Capt. Dave Marciano, a Gloucester fisherman among the stars of the National Geographic reality TV hit “Wicked Tuna,” heard from an 8-year-old fan this week who wanted to break her piggy bank and give the Gloucester fishing captain all her change when she learned that his boat had sunk.
Second-grader Allison Wishnov of North Wales, Pa., watches the television series with her family. Marciano is her favorite captain.
“Her mouth dropped open when she saw his boat sank, she immediately said ‘we have to help him,’:” the girl’s mother wrote in an email to the Times in an effort to reach Marciano. “I said maybe we could send a few dollars to help him rebuild and that I was sure he would appreciate even a few dollars.”
The mother and daughter debated how much to send, because the girl wanted to send the captain her $100 bill from her piggy bank. But Marciano settled that debate when he replied to the family with the following email:
“Hi guys. Don’t worry, Humpty Dumpty is all back together again!” he wrote. “Thanks very much for your concern. I had insurance and many friends helped me. We are fishing now and she is better than ever — new engine wiring and electronics.
“I have all the stuff now to teach those other guys a lesson in season 3,” he added. “Have a great summer.”
He also invited the family to meet him and see the boat if they get up this way.
Marciano’s boat, Hard Merchandise, sank last December while in dock at the Gloucester Marine Railways. Although the sinking was news on Cape Ann, “Wicked Tuna” fans did not learn about it until many months later, when it was revealed on one of the show’s episodes in Season 2.
Allison, as it turns out, wasn’t the only child with concern about Marciano’s plight. Marciano said he received an email Friday from two more fans — a father and another 9-year old girl.
“We just watched the episode where you found out your boat sunk, although it happened last year, it was the first we knew of it,” the father wrote. “When my daughter saw your boat sink, she went to her piggy bank and pulled out all $97.43 she had in it that she has saved since a baby. She said, ‘Daddy can we please send this to him to help? I really want to help him because he’s a nice man and I want to help him get his boat back.’”
They, too, learned the good news about “Humpty Dumpty.”
Bass tourney opens today
Today marks the beginning of another annual bass fishing staple in Gloucester.
Registration opens today for the 23rd annual Winchester Fishing Co. Bluefish and Striped Bass Tournament, which lasts the summer. Although the tourney’s namesake is closed — Dick Winchester retired and closed his Washington Street shop in April — Winchester himself is directing and managing the contest from Three Lantern Marine & Fishing at 7 Parker St.
Fire safety visits
In the aftermath of a string of serious and, in two cases, fatal fires in Gloucester in recent months, city Fire Chief Eric Smith and Schools Superintendent Richard Safier have announced they are teaming up to provide fire safety education to the city’s elementary, middle and high school students.
Smith said that, “by bringing information home to grown-ups on smoke alarms, carbon monoxide detectors and making and practicing home escape plans, we hope to increase the safety of Gloucester’s residents.”
“This is an excellent partnership as we want students to come to school healthy and ready to learn,” Safier added. “Fire safety is part of the objectives of the health curriculum. We especially want our high school students to be ready to enter the world of adults able to practice good fire prevention.”
Gloucester firefighters are delivering age-appropriate presentations in the elementary, middle and high school on key fire prevention and survival topics, and the project will conclude with every student being asked to develop a home escape plan.
The elementary school with the most completed home escape plans will get a visit to their school from the Gloucester Fire Department, and firefighters may join the students for lunch in the school cafeteria. At the high school and middle school levels, a raffle will be held for students to win prizes donated by local businesses, with dinner with firefighters at the firehouse as well.
The Fire Department held assemblies at Gloucester High and O’Maley Innovation Middle School this past week, with visits to all five elementary schools set for next Friday.
Remembering Richard Earle
The passing of longtime Lanesville resident Richard Miller Earle at the age of 81 two weeks ago not only rekindled memories of some of this nation’s most memorable advertising spots from his days as a TV and media producer, but also of his work here on behalf of local nonprofits and for Gloucester political candidates.
Earle — whose widow Patricia Earle, is the founder, director and driving force behind the nonprofit First R Foundation school reading program — served as a TV producer at WBZ-TV in Boston, later produced TV commercials that included the classic “Keep America Beautiful” spot that featured an American Indian moved to tears at the sight of litter strewn along a highway. But after retiring and moving to Lanesville, he also lent his “media expertise,” as his obituary in Friday’s Times noted, to local candidates he supported —including mayors Bruce Tobey and John Bell and the City Council campaigns of Valerie Nelson, Astrid afKlinteberg and current Council President Jackie Hardy.
He also volunteered by producing a number of fund-raising projects benefitting Wellspring House, and served on boards of the First R Foundation, The Sargent House and the Cape Ann Symphony.
A a memorial service in his honor is slated for the Annisquam Village Church at 1 p.m. on July 13, with a reception to follow at Windhover Performing Arts Center in Rockport.
The flag at the Veterans’ Center will fly this week in honor of Korean War veteran Philip Salvatore Verga Jr. Born July 2, 1929, he entered the U.S. Army on May 21, 1952.
The infantry corporal served with Company A 5th Combat Regiment. He served in Korea.
Verga was awarded the Purple Heart Medal, the Korean Service Medal with two Bronze Stars, the Presidential Unit Commendation, the Combat Infantry Badge, the United Nations Service Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, and the Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation.
He was discharged May 5, 1954, and died June 2, 1996.
The flag was requested to fly in his honor by his wife, Mary, of Gloucester, and his children and grandchildren.
Anyone wishing to fly a flag in honor of a deceased veteran can call the Office of Veterans’ Services at 978-281-9740.