A TALE OF THREE SKIPPERS

A TALE OF THREE SKIPPERS

It was August 20, 1907, and Captain Marion Perry was down at the wharf in Provincetown,

Massachusetts, checking some new gear and rigging for his schooner, the Rose Dorothea.

Three weeks earlier, he’d won the Lipton Cup in a race for Boston’s Old Home Week celebration.

A quiet man, Perry had entered the race reluctantly, succumbing to his wife’s urging.

When she’d seen a picture of the Lipton Cup, she had told Perry how lovely it would look in their house.

He’d explained he had no intention of racing for such a useless thing.

The fishing was too good this summer to waste time on a race, and besides, even if he won,

the others who owned shares in the Rose Dorothea were entitled to their percentage of the Cup. No matter, she’d said.

He could give the Cup to the town as a gesture of his esteem. Perry had gone to sea as a boy because he loved the simplicity of the life.

You worked hard, wore what you liked, ate well, and fell asleep knowing you were free.

He’d never quite understood his wife’s longing for nice things and her concern for society gestures, but he loved her,

and that was all that really mattered. Still, it was amazing what a man would put up with for love.

It had been bad enough dealing with the hooplaon T Wharf after the race, but the ovation that awaited him on his return to Provincetown had nearly been too much. T

he streets had been decorated and were packed with screaming citizens.

He’d been forced to ride with the town’s officials in a parade that snaked its way from the waterfront, up to the town, and eventually to his front door,

while a full brass band Jed the way and a group of broom carriers brought up the rear.

It had been the longest day of his life.

As he worked on the quiet wharf, he probably thought back on all this and smiled. At least today the community was lavishing its attention on someone who knew how to deal with it.

President Theodore Roosevelt was in town to lay the cornerstone for the Pil grim Monument, a tower commemorating the Pilgrims’ first landfall.

Perry was glad to have the waterfront to himself.

What he didn ‘t appreciate was that as the winner of the Boston fishermen ‘s race, he was something of a local celebrity.

When Roosevelt met some 350 Gloucestermen who’d sailed in to see him, he was introduced around by James Connolly, who happened to mention that Perry was in port.

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