The Newport of my youth was a working waterfront. fishing boats, commercial boats and yachts co-existing side by side in the same water and the same docks.
Today, the is not a shred of evidence of this life.
I read with interest the windskate story on Scuttlebutt
I have attached photos of my son doing the same thing in 1989. We used different size rigs depending on the wind strength. There are not many new ideas.
I have shovelled snow every day since January 30 of this year. I would guess I am not the only one.
I have been working in I movie. I will post tomorrow the finished version of Looking For America; which I had started almost a month ago. Meanwhile here is the Newport and the waterfront I knew.
What do I do with the archive of photos I have accumulated over half a century? I jumped in with both feet and produced a book titled “WORKING WATERFRONT”. These are images of Newport’s waterfront, which has long since disappeared from the landscape; along with those who worked there.
Each photo has a story connected to it for me. Anecdotes unconnected other than by the waterfront that I remember in these photographs.
I googled the words “wharf rat” and to my dismay I found many references to those who were ardent followers of the “Greatful Dead”; not one reference to my assumption of that who wandered the docks attracted to the life on boats. Even in the International Maritime Dictionary there is not a reference to “wharf rat”. Naturally I then started to question my own idea. Was it self created; a figment of my own mind?
Continuing my internet search I found some references by Sven Carlsson about a man Jerry Warren; a self professed “wharf rat” stating it was a title one had to earn; a badge of pride.
Nathaniel Hawthorne wrote ” When I saw the seafaring people leaning against posts and sitting on planks, under the lee of warehouses,–or lolling on long-boats drawn up high and dry, as sailors and old wharf-rats are accustomed to do, in seaports of little business.
Of course the quote from “Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame “There is nothing–absolutely nothing – half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats.” spoken by Ratty.
I had many of my own experiences on Newport’s Waterfront over the years; some of which I had the good sense to capture on film.