In 1993 when my father’s shipwreck company was first formed, he had to travel extensively. I have written about this before, and shared stories of what it was like growing up in this environment and how I would hear many stories from him whenever he’d return. I asked my mom what her memory was like of this time, and she recalls that Silver Bars had an office on Fore Street in Portland. I went there frequently, and whenever my dad was home he’d be hard at work in the office, using it as a place to meet with investors and crew members. When he was away or too busy, my mom would answer the phone and file paperwork in the office and I would join her (particularly during school vacations or summer months). There was a man named Parker Poole who had an office in this building as well, and he would often join my dad for lunch. I remember wandering around the building and exploring, but the only person I recall having another office there was Mr. Poole.
My childhood was a bit unconventional in that we moved fairly often. This wasn’t as unsettling or awful as it sounds, as I only had to change schools twice (once in second grade and once in ninth grade). My parents and I were very close and moving seemed more like an adventure than something horrible. Money was a bit tight at times in the few formative years of Silver Bars/Sub Sea, and so we’d sometimes have to move to a new place. We stayed in the southern Maine area exclusively, though we did live in Hawaii and Florida when I was 2 and 3 (which I wrote about in an earlier story). When I was 14, my parents were able to buy a house, which they still live in to this day. It was nice to finally find a place to stay in for a while, and I love being able to go back and visit them in a house that I remember so well and still consider a home away from home.
Despite the few money troubles, my parents were always resourceful. My mom often carried multiple jobs, and my dad always worked hard to make sure we were taken care of. My mom has had a lot of interesting jobs over the years! Before I was born and while she was pregnant with me, she worked at Together Dating Service, which was like an early version of today’s internet dating websites. Single people would come and my mom would match them up with someone they were compatible with. My parents ran the Crest Motel in Old Orchard Beach the summer I was born. My mom worked as a waitress in Hawaii and Florida, at restaurants called Viva La Familia and Wings and Curls. In Florida, she had her own food truck. She would work 14 hour days driving around in the heat, serving construction workers and other people right out of the truck. Later on, after we returned to Maine, she found ways to make extra money while still having plenty of time to spend with me. She baby-sat a boy named William, who was a year or two younger than me. He was like a little brother to me for a time, and she would take us to the library and to play in our yard. When I got a bit older, she and I would make a bit of money pet sitting for our neighbors’ cats and dogs.
My parents were never afraid to work hard, and they weren’t afraid of taking on new challenges! While our lives were never traditional or routine, I wouldn’t change the way I was brought up. My parents made sure there was enough time to spend together as a family, and that was always more important than their jobs.