Crabmeat picking is Hanna’s forte. With great intensity, she goes about her work with gusto every day during the season, often sticking her tongue out with flair without even realizing it. Somehow, it seems to assist her in doing the cleanest crab picking she could ever accomplish. She knows it is a thankless job, but she is so proud of her work at the end of the day nonetheless. Hanna also knows well the pleasure of those who are about to eat the delicacy she probes gently from mountains of crab shells day after day during the crabbing season. While cars full of tourists arrive in their little town to tan at the beaches or spend their days fishing and playing on their yachts, Hannah has that disheveled, salty-dog appearance and can only concentrate on her work.
Hannah is a third-generation crabmeat picker and faster than anyone she knows of anywhere along the mid-coast area. She began at her great grandmother’s side when she was only 9 years old, sitting up to the picking table on a couple of cushions to be just the right height for picking. She is satisfied to have become a legend by those who expect nothing but the best quality product. There are no pieces of shells and no crunchy cartilage left in the purely delightful crabmeat she packs into her containers! She has a happy heart to have elevated a mundane job to a higher level, gaining notoriety and dignity simply by being proud and efficient. Her heart quickens. It is a thrill to keep an ancient Maine tradition alive within her own family. The growing heap of discarded shells beside the crab hut (an old fish house) is evidence of many days’ efforts.
Hannah is known locally by her nickname, “Harpswell Cove Hannah.” She looks forward to soon teaching her daughter the fourth-generation family tradition.