STONINGTON — Andrew Gove, a legend along the Maine coast, started writing down his stories more than a decade ago and kept up the work right up until he died at age 90 in June of 2020. Reading “The Life of a Maine Lobsterman: 82 Years on the Water” is like sitting at his kitchen table overlooking Stonington harbor as he tells you his stories. And stories there be in this memoir of growing up on Eagle Island in a large extended family, his earliest days of lobstering, flying a two-seater Cessna, participating in the lobster boat races up and down the coast and more.
Gove represents a disappearing Maine culture. In 1937 at age 7, he started lobstering and didn’t quit for 82 years. That hard-work ethic stemmed directly from his upbringing on Eagle Island, one that focused on family interdependence, self-sufficiency, trust and honesty — traits he exhibited throughout his entire life.
Gove was one of the hardest workers on the water in his lifetime, fishing for lobster, halibut and herring from Stonington. He was always willing to lend a hand to those in distress, whether in his boat or his plane. But he also knew how to play and participated in the Maine lobster boat races for many years, winning a multitude of times.
His memoir is written with warmth, humor and humility, told in his own words and unique voice, and resonates with his love, compassion and commitment to family, friends, work and animals. Despite his passion for lobstering, Andy avowed, “I’d rather have a friend than a barrel of lobsters any day.”
“This memoir speaks to all of us. For those of us whose lives Andy touched directly, as he did mine for 50 years,” Penobscot Books publisher Nat Barrows said. “This memoir is a reminder and reinforcement of our shared experiences. For those who come to know him through this book, the legacy of his life’s lessons is here for all.”
Also ready for the holiday season is “Maine Lobster ABC,” written by Peter and Connie Roop and illustrated by Jeremiah Savage. Both fun and factual, this book is suitable for all ages. Children will enjoy the ABCs and adults will appreciate the many facts about lobsters and lobstering.
Having published more than 100 children’s books, the Roops do a thorough job of researching their subjects, in this case Atlantic lobster. They nicely blend lessons on the letters of the alphabet with a wealth of information about the crustacean, along with silly jokes and a slew of “fun facts.”
Savage also illustrated the Roops’ “Maine Lighthouse ABC,” published in 2018. His bold illustrations with vibrant colors and a semi-realistic, cartoony style focus on the diversity and uniqueness of Maine’s lobster industry in Maine.
Both books are available now. Shipping commences in early December, in time for the holidays. “The Life of a Maine Lobsterman” costs $37.95. “Maine Lobster ABC” is priced at $21.95.
To place an order, call 374-2341, email [email protected] or visit penbaypress.me.