March 24, 2020
A Tribute to our Watermen & Waterwomen

We want to thank and pay tribute to those special people who wake up before the rest of us, grab a thermos of coffee, and head out on the water to pull their crab pots, fish for our dinner, or work their oyster reefs.  They are a part of the history and culture of coastal Virginia and enrich our lives and our palate in so many ways.

One of our most iconic Lynnhaven River watermen, John Meekins, passed away in March.  He was admired and appreciated by many people as a generous and caring person who would help out anyone in need.  He was a mentor to many and will be missed by all. This poem was written by John’s niece when she was a second grade student about her uncle, the waterman, and shared at his memorial service.

My Uncle the Waterman

My Uncle is a waterman,
He catches what he can,
He is on the river each day,
With his black lab by 5 AM they say.
He wears yellow outfits,
To keep him dry when he sits.
He is out in rain or shine,
So that folks can eat real fine.
My Uncle has many crab pots,
That have buoys tied with knots,
And if not pulled daily the crabs inside will rot!
When he brings his boat ashore,
The people at the dock will roar.
They buy the crabs in different numbers,
Even as it begins to thunder.
He always has a crowd at his boat,
That sit around and gloat.
The friends he has are many
And most would offer him their last penny.
As the sun begins to set,
He brings out his lucky fish net
He is his own boss,
With the seaweed and moss
He would not change jobs whatever the cost.
By Sarah M. Dawson


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