Still Shucking From Yonder Shores

  • Thursday, May 18, 2017 - 11:25am

Arthur James (Jimmy) Hoe Jr. died Dec. 10, 2016.

A celebration of his life was held Saturday, May 13 at the Reading Room on the Edgartown waterfront. Jimmy had been employed as a bartender but mostly a quahaug and oyster shucker by the club for years. Following the packed and lively party full of old Jimmy stories and adventures about 25 of his family and friends accompanied his ashes out to channel marker number 7 near Cape Pogue Gut. Jimmy had scalloped commercially in Cape Pogue Pond when he lived in Edgartown back in the eighties. His remains were given to the water in a small boat bedecked with flowers that slowly passed beneath the waves on a raw and foggy afternoon.

The following poem was penned by Steve Ewing about Jimmy.

Arthur James

Jimmy always reminded me of Peter O’Toole
Charging through the desert on a camel
Long lion mane flowing over his billowing Bedouin cloak
Bright eyes fixed on some great vision in the hot and sandy distance
Shucking knife clenched between determined teeth

Or driving his MG decked out in classic Jimmy Style
Bow tieBlue Blazer
Running off to some gala
To whittle little necks or oysters

Or hanging off the streaming deck of Banzai
with John and the wild wacky crew
Flying around the Island skimming through
the Sounds in their own

Larger than life take no prisoners profile

Island winters sported oilskins
His jaunty pork pie sou’wester tied fast beneath his chin
Out scalloping in his wooden boat
Braving cold Cape Pogue
Jimmy got hauling gear before most of us in Edgartown

With tall pipe frameswarp lines dangling to the winch
He really looked the part
Riding the crisp chop in his glossy Monet Blue
Tiller in one hand we’d wave our special scalloping salute as our skiffs passed towing drags

He turned that plywood slab into a work of art
It always looked purplenot blue to me
What did I know, Arthur James Hoe Junior could fill a book
Bulging bags of tales frantic adventures close calls
Long and lean he strode through his time
Leaving behind a wild and beaming tattered trail

Of loveof lustof flairof colorof gutsof family
and gleaming smiles and solid friends
And then he faced his own fate
eyes wide and still shucking

Now he’s made his last run in Ovid’s boat out to the Middle Ground

He’s drifting in the rips
He’s catching fish
And it’s time to let him go
So we take him out in the moistening easterly
Heading for the bracing sandy arm of old Cape Pogue