Billy's Journal

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Ogunquit ME

Tim Tower, July 9, 2015

It's been over a month since I last wrote.  At that time lobster prices were dropping. And, indeed, prices on pound and a quarter and pound and a half lobsters did fall to more reasonable levels.  But that was as far  as it went.  Lobster meat prices also dropped - but, then, went right back up!  So, historically, we are paying more for lobster meat now than we ever have paid this time of year during other seasons.  And the price of big lobsters is still very high. Why? From what I understand, there is a huge lobster export market that has been established with China.  At the same time, the ocean water temperatures in New England are lower than they have been for decades.  Lobsters don't crawl with these colder water temperatures.  Thus, lobsters aren't being caught with the frequency we are used to at this time of year. So we aren't getting the lobsters we need and China's large demand for the bigger lobsters is keeping the big lobsters away from the domestic market.  We are still getting some of the bigger lobsters but the domestic market is competing with the Chinese market. So we are paying bigger money for our lobsters.  The water is starting to warm up fast. When it gets warm enough, it will trigger the molting sequence in the lobster population. By August there will be so many lobsters crawling that we won't have traps enough to catch them!  Hopefully, a drop in price will follow. This is my take on the situation, of course.

During the month of June we enjoyed the company of former President George H. W. Bush and his former First Lady Barbara three times.  Their son, Neil, and their daughter, Doro, has also been with them as well as Laura, young Barbara and other members of the family.  The President is restricted to the wheel chair now. But this hasn't stopped him.  He needs help but he also helps himself and, to me, is the same witty guy he always was. And so is Barbara.  But you can't stop the aging process.  And so it goes.  

The Bush's started coming to Barnacle Billy's (original) restaurant after their birthday celebrations this year. Barbara's birthday was June 8 while the former President's was June 12.  Barbara once told me; "For four days George and I are the same age. After that, I'm married to an older man!"  I have always got a chuckle out of that statement.  She is now 90 years young and "Number 41" is 91.  And I'm happy to say that 41 still likes his steamers sand free and his burgers slightly warm and blood red! I hope to see both of  them again as soon as I can!

And the summer is upon us.  My brother, Court, is still doing a bang-up job at Barnacle Billy's(original) and my sister, Cathy, his twin, is still working in the office (along side me at times). They will be enjoying their 60th birthday on July 10th! It doesn't seem possible.  Meg is still working the floor at Barnacle Billy's (original) Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Meg (all my siblings, really) has been very supportive of me.  And I appreciate all that support from all corners. Since my father passed, it takes all four of us to make it happen here. It also takes our loving mother, Bunny (Yes, she is doing fine, thank you very much!). And I still feel that it takes all five of us to the keep the standards that were set alone by our father and mother years ago.  As long as I am alive, Barnacle Billy's will remain the same, within the law.  Come down and enjoy a lobster with us!  You'll see that not much has changed (except the prices). And happy summer - it took long enough to get here! 

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