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A lifetime working on the water

Capt. Calvin Mason and the Rev. Rose Mason got married when they were both teenagers, and the Mathews couple has weathered all of life’s ups and downs to stay together for 46 years.

Mason and his fellow Mathews watermen will be honored this Saturday when the Mathews Historical Museum holds its fourth annual May Faire. This year’s theme is “Celebrating Mathews Watermen” (see related story).

The captain said he was only 17 years old when he got his first job as a crew member on a menhaden fishing boat, the CV Bay, under Captain Gene Hudgins. The boat’s cook, Dave Mansfield, had visited Mason’s parents and told them their son was a good menhaden boat prospect, since he was a nice, willing worker. On top of that, he said that women were “20 to one” in Cameron, the Louisiana town where the boat was berthed. Calvin eagerly agreed to go, and it was good he did.

“I met the love of my life there,” he said.

The only problem was that Rose was only 13 years old at the time.

“I was ...

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