Monday, August 11, 2008

100_1002.JPG, Story of

Originally uploaded by Captain_Peleg
Why am I blogging this photo almost a year after I took it? Because the esteemed Julie Zickefoose, Science Chimp Extraordinaire and (I think) inventor of symbolic fencing , mentions a young birder on South Beach carrying around a cast horseshoe crab that can only be the work of my former co-worker, Jeff.

Back in the distant mists of time, I know I've written that my employment at It Doesn't Suck (not its real name) was a profound experience and I am still in touch with many, many, many of the folks I worked with there. I count many of them among my closest friends to this day. And Massachusetts being only slightly less village-like than Rhode Island, you never know when or where you'll run into someone from It Doesn't Suck. So here's the story of how I came to acquire a beautiful cast pewter horseshoe crab and relive old memories back in the fall of 2007, as written to a group of my It Doesn't Suck friends:

"I was at the Working Waterfront Festival in New Bedford this weekend [Sept. 22, 2007] and spotted Jeff. As soon as I called out his name and said my name, we started reminiscing about the first hardware reference manual -- a magnum opus if ever there was one -- and the agonies I went through with the contract writer who wrote it. We both said about [It Doesn't Suck] that it was a good time in our lives.

Jeff is retired from high tech and lives on the Cape making wonderful metal castings of beach/sea creatures and he had a booth at the festival (in the section for maritime related crafts/art). I bought a fabulous horseshoe crab from him and took his picture with it to show you all (below and added to the Photos area of this group). We told his son we worked together in 1883. He doesn't look so bad for 124 years old. :-)

You can check out his designs at"

Dunno why I never blogged about it at the time, except for it being the "year of losing Nancy's parents". I'm sure there's more I could say. Oh, here's excerpts from my answer to email from Jeff following up on the horseshoe crab:

"The horseshoe crab looks great in the pass-thru between my kitchen and dining room. He's sitting next to an antique Buddha and some scungili shells (that's what my Italian neighbors called them when I was growing up -- I think they're whelks) from Third Beach in Newport, RI. I must say a well-behaved and substantial horseshoe crab is an asset to my decor.

As for the MC-500 manual, I checked my pile of souvenirs, and that is not among them. I'll bet somebody out there in [It Doesn't Suck]-land has one. I suggest posting an RFQ to the forum. Sorry your X did not know what a great "masterpiece" that manual was ;-)

Yeah, the writer's name was M.... I think his last name was B.... I sometimes tell that story to new writers as an example of how easy it is to get so fascinated by the technology that one forgets the user. It was certainly one of those memorable [It Doesn't Suck] moments.

I hope you sold lots of stuff at New Bedford. The festival seemed to be well-attended."

There are a million stories on the working waterfront. This is one of them.


Julie Zickefoose said...

I'm giggling, Janet, because when I said "cast horseshoe crab shell" I meant a shell that a crab had cast off, not a pewter one! But tee hee, I'm glad the misunderstanding sparked a post, because Dakota and I were looking at the tiny horseshoe crabs, thinking what great jewelry they'd make...

janet said...

Oh how funny!

Well, now you know where to get exquisite horseshoe crab jewelry if you need it.

Picture me giggling!