It is a Shock!

All of my regular readers know that although Highliners and Homecomings is a blog about commercial fishing and commercial fishing families, it isn’t a blog about politics, debate, controversy, or insult. Highliners and Homecomings doesn’t exist to debate this or that, call names, or otherwise make anyone (especially me!) feel bad.

I’ve thought for quite a while on whether to even introduce the issue of Alaska’s Republican governor and current United States Vice Presidential nod Sarah Palin to my blog. Did I want to risk “starting something,” stir debate, or offend anyone with the mere mention?

An e-mail I received the other day from a woman I know who lives across the country (and has nothing to do with commercial fishing) helped confirm my decision to bring up Alaska’s governor. My friend wrote,

“Yes—I thought of you, too, Jen, when I listened to Sarah Palin.  What a fascinating time for politics (no matter what your beliefs)!”

I’ve been all over the political chart in the last few days. 

I had a friend over last Thursday, the night before McCain’s VP pick was announced. When I asked for whom my friend was voting, she looked straight at me with a look of concern and confusion before stating matter-of-factly, “Obama.”

I started to wonder if there was something wrong with me.  When I inquired as to the reason behind her look, my good friend laughed and assured me that my question wasn’t the cause–she’d simply been distracted by something else when she answered it! Hmm. 

When I awoke the next morning and turned on the TV, I was shocked to see that Alaska’s governor Sarah Palin had been chosen as John McCain’s running mate.

I knew exactly who Palin was, although I didn’t know much about her.

My dad, a fourth-generation commercial fisherman, has been pointing out Sarah Palin’s picture from her color ad in National Fisherman magazine to my husband and me for at least the last couple of years.

I knew Sarah Palin as the attractive, middle-aged lady who beamed at me from the pages of National Fisherman .  You know the one: It’s the ad in which she–smiling–holds a salmon up for the camera from the deck of an Alaska fishing boat. She appears to be dressed in authentic commercial fishing woman gear: torn gray sweatshirt, bibs, glasses, hair in ponytail.

Upon closer inspection, however, one sees that the stratigically torn sweatshirt is perfectly clean. The hands holding the salmon are not only without orange rubber gloves, they are perfectly manicured. The smiling face doesn’t have one bit of jellyfish or fish slime attached to it.

No matter. I know a photo-op when I see one, and the staged photo never bothered me.

When I saw on the news that she’d been picked for the VP nod, I was surprised and excited. Many of my friends and family couldn’t stop talking about the selection. We went about the day as if in a daze.

As to the debate over which team running for the office of President and Vice President will or should win, well, that isn’t a debate for this particular blog. Even my own family is divided down the line as for whom they will vote.

But—are we excited that a woman from Alaska, a commercial fisherwoman, the wife of a commercial fisherman, and the mother of five children, has been chosen as the running mate for a Presidential candidate for the United States of America?



  1. “Yes—I thought of you, too, Jen, when I listened to Sarah Palin. What a fascinating time for politics (no matter what your beliefs)!”

    I agree with her,the introduction of Sarah Palin into the mix has certainly shook up the status quo.
    I am a commercial fisherman and crabber from Fla and most of our fishing community see her as a breath of fresh air.
    President Bush nearing the end is starting to show his ties to anti commercial fishing groups like the CCA,at least I don’t think we will see that from this lady and John McCain if they are elected.

  2. Hi Ronnie,

    Thanks for your comment; it is so interesting! I have to say I agree with you.

    The good thing is we aren’t alone!

    Thanks again for taking the time to give your feedback and insight. I appreciate it!


  3. I didn’t listen to Palin, but when I heard commercial fishing mentioned, I definitely thought of you.

    I’m so glad you are talking about in your blog. :)

    And by the way, it’s your blog, so I think it goes without saying that you should write what you want.

    Even though our politics may differ, I was not offended by anything you wrote about your feelings/beliefs.

    Why should I be? This is America for goodness sakes. And anyone who attacks another person for their political beliefs is a fool.

  4. I think it’s wonderful that you think Sarah Palin is wonderful. I do not … but who cares!!! :)

    Speak Jen. You have a beautiful voice and every right to use it.

    Amen, WriterMama. This is America for crying out loud.

    Free and Brave!

  5. Hi Jen,

    I actually saw your Sarah Palin post before you won the prize at the Writer Mama Giveaway (congrats, by the way!) so when Christina mentioned it, I had already seen it.

    I understand your trepidation about putting your opinions out there. People are so polarized these days because of politics that it can feel vulnerable to say what you think.

    I actually started a blog after I saw the Palin speech because I kept mulling about what I wanted to say about it. You’re welcome to come on over and take a look–it’s the first post:

    We don’t agree, but I think having open conversation and finding points of agreement is not only a good goal but essential to having a government and a nation that works.

    Take care!

  6. Thank you for visiting and leaving such generous comments on my blog. How kind! And for adding me to your “New and Old Friends” blogroll–what a surprise and honor! Our interests converge in so many areas–I look forward to keeping up with you and continuing the exchange of ideas. My best!

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