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Saturday, March 29, 2014

Remembering Jim Grandgrade

We lost a good man recently. Jim "Crow" Grandgrade passed away. I knew Jim a long long time. Ever since I could walk I would hang around the docks where the guys kept their bay scallop boats. I would watch everyone and ask questions about scalloping. Jim was always there and I would ask him questions about boats and scalloping. He always had an answer and would always share his great knowledge of scalloping with me. Jim was a true highliner scalloper. One of the very few in the fleet. He loved to fish Hussey Shoal And wide off Third Bend. Sometimes you could also find him in the Head Of The Harbor. Jim knew every square inch of the harbor and where the scallops were. He fished out of a Pogo boat for as long as I knew him. He never followed anyone to the scallops. He knew exactly where they were. Jean, his wife, went with Jim on the boat. They got a double limit usually in record time before anyone else in the fleet.

Jim became sick and was living at The Island Home nursing home. This past winter I went and visited Jim at the home a few times. He was blind but was still as sharp as when I first met him so many years ago. I would sit with him and talk about the good old days of scalloping. He had so many stories to tell me. He could go on forever. I would tell Jim where I was scalloping that day I was visiting him. He knew exactly where I had been and what the scallops looked like. He told me how they used to get 12 bags of scallops every day of the season right up until the last day. He said the Head Of The Harbor always had tons of scallops. This year there were none. Once long ago Jim was fishing on the Town side of Pocomo and it became very windy. He did not want to risk hauling back his dredges stern to the seas so he towed his dredges all the way to the beach in Fourth Bend where it was calm!! I remember Jim's wife Jean scalloping with him. She never complained out there. It could be blowing a gale and snowing and she would be right there culling.

I wish I could have sat with Jim one more time before he left this world and talk about scalloping. He was glad to see me when I went to visit him in the home. He would say "don't leave!" when I told him I had to get going. I'm just glad I was able to know a great man and a true highliner. Jim will be missed.

Here's the only picture I have of Jim and his Pogo boat. It was taken in February of 1993 up in The Head Of The Harbor.