John Steinbeck famously wrote his novella Cannery Row as a paean to his friend the biologist Ed Ricketts, on whom the character of Doc is based. One of the many odd things about Doc was that in his safe he kept “an open can of sardines and a piece of Roquefort cheese.” It turns out that the safe was real and that it survived the fire that consumed Ricketts’ Pacific Biological Laboratories in 1936. With the help of a donation (amount undisclosed) the city of Monterey recently acquired the safe from a private collection. The unveiling of the safe is just one of several items that make Cannery Row Day stand out for lovers of history and literature. As far as the organizers know, this will be the first time that Cannery Row is read out publicly. Also in the line up is a young woman who found out she’s the great-granddaughter of Cannery Row madam Flora Woods and wants to talk about it. Speaking of notable women in local history, fisheries historian Tim Thomas notes that most of the cannery workers were women and that they were typically paid 10 cents an hour less than men. For more on that check out Kim Gudmundson’s talk. The Cannery Row readathon will take place on the street in front of the Ricketts lab, which will be open to visitors. In the afternoon Hopkins Marine Station will host seminars. [AS]

Schedules

  • Occurred Saturday, November 9th, 2019 @ 8:30 am – 4:30 pm

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