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Bottoms Up to the Bottom-Fishing Hustle
George U. Packard
July 10, 1972
Axiom: a smart con man, even with a sure thing, never mixes martinis with the salt air on a summer's day at Sandy Neck. This is the tale of a chastened chap who will drink heartily to that
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July 10, 1972

Bottoms Up To The Bottom-fishing Hustle

Axiom: a smart con man, even with a sure thing, never mixes martinis with the salt air on a summer's day at Sandy Neck. This is the tale of a chastened chap who will drink heartily to that

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"What in the hell is Dada?" Don said.

So I started to tell them all about the Dadaist movement in France when they took a French dictionary and stuck a knife into it to find a name for the movement. The three of them started to lose interest just when I was getting into my explanation so I gave up, thinking that's what comes from reading the Boston papers too much.

We were really stuck and we all sat there looking out the window at the bay. A big, dirty-looking boat was mooring out in front and we looked at that for a while and then we all had the idea at the same time.

"We'll ask Herbie," Bert said.

The guy in the boat was Herbie Lovell, the only lobsterman in Barnstable Harbor. He would take our garbage over to the mainland to dump before he went out lobstering in the morning and you could hear him out back at five o'clock. There would be a crash of metal and glass and then silence and Herbie would stand there and look at those pails full of gin bottles and empty beer cans and he'd mumble, "My God doesn't anybody around here eat?"

We watched Herbie climb out of the lobster boat and into his dory and then he started to row for the dock. He used those little short strokes that looked like you could row around the world with them and not get tired. He moored the dory and started up the dock in his yellow slicker pants. Bert was waiting for him and they both came in and Herbie sat down.

"How about a little drink, Herb," Bert said and Herbie said, "Don't mind."

And then we waited. If you want to ask Herbie anything it takes time. You don't just go at it and ask him because there is a whole protocol that you have to go through before you can get to a direct question.

"Want some ice, Herbie?" Bert said.

"Don't need the ice," Herbie said.

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