"Moonspinners", et al

This mini history lesson is in response to "Sams" comment in the "Busted" Blog.
First off, we didn't "support" King George per se. We tried to maintain a neutral stance toward both of the belligerent entities. Those old fellers knew that they would get their heads handed too them by whichever party came ashore looking for 'refreshments' as it were. So they acted the part back then, that the Swiss did during WWII. Actually pretty astute of them on their part I think!

"Shipbreaking" and "Moonspinning", H-u-u-m, those are two words that I had never heard of in association with the many wrecks that littered our shore, until Mr. Livermores poem came out, and a movie was made about moonspinning in the early fifties. Then all the pundits jumped right on the wagon and stories of killer Islanders abounded. There was never a "documented" case of it ever happening that I've ever seen or heard about! It is all heresay BS! There was NO Southeast Light back then, and most wrecks were the result of poor navigation plus a combination of wind and tide working against the ship Captains. The nailing of ship nameplates salvaged off the beach was no different that the practice of hanging up oars and license plates in bars and resturants nowadays.

It drives me to distraction that people think that the old Islanders were so callous as to cause a ship to come ashore and kill all those people for a few pieces of wood or coal etc. When in fact on at LEAST one occassion, when the SS Larchmont was hit by another ship off of Sandy Point, it was those self same Islanders who went out in the dead of night in the middle of winter, to try and rescue the people aboard that ship. They were in fact, collectively, awarded I believe, 13 Carnagie Medals for bravery! The most ever to one community before or since. I don't believe they were the heartless bastards portrayed! Salvage was a way of life back then. You picked up and used what the sea delivered, and was damned glad to get it. There were no Home Depots to go to then!

As to what went on around here in the sixties and seventies, I have to defer to another chronicler as I was in the U S Navy and absent during that time.

As far as Prohibition was concerned, Block Island wasn't the instigator of the circumvention of the law. They just assisted in the facilitation of avoiding it's consequences! . It was a law passed by the righteous few and rightly ignored by the many! Realizing it was un-enforceable it was repealed in a few years. Guess that's it for this time. TTFN Everett

1 comment:

Sam said...

Goodness, I had to scramble to get back up on my feet and catch my breath after that! OK, there was some island lore and stories that were probably all blown out of proportion over the years, and forgive me for bringing them up. I did see a story by Mr. Downie about the rum runner, and I was fascinated by stories such as the HMS Palatine. But all that has nothing to do with Mr. Carlone and for that I apologize. I dunno, I got into similar trouble here when I researched that my little town in Texas was the birthplace of the KKK. Whoa, did I get my pants beat on that one! Fortunately, like a knock-down "white squall" at sea, it only lasted a few minutes, and I apologized there too.

Moonspinners, though, did I actually write that word?

Best regards and we hope you let us off the boat when we visit next time! Thanks for the blog, by the way. Dangerous little boogers, sometime, though!