I GREW UP ON KING CRAB. In Seldovia in the late ‘60s and early ‘70s king crab was king, with all the guys shipping out on crabbers like the Teejin and the Amatuli and the Frances E. and the Katie K. and the Rosie G. and the Shishaldin. As a teenager I earned money for books and records by working the blow line at Wakefield Seafoods, where even under the eagle eye of foreman Dick Green I managed never to let the large claw of a king crab get by me. Later I got to work in the office for Darlene Kasheverof on a work-study program through the high school, and I remember writing a check for $100,000 for one of our fishermen, and we still owed him money. King crab fishing was an extremely lucrative business, and king crab was so plentiful that I used to take home two-pound coffee cans full of crab scraps for my cat.
Then in the early ‘80s king crab stocks crashed and the season shrunk from August 1st to May 31st in Kachemak Bay to ten days in the Bering Sea. Seldovia is no longer a crab town, and those hard-working, hard-drinking days are gone.
But they live on in Kodiak.
Author and founder of Storyknife.org.