Friday, March 20, 2009

"The Kid on the Waterboat" Now Delivers Common Sense

I was 12 years-old the first time I met the old, deaf man. He shouted over to me asking if I would shovel snow off his boat deck. I earned a quarter that day. A few days later I was running hoses onto dozens of Gloucester's fishing fleet vessels. Among the crews, and all along that waterfront, I was called "The Kid on the Waterboat;" I delivered fresh drinking water. Well, the waterboat is gone, but not "The Kid," only now I deliver Common Sense.

I’ve witnessed the local scene for a lifetime and viewed Gloucester from all angles, its people and our once world-leading anchor industry, fishing. I’ve watched and waited. I’ve seen the whole show, from the great depression of the ‘30s, to the rise and fall of our once great industry in the mid ‘80s. Along the way, copious notes have been taken and opinions formed based upon personal experience, hands-on involvement, and in-depth observations.

I’ve kept my mouth shut - for the most part - bowing to politicians, so-called fishing industry leaders, lobbying groups, government authorities and some off-the-wall, so-called activists. I refuse to sit back any longer and watch as Gloucester’s future is decided by a few, sometimes elite, opinion molders, who are intent upon making rules and policy that result in stifling this city’s ability to adapt and change. To me, the people deciding the future of my city should, at the very minimum, possess the ability to recognize a haddock from a cod. The movers and shakers, the decision-makers that represent us, should not be limited to professors, marine biologists, politicians and environmentalists, but rather by representatives from our entire community.

Within this blog, I will return to my role of delivering what you need, just as I did in the old days. But today I deal in Common Sense, the working man’s common sense, viewpoints from the fisherman, the barber, the homeowner, and "all the ships at sea." I’ll speak for the average guy, comment on current issues of the day, the important concerns affecting our community, and give you my feedback - like it or not!

This effort is a sincere, caring attempt to express my positive feelings for the future of our beautiful Gloucester. Almost fifty years ago I returned here with my young family. Although my hometown offered my family a unique lifestyle and a promising future, it certainly was not an easy decision to resign the security of my Marine Corps commission. But a nomadic life is no proper life for a family, at least not for this guy. 1961 was my time to move back to Gloucester! A former classmate once wrote, “You can come home again!” I write this blog for all of Gloucester, our home. I write this for the old and younger generations.

We live in exciting, changing times. Gloucester is a wonderful place. The launching of this blog is a contribution to my community. At the very minimum, I bring to the table a seasoned viewpoint, which should certainly add relevancy toward how we decide and act upon our community issues.

My Upcoming Seabag Discussions:

1 I Hate Technology, But I Love Being My Best!
2 The Waterfront: Then & Now (but this is NOW)
3 “Don’t Tread On Me”
4 Residential Developments: Who’s Right & Who’s Wrong!
5 Gloucester Crossing-like Development Projects Impact Upon Downtown Business
6 How Travelers Are Picking Our Pockets
7 How Gloucester’s Legacy Can Aid Our Future
8 The Future of Gloucester’s Fishing Industry
9 “Fo’c’s’le” Scuttlebutt - heard in my travels

I have no ax to grind, no hidden agenda, no dog in the race. My only desire is to promote Gloucester’s prosperity and contribute to the prudent, measured progress of my hometown. I will lay out my thoughts and suggested solutions to all issues, thus challenging our community leaders. I will often question the prevailing rationale that has its roots in arcahic thinking and fear. I want common-sense action to our serious, ongoing community problems.

So, welcome aboard; come with me while we explore ideas, challenge the so-called experts and learn together. I welcome your comments.


  1. looking forward to hearing all of your views on our wonderful city...hoping you share lots of your memories as well...

  2. Great stuff Ron! Looking forward to all to come!

  3. Hi Ron, welcome to the blogoshpere. I'll add you to my blog roll. Great blog!

  4. So glad you're here! The interview with Joey sparked by his post on what's on people's bookshelves sparked by something else...that's what it's all about! Welcome and let the games commence!

  5. Thanks for continuing to get Gloucester history out there for people to read, absorb and learn or just to remember, Ron! You're doing a great service for all of us- keep it coming!

  6. This is terrific, we are from Montauk, New York and absolutely love Gloucester. Came acroos this blog through Good Morning Gloucester. We think this is such a great idea, love anything to do with Gloucester, especially the people and it's history, keep up the great work!
    Christine & John McDonald

  7. This is going to be fun -- and I hope useful! Good luck!