Crabber may be last in line in family pastime

August 08, 2014 at 1:10 pm  | Mobile Reader | Pring this storyPrint 

Mary Marie
Mary Marie
The clouds reflect off the calm waters of the Bonnet Carré Spillway in Norco. Mary Marie, 68, bends over the dock looking into the water, watching for crabs.

Marie places a chicken neck tied to a string into the water just off the dock.

The St. Rose resident is a long time crabber. Her parents first taught her how to crab beginning when she was only 3 years old.

“My mother was from Mississippi and that is where I picked it up. She used to take us and do this all the time. Being I live out here, this is where I come,” she said.

After retiring a few years ago, Marie has been crabbing more and more often each summer. In addition to being a fun activity, it saves money on food costs.

“At the store they are $3.50 apiece for the big crabs. It takes a half a day, but it works out when you want them. My children enjoy them,” she said. “I look forward to this, I enjoy it, I really do. It is relaxing, I enjoy getting out here. You still have nature here.”

Although crabbing has been in her family for generations, Marie said she is unsure about passing the hobby down to the latest generation. Despite her love for the pastime her grandchildren have not become interested in the hobby.

“Some of my children like it but the grandchildren really didn’t pick it up. They are more into the video games,” she said.

Still, Marie shares her love for crabbing with anyone who asks her about the past time.

“I think about people that live other places and other states that have no idea. Over the years I’ve had people, no matter where I was, from up north that stop by and ask ‘what is that? What do with it? How do you eat that?’ and it is interesting because I am telling them about something they have never experienced,” she said.

Even though her grandchildren approach crabbing with a lack of interest and the activity is in danger of dying out in her family, Marie is content with carrying on the tradition alone, enjoying the calm mornings, boiling up her catch later on for the family to enjoy and thinking about the past.

“My momma, she was born and raised on the coast. She loved doing this and if I still had her she would be out here with me,” she said.

View other articles written Kyle Barnett

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