Tuna, Truro, Magnolia, and the Fish Stick

Fred Bodin Submits-

From the (Martha’s) Vinyard Gazette, circa 1951: ” John Sweek of Queen’s, NYC, secretary to a magistrate in his home city, is shown at left with his companions, Robert Collinson from Provincetown and John Kohr of Magnolia, with three tuna caught on rod and reel near the Truro shore in Provincetown Harbor. The fishermen had their best luck with blue atom plugs and squid as bait.” These are definitely surf casting fishermen. Just look at the bare feet, rolled up trousers, and 4 wheel drive Jeep.


I met John Kohr and his wife Esther (1914–2007) while she and I worked at Endicott College in Beverly. The was something about her that was vaguely aristocratic, but in an old fashioned gracious American way. I now know that she grew up in Provincetown and Truro. In fact, her ship captain uncle sailed in the China Trade, and another ancestor commanded a ship for the Massachusetts Bay Colony, and built the oldest still standing house in Truro. Previous ancestors came here on the Mayflower and established Truro. Husband John Kohr (1911–1999) was a graduate of MIT and invented an amazing product while he worked for Gorton’s: The Fish Stick!

2 thoughts on “Tuna, Truro, Magnolia, and the Fish Stick

  1. They were probably surf casting along what is now the Cape Cod National Seashore, somewhere between Race Point in Provincetown and Coast Guard Beach in Truro. That is really beautiful country. Surprisingly enough, we can still drive on that stretch of beach, despite the intense lobbying of the Audubon Society and other groups of bird peepers to convince the Dept of the Interior to outlaw it. In fact, we will be on the beach in the SUV this Labor Day weekend, raising a well crafted cocktail and watching the Stripers and harbor seals play just off shore.

    What a charmed life I have led, to be born and raised in Gloucester, and now take my summers in Provincetown!


  2. Thank you so much Joey for posting this wonderful photo of my wife’s grandfather (John Kohr) and her Uncle (Bob Collinson). We were visiting her aunt in Truro this summer and came across this photo in an old sea chest of family memorabilia. They were very talented and special men. John and Bob were the salt of the earth and the epitome of a true New Englanders. My wife thanks you for the heartfelt article and a good cry.


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