This will most likely be the last post I ever add to this blog. Thank you to all visitors, past and future, for stopping by.
On September 10th, 2011, my grandfather, Jack Norek Sr, passed away at home with his family in Sunset Beach, CA. Here is his obituary, as it appeared in the OC Register:
Norek, Jack Lee,
died 9/10/11, succumbing to cancer after a fearless 15 month battle. Born 11/6/1931 to Henry and Dorothy Norek in Long Beach, CA. He leaves behind his brother, Jerry; former wife, Barbara; son, Jack, Jr., (Cindy); daughter, Janice (Nick); grandchildren, Nicole (Dave), Jack, and Carrie; greatgrandchildren, Benjamin and Ryan. Jack with his brother, Jerry owned Crystaliner Boats in Costa Mesa. A Lobster fisherman since 1960, he barely managed to finish his last season, battling poachers and pain. His passion in life was the ocean and he loved filming his grandchildren and great-grandchildren. He died at home surrounded by his family, watching his home movies. "Skipper" "Chapa" will be missed dearly by his family and friends.
As a child, my grandfather would take my family out on fishing trips. As I got older, I got to tag along during the lobster season and watch him and my uncle pull up traps as I stared in amazement at the various creatures that they would find.
In recent years, I had the privilege of working as a deck hand with my grandfather and uncle. And this past season, when my grandpa's health was rapidly declining, the two of us would go out and we would work light. We would talk about all sorts of things. Mostly lobsters, of course. The way he had the entire coast mapped out and kept meticulous records about where his traps were (and more importantly, where the lobsters where) was something that always boggled my mind.
It is difficult for me to accept the reality that those seasons are over. I tried my best not to take them for granted, especially in recent years. The experience of fishing lobsters in beautiful Southern California is one that I am very appreciative to have had the honor to participate in for so many years, especially with my uncle and grandfather.
Here is one of the last pictures I took during the past season with my cell phone:
I will never forget the many mornings spent on the Crystal Pacific with my grandpa. In fact, the original Crystal Pacific life preserver is now hanging on the wall in my living room. It's pretty beat up, but I love it.
RIP Grandpa, the greatest lobster fisherman on the west coast.