, Tuffy and his crew Sean and Nate.  I’m telling you right now I could make the greatest reality show in the history of reality shows with a small budget and this cast.  The Best Ever!

Jimmy T Is A Finalist For Survivor And Needs Our Help!!!!

We’ve got to put the full weight of our community behind one of Gloucester’s favorite Sons- Jimmy T!  He needs our support to get on Survivor.  Please copy the url of this post and send it to your friends and family members to also vote for our boy Jimmy T.

vote here- http://www.cbs.com/primetime/survivor/casting_call//

Jimmy is not only a great guy but he is one of the DOERS around town.  You know, the 2% of people that make 80% of the cool stuff happen.  He volunteers a ridiculous amount of time along with help from others to make the International Dory Races what they are today and continuing the great tradition.  He truly deserves to be on the show for a whole slew of reasons.

From the Survivor Website-

Vote On Your Favorite Finalist
The top 10 finalists are in. Think they have what it takes to win the game? Vote for your favorite now and one lucky winner will head to Los Angeles for an audition with the SURVIVOR casting team.
From Jimmy T-

Dear Friends and Family,

I have been blessed with the opportunity of a lifetime! My video, titled “Gloucester Fisherman” because I am so very proud of my community and maritime heritage, has been selected to the Final 10 of the “Survivor” Casting Call Contest! Whichever video of the final 10 receives the most votes, that person will likely be a castaway in season 21/22 of “Survivor”!!!

Now it’s up to you! My ONLY chance is for you to click on the link below, vote for me, and take a moment to forward this e-mail to as many friends, as far reaching as possible.

Five minute of your time could change the lives of my family!!!

http://www.cbs.com/primetime/survivor/casting_call//

Thank you so much…. your support means everything!

Jimmy T.

I’ll keep this post stickied for a while at the top of the page so if you see someone in the street just direct them to http://www.goodmorninggloucester.com and they can click the link here to vote.
please vote early and often for a great guy that does a ton for our community.

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