Document Type



Edward D. Ives

Pauleena MacDougall

Publication Date

Winter 12-1-1992

Volume Number


Abstract/ Summary

When we brought out Tom Tilton: Coaster and Fisherman back in 1984 (actually it was Northeast Folklore -XXIII: 1982) we included a story about a Captain Pinhead on page 62, just the way Tom told it to Gale Huntington. The book hadn't been out long before I got a smoklngly angry letter from one Robert O. Walsh saying he was Captain Pinhead and that story was all wrong and he wanted us to do something to set the record straight. The only thing I could think of was to suggest he write up what really happened and we'd publish it in the Newsletter, which he did and then we did (#30, January 1987). He told his story very well, and since he claimed he had a million of them I suggested he get to work and tell some more. I'm damned if he didn't take me up on it, and I'm doubly damned if now he hasn't gone and published a hundred of them in a book: Swordfish, Sculpins, and Suds: Memoirs and Adventures By A New England Seaman, Of Seamen, And Other Worthy Characters (Tilton Brothers: Box 68, Rye, NH. 03870). "First off," he begins in his Preface, "the narratives contained in these pages are true! ... My intent in writing these accounts is just to relive old times and adventures, and to pass along to those who love the sea experiences I have had and been through." Some of them are funny, some not so funny, some positively hair raising, but for sure we can take Bob Walsh at his word : they happened! He did all his writing in Yuma, Arizona, where he now lives. "I'm a lot older now," he says, "and can't do anywhere near the things I used to, but I can make tapes to my buddies that are still alive on the Vineyard and other places, and I can dream and remember! What else has an old sea dog got but memories?" Well, we can thank Bob for sharing a hundred of those memories with us.


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