At age five, mother erred in the telling of an ancestor hung as a pirate. She forever denied it afterward. But what child growing up on stories of the sea by father and uncles can resist dazzling tales of Caribbean piracy?
As my mother aged, I grew bolder. I researched the island she came from; seamen and pirates stood out.
I may have shortened the dear woman’s life when I found out about the link to Morgan’s raid on Panama. Her hair indeed turned whiter when I told her that. Of course, some of my friends smirked and assured me that they had known all along.
I think that my mother was afraid that my father – that descendant of Iberian mariners for centuries would be concerned that his wife was from the opposition – vicious pirates.
But the single time my father mentioned it was to reassure me that I was totally “wet with the sea” on both sides of the family and could never escape it.
And he was right. I haven’t been to sea in years, nor do I sail anymore. But I work as a nautical carver adorning boats with carvings that vessels have carried for centuries.

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