Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Hershel West is 92. He was been working for the Larsen family, one of the oldest fishing families on Martha’s Vineyard, for more than 70 years. He learned to troll for swordfish when he was eight years old.

Spend time with Mr. West in Menemsha in this short film by Conor Hagen and Chris Fischer, produced by Mr. Fischer and Red Lady Films with music by Adam Lipsky. Hershel will be screened Sunday, March 19 at 4:15 p.m. at the Chilmark School as part of the Vineyard Shorts at this year's Martha’s Vineyard Film Festival.

Comments (18)

Phil Reynolds, Edgartown
I met Hershel and his dog "Tip-tip" in Egartown, during the filming of Jaws in 1974. He invited me aboard his boat for a coffee. I felt honored.
March 14, 2017 - 5:02pm
Andrew, Sherborn, MA
Thank you.. So nice to see stories like Hershel's documented in such a nice way for all to see.
March 14, 2017 - 8:42pm
Diane Brickman Shulman, Reno,NV
Beautiful film
March 14, 2017 - 8:44pm
Sara Piazza, Edgartown
March 14, 2017 - 9:04pm
Coco Adams, Plymouth
Don't know if Menemsha got flooded with the last full moon and high tide, but I sure got flooded with memories viewing this film. Great job.
March 14, 2017 - 10:27pm
skip, OB
LOVE this, what a cool old guy and what a warming story for winter! Thanks y'all
March 15, 2017 - 8:57am
Margaret, Menemsha
Hershel was the night watchman in Menemsha for many years. If someone was doing something wrong or your kids were misbehaving he knew about it and would let you know. I went scalloping with Hershel. He knew I had a family to support and showed me how to open my own scallops. We always went early in the morning because he wanted to be one of the first on the pond. We always took his dog with us.He is a true Cricker.
March 15, 2017 - 10:46am
Sandra Ginalski, Rehoboth MA
Very nice! Hershel picked my husband and I off of Nomans Island once the sailboat, "Yankee Girl" had been salvaged. My husband had led the successful salvage, however we had been fogged in. I will never forget how happy I was to see his fishing boat approach! I look forward to the film.
March 15, 2017 - 11:37am
Howard Harrison , Menemsha ,Fl
Great film! Brought back memories of when you took Brewster and me scalloping on your skiff and riding on the Jesatoma. You taught me a lot and I thank you for it. Howard Harrison
March 15, 2017 - 4:11pm
Buzz Catullo, Palm Bay fl
Hershel, he is Menemsha ! A loyal side kick of Louis Larson ,one of the finest men that ever blessed this earth with his presence. Hershel as Louis was is kind hearted wonderful human being and every chance I have to visit Menemsha I still look forward to chatting with Hersel.
March 15, 2017 - 8:06pm
Sarah Mayhew, West Tisbury
Wonderful film!
March 16, 2017 - 2:06pm
James Holden, Hathaway Braley Wharf Co.Fairhaven,Ma.
I`ve known HershalT and Louie Larson for 58yrs.Two great friends. Great film.
March 16, 2017 - 5:06pm
We have known Hershel for many, many years; long before he and his dog were in "JAWS. He definitely was the "Watchdog" for Menemsha. Quite a person. Now at 92 years old his still takes the bus to work every day when Betsy opens Larsens Fish Market for the summer season. My husband Ernest was a bus driver for 14 +/- years for VTA and picked up Hershel many times over the years. My husband retired from driving the bus about 6 years ago; and he now picks up Hersel to either take a ride, or Hershel goes to the doctor, the the grocery store etc. Any now the Dairy Queen is open so Ernie knows that when Hersel goes shopping at Stop and Shop they will have to make a stop at the Dairy Queen. Hersel is a great guy and I hope my mind is a good as his if I reach his age. Cindy and Ernie Barrett
March 17, 2017 - 6:20pm
Peg Corio St. Pierre, Aiken SC
I remember Hershel well when he fished on the Christine and Dan with my Uncle Bjarne Larson.
April 2, 2017 - 5:14pm
Mark Dougherty, Northern Colorado
Herschel or Hersh as we called him would visit us at the coast Guard station o a regular basis with his dog Minnie. He would never wear shoes unless it was freezing cold! I did a randomm search and was pleasantly surprised to see that Hersh was still around. They sure broke the mold after he was made. Great story.
December 8, 2017 - 10:01am
Ted Johnson, Portland, Oregon
My wife and I visited Menemsha back in September 2016. Such a beautiful place, blessed by a beautiful soul. RIP, Herschal. Now I'll think of you every time I re-watch "JAWS". Wish I could have grabbed you for a "selfie" :(
May 4, 2018 - 4:52pm
Audrey Kuh Straight, Hingham Ma
Herschel is my Menemsha. Every year for 71 years. Menemsha without traffic, Menemsha with Everett, with Lenny Jason, with Eric Cottle, with the Larsen’s, with Mayhews, with Pooles, with Carrolls. With Capt Klimm. With the Galley, with the Chandlery. With sunsets that managed to come and go without applause. With Sewards’ Store. With parking spaces. With more sailors than motors, with more fishermen than sailors. I will always love Menemsha, the Menemsha now and Herschel’s Menemsha.
May 4, 2018 - 8:44pm
BMC Tony Fiore, USCG, Ret, Grand Haven, MI
I was stationed at Menemsha from 1978-1982. I spent many a day on the Jessatoma chatting with Hersch. He came to my wedding in Shrewsbury with Tippa, what a time we had. A true fisherman with a great soul. Fair winds & following seas my friend.
May 7, 2018 - 10:59pm


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