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About The daily Astorian. (Astoria, Or.) 1961-current | View Entire Issue (Jan. 25, 2018)
JANUARY 25, 2018 // 9
IF YOU GO
By BRENNA VISSER
What: Peter Lindsey presents man-
uscript-in-progress, “Just Movin’ The
When: 6 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 27
Where: Cannon Beach Gallery (1064
S. Hemlock St., Cannon Beach)
efore Ecola Square became
home to artisanal shops and
condominiums, local author
Peter Lindsey remembers that lot filled
with dozens of dory boats.
Lindsey also remembers the “col-
orful characters” who operated these
Some of these memories are set a
few miles from the shore, with crews
braving rough seas by the Tillamook
Rock Lighthouse (aka Terrible Tilly).
Others memories are set at the commu-
nity’s former annual fish fry, with kegs
of beer and a stockpile of fish caught
just a few hours before.
Lindsey has been writing down his
memories and the stories of his fellow
fishermen for his new manuscript,
“Just Movin’ The Water Around.” The
book is a collection of tales about the
Cannon Beach dory fleet from the
1960s to 80s.
Lindsey will present his work thus
far at a talk 6 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 27,
at the Cannon Beach Arts Association
gallery. The reading is part of a grant
the association gave Lindsey for the
“I’ve always been interested in
oral stories,” said Lindsey, who is also
known for his book “Comin’ in Over
the Rock,” an oral history of Cannon
“When I began fishing with my
brother in the 70s, I noticed a lot of it
relied on tradition,” he said. “If you
wanted to learn how to fish from a
dory, you watched and learned. It’s not
dissimilar to logging. It was a subcul-
tural group of a time gone by.”
A way of life
Dory boats are 20- to 25-foot fish-
ing vessels, designed to be launched
from the sand and into the surf rather
than from a dock. While Lindsey has
accounts dating back to the 1940s, the
commercial dorymen of Cannon Beach
reached their peak in the 1970s.
Back when driving on the beach
was permitted, Lindsey recalls dories
launching around Haystack Rock in
search of salmon and rock fish.
Like many others, Lindsey, a school
teacher, would spend his summers off
out fishing with other commercial dor-
ymen, who would sell their catches of
COURTESY SCOTT REKATE
Rick Krahn and his dory named Frog Bandit
hood of local dorymen.
Local fishermen were outraged,
Lindsey said. Some protested by
cooking fish in the parking lot of Short
Sands Beach, he recalled, attempting to
bring attention to what Lindsey and his
compatriots saw as a cultural corner-
stone slipping away from them.
“It wasn’t simply work,” he said, “it
was a way of life.”
A shared history
COURTESY PETER LINDSEY
Peter Lindsey, right, and his brother, Tim, prepare to launch Lindsey’s boat, the
Schmedlow, in this decades’ old photo.
the day to local fish markets in town.
“It was a different Cannon Beach.
Cannon Beach wasn’t fancy,” he said.
“There weren’t as many tourists on the
In general, Lindsey said being a dor-
yman was a solitary activity. But with
that independence came risk. When
fishermen sail rough seas and surf in
small boats, they run the risk of being
overtaken with water, Lindsey said.
Some of his favorite memories are
of fishing with others out by the light-
house off Tillamook Head. He recalled
one time a doryman shot a shark that
was gaining on his fish, as a charter
boat filled with tourists went by.
“That probably wouldn’t pass today.
The best part about it all was the char-
acters you would encounter, the good
stories, the adventurous stories you
would hear,” Lindsey said. “They were
flamboyant. I think they were allowed
to be (flamboyant) out there.”
But by the early 1980s, the dories
started to vanish.
In 1974, Federal Judge George
Boldt had issued a historic ruling
that reaffirmed the rights of Indian
tribes to fish in accustomed places
and allocated 50 percent of the annual
catch to treaty tribes. The decision was
upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court in
1979, severely impacting the liveli-
Jon Broderick, a fisherman himself
and the organizer of the FisherPoet’s
Gathering, has spent years encour-
aging commercial fishermen to share
their stories. He said the importance
of documenting this aspect of Cannon
Beach’s history is invaluable.
“It has to do with the collective
memory. You hardly have a commu-
nity without it,” Broderick said. “And
fishing has that community.”
Broderick, who has lived in Cannon
Beach for more than 30 years, was
never a doryman himself, but remem-
bers the dories on the beach near the
peak of their popularity. Somebody has
to write down their stories, he said, “or
all those stories are gone,” he said.
“Not every place is fortunate
enough to have a Peter Lindsey writing
it down,” he said. “Because of work
like this, people 100 years from now
who stumble across a wrecked ship
maybe will be able to say, ‘Hey, that’s
a dory, and those were significant.’”
The publishing date for his book
has yet to be determined. Lindsey said
that, with this upcoming presentation,
he hopes to accumulate “even more
juicy stories” to include.
“To do this, you had to know and
understand the ocean, be attuned and
attentive to the natural world. These
guys had to have tough individual
qualities,” Lindsey said. “Some of the
jokes and stories and the characters are
gone. Cannon Beach is just different