At the age of 78, Max Oliver is still working on a lobster boat along side his crewmate and mother Virginia Oliver who turned 101 years old this year.
To the day Virginia is still climbing onto the ship three days a week during the fishing period from May to November, to trap and catch lobsters off the coast of Maine.
Virginia has been lobstering off and on since she was 7 or 8 years old. And now as mother and son they have continued the work and are doing one of the most hazardous jobs in the country. During their day of work Max is in charge of hauling the traps from the water while Virginia measures their catches. Virginia makes sure to only keep the large lobster that are of size and releases the others that are still too small.
“It’s not hard work for me. It might be for somebody else, but not me.”
Even though it is “not hard work” for Virginia, it doesn’t mean that it is still hard physical work and also dangerous. Recently Virginia cut herself so badly that she needed stitches but that doesn’t stop her from doing what she knows and loves in this world. The occupational hazards, coupled with her age, have left care providers urging her to step back. “And the doctor said to me, ‘What are you out there lobstering for?' And I said, ‘Because I want to.'”
Even at the age of 101 years, Virginia shows no signs of slowing down or making plans for a retirement as she doesn’t plan on quitting anytime soon. As she said, she would work, “Until I die. And I don’t know when that will be.”