After a day of thought and research, we decided to send me on the car-buying mission, and Maureen and our daughters, Madeline and Sophia, 10 and 8, would sell the fish. I told them I would cut them in on a standard sales commission of 15 percent, which they would split, for an even take of 7.5 percent each. Maureen’s concern fell with Lucy, our baby of nine months, and who would help her take care of her while the fish were being sold. The girls both promised to be good baby helpers and good fish-sellers, and the deal was decided.
On Saturday morning, I loaded up my truck with bags, rags, the required hand-wash station, and my 4′ x 3′ “Top Quality FRESH SALMON” sign, and drove with them to the school to set up before the soccer games started at 10 a.m. There were already many soccer enthusiasts when we arrived, and the girls landed a few customers in the short time I was there before I had to head off to the airport to fly away for the day.
Maureen kept me posted on the day’s progress. Sales were brisk at the school; they had sold about 60 fish before they had to mobilize to their swimming lesson. Maureen planned on waiting inside the gym and chatting with friends while the girls were at swimming, but she never had a chance to go in because people who had heard there were fish for sale at the soccer game sought her out and started buying fish from where she was parked in front of the health club. She had steady customers the whole time the girls were in swimming, and she never even set the sign up; it was partially visible the way it was stuck in the side of the bed, and the big gray fish tote in the back was a dead giveaway that fish were near.
She sold around 20 fish while the girls were in swimming, plus Jack, the guy with whom we trade fish for wood, stopped by and took about 20 fish, which just about finished us off. The rest disappeared over the next couple of days to friends, neighbors and stragglers, and also to our own dinner plates, because we like to eat those tasty dogs, too!
And as for the car; we bought the thing, but it turned out to be one huge repair bill after another. I sort of regret buying the car, but am very glad I made the trip so the girls could cut their teeth as fishmongers on San Juan Island.
TO BE CONTINUED…