Captain Kolonick was blind. Most people don’t know a blind person, but I knew Captain Kolonick. Because I knew him since I was a little kid I’m not afraid of blind people like most folks are, although folks rarely admit it. They’re probably afraid that blind people will hurt themselves by bumping into stuff or falling down suddenly when they’re around, and that would make them feel guilty or responsible somehow. Maybe they’re afraid they’ll get blind themselves by hanging around blind people. I don’t know.
Captain Kolonick was not scary. He ran his own business, all by himself, and he was pretty good at it, if you ask me. My father called him the ‘sole proprietor’ of the Fire Island Fisheries. The Captain was a shellfish dealer. He bought clams and oysters from the local diggers around the bay and sold them to the big hotels and restaurants in New York City.