How one sportswriter’s family is affected by coronavirus pandemic

Captain Tommy never lets the facts get in the way of a good story. He’s quite literally got whale tales. He’s heard the great mammals roar around him in the vast ocean, like that scene from “Jaws,” the one with all the scars and all the singing, when they’re drinking hard whiskey around a creaky old table in a dungeon-like cabin of a swaying vessel. That’s how I imagine Captain Tommy and his deckhands, the tide taking them to their next fishing hole, only moonlight paving the way.

Captain Tommy has the best stories. The one about the giant squid he snared in his net. The shark flopping around on the boat’s deck. Embellished or not, Captain Tommy has real fish tales, gathered from 40 years as a shrimper on the waters of the Gulf of Mexico, gone months at a time and returning to stink like the inside of a trout. In those days, Captain Tommy was more comfortable on the ocean than the land. He understood it out there, embraced its solitary nature. While most struggle to gain sea legs, Captain Tommy, later in life, had to find land legs.

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