Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Labour of love

The visual research for Lake Erie Stories is largely complete (which explains my recent blogging slowdown). Here is one example of my findings, the Doretta L, skippered by my great uncle, Jim Fraser.

The book mentions the Lake Erie fishing industry briefly in the introduction and, with a family connection or two in this area, I decided to pick up the phone and see if I could easily rustle up a picture of a real Lake Erie fish tug. A couple weeks later, Jim sent along this picture of his beloved Doretta, which he unapologetically refers to as "one of the best on the Great Lakes."

And he would know. Uncle Jim has been involved in the Lake Erie fishing scene since before I was in diapers. A few years ago he decided to tie up to the dock for the last time, but, like many before him, he continued to hear the siren call of the lake and was shortly back out on the water. Last time he spoke to me of his work, in late December, he was still heading out there, every day, in the wee hours of the morning. By early January he was looking forward to getting this year's quotas from the government, and I have no reason to doubt that he is still at it, eagerly attempting to fill them, until (and if) freeze-up comes.

The Doretta was one of the easier visuals to get a hold of, actually. At this point, I've got 37 images in my file from over a dozen different sources. It's a big task logistically, but it's nearly done. And it's gratifying to see the inside of the book starting to come together.

In the meantime, I've got a lot of captions to write. More on the progress of Lake Erie Stories soon.

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