Tonight I met a wonderful old Merchant Marine. He was a crusty old guy with salt water in his veins and the weathered, ruddy skin of a waterman. Out of his well worn wallet he shared pictures of the things he prized most. His kids, his wife and the fifteen foot, nine hundred and fifty-seven pound shark he caught in North Carolina.
We swapped stories of time spent on the water and laughed at each others corny jokes. Truthfully, he did not remind me directly of my father, but he did make me think of him by being of a similar breed. Jovial, Southern and raised on salt water. There is redneck, there is Southern and there is waterman. They all collide somewhere but they are all different. I am happy to have a bit of each in my blood but the waterman seems to run the deepest.