Thursday, August 30, 2007

To steer us safely home...

Before I have to read the inevitable MSM jokey-bits about "Bubba Gump Shrimpers", etc., which will--as the mass media always does--trivialize the power of what Captain Ed Keisel did:

Captain using first aid book delivers baby on shrimp boat
Let me just say that, as not too many places in the post-industrial technological West, being a boat's skipper is still a very ancient archetype. For at least 20,000 years, the job hasn't changed very much: come back with the same number you went out with. Find the fish and the wind when you need them, duck the storms when you can, and take care of your people. And, in the very worst case scenario, die for them if you have to. There's a reason that all people's scriptures are full of the metaphor of the ship's captain steering his crew safely home.

My second-favorite line from the story:
Keisel used net twine, sterilized in boiling water, to tie off the umbilical cord and cut the newborn free from his mother.
I honor Captain Ed Keisel--and Ted Hood, and Ed Hall, and even Crazy Art Hogan, the captains and mates out of my own past--for what they taught me about ships, and the sea, and about how to be a man.

My favorite line in the story:
"We set out with a crew of three, and we came back with a crew of four," Keisel said.
Thanks, skipper.

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