Interviewee: Charlotte Enoksen

Role: Former wife of a fisherman

Date of Interview: 9/27/09

Collection: Working Waterfront Festival Community Documentation Project

Click on the link below to play the audio clip from the interviewee.

Abstract: Charlotte Enoksen, who was married to a fisherman, shares her insights regarding the unique dynamics of fishing families and fishing family roles.

Transcript:I grew up saying I was not gonna marry a fisherman, I wouldn't date a fisherman.  I wouldn't go, I wouldn't even date Norwegians. I was terrified of marrying a fisherman.  It was absolutely not going to be my life and after I was married for a year, he decided he wanted to go fishing and I was not happy [laughs].  Not happy at all. 

I remember when he decided to go fishing, my father came over to the house and he opened the door, the door to the refrigerator and he asked where the beer was and I said, "I don't drink beer, Dad."  And he said, "Well, Frank drinks beer.”  And I said "yeah," and he said, "Well you know, when he comes home, he might want a beer, so maybe you should have it here, because you don't want him to stop at the National Club for a beer." I said, "OK, Dad."  He went out and got beer for Frank so.  And you know, he sat me down and he just was giving me the man's point of view of what they expect when they come home -- where their heads are at and that helped me a great deal . . .I remember my mother saying "You do not talk to him about anything important the first day he's in or the day before he leaves.  You have three days to deal with real life, but the other days he's transitioning”.

I think the, one of the really positive things about it is that when they come in, you don't fuss about foolishness, you know.  The time is precious. There's a lot of preparation, there's getting everything ready.  There's a lot of excitement and a lot of energy. That's when things are going well. If you're not getting along, it's a little different. But you know when things are good, it's almost like a celebration. You know they come home and...and that helped, you know.  That helped me a lot; I mean I had good teachers. I had, that was what my family did. So I had teachers and I had a lot of support.   

To read Charlotte's full transcript, click here.