Enzo the Fisherman

October 30, 2011

Here comes the fisherman.

L’America! he crows at me.

Enzo has intermittent teeth and eyes to warm your heart. He’s taking his holiday here in Ragusa Ibla, 16 kilometers inland from his home.

Sicilian Fisherman, copyright Jann Huizenga

He is staying in a convent, a retreat forΒ anziani, old people. “Because I’m sixty,” he says.

“Sixty is not old!”

“In Sicily, sixty is old.”

I tell him to go to America, where he’d be middle-aged.

“I have relatives in New Jersey. They tell me, ‘Enzo, you should come to America!’ But I’m scared of flying. I like to be on the sea. I spend the whole day alone, fishing in my 7-meter boat. There aren’t many fish, though, because the fishermen in big boats throw their nets further out than mine, and they catch most of them.”

“Isn’t that illegal?”

“Yes, but in Sicily, that’s how it works. No one controls the lawless. But I love my job. I eat lunch on my boat. Raw fish. Just like the Japanese. It’s good.”

He pats his stomach and smiles his quirky smile.


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20 comments to Enzo the Fisherman

  • Dennis Berry

    I love a fisherman. “Just once more before i die and go to the fishin hole in the sky”

  • Pina Marra

    People are interesting in themselves, but you are so good at telling a story about them!

  • Tom Wilson

    Just yesterday I looked to the right at a stoplight and saw an older man, balding, scruffy beard, beat up ca, leaning out his window to inspect himself in the side view mirror. Without pause, I called out and said “yes, you’re a handsome old man!” to which he grinned and said while placing his open hand over his chin, “I haven’t shaved this weekend”! I replied “it’s called designer stubble”…he roared so that I could not not see he had no teeth, only gums. AND yes, he was happy. How wonderful to discover these souls, thanks for sharing yours.

  • Matt Grippi

    It’s great to see people living simple, purposeful lives wherever they are. He probably doesn’t realize how lucky he really is.

  • Such character in that face! And in the simple telling of his story. Give the man some teeth implants and he’d make a fine catch himself!

  • catherine billups

    wonderful photo.

  • We each believe what we believe and for us it’s true… how lovely to be so content with one’s life! He called to you and let you capture him. What a treasure! Thanks as always for sharing these remarkable people with us!

    • Jann

      Aysha, yes–that’s what struck me about him–that he’s so content to have a life on a boat eating raw fish. That’s all he seems to need to be happy. Were we all so contented with our lot in life!

  • –Jann,
    You capture the souls of these beautiful individuals.
    …you tell a story w/ your lens. Enzo is like the “Old Man & the Sea.” -only, he is not old!!

    Xx Please take many more photos….
    Omg, I just saw above that Bella said the same thing about Hemingway’s Old Man!! HAAA

  • Jann, once again you’ve managed to capture the essence of yet another intriguing Sicilian character! What a wonderful photo! I saw Enzo and immediately thought of The Old Man and the Sea! I love the way his eyes crinkle when he smiles!

    • Jann

      Thanks for your comment, Bella! I don’t know what it is about Sicilians, but they all seem intriguing to me!

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