Cape Cod Life, April 2018 |

Gunkholing: Celebrating our 40 years

Cape Cod Life  /  April 2018 / ,

Writer: Brian Shortsleeve

Gunkholing: Celebrating our 40 years, April 2018 Cape Cod LIFE |

My nephew Brian Shortsleeve, father of the three boys below, appeared in the first issue of Cape Cod LIFE in 1979.

In May 2018, Cape Cod Life begins its 40th year. Here is our first 40-year retrospective.

While attending a recent family gathering, my nephew, also named Brian Shortsleeve, was talking about Cape Cod LIFE and showed me a few photos he had taken of his sons catching their “first fish” at Dowses Beach in Osterville. I had a poignant recollection that this “first fish” story was something I had seen before—almost 40 years ago to be exact.

My nephew Brian was born in 1972, so when the first issue of Cape Cod LIFE was published in 1979 he was 6 years old. Brian’s mother, my brother Mike’s wife, Cathy Finnegan Shortsleeve, had shared a photo with me, a photo she had taken of Brian, then 5 or 6, holding the “first fish” he had caught.

I liked the photo very much and decided to include it in the Photo Portfolio in the first issue of Cape Cod LIFE. I did not include his name for fear readers might think I was running a photo of myself taken when I was a kid. Also, to avoid the appearance of favoritism, we only identified the photographer, his mom, as Cathy Finnegan, not Cathy Finnegan Shortsleeve. Well, now almost 40 years later, you hear “the rest of the story.”

Gunkholing: Celebrating our 40 years, April 2018 Cape Cod LIFE |

From left to right: Michael, age 5, Patrick, age 6, and Teddy, age 8.

The first photo shown here, taken in the ’70s, when Brian was 5 or 6, shows the “first fish” he caught. The more recent photos taken within the last year show Brian’s and his wife Liz’s boys catching their “first fish.” Michael is 5, Patrick is 6, and Teddy is 8. I must add that their first fish are bigger than Brian’s first fish.

Brian has been successful in business in Boston and, working with Governor Baker, helped improve the MBTA’s financial situation in recent years. Brian, along with his three sisters, Christine, Cara and Michelle, their husbands and 10 grandchildren, comprise the family of my brother Mike and his wife, the lovely Cathy Finnegan Shortsleeve.

Cathy, thanks for the photo of Brian 40 years ago. Brian, thanks for the photos of your boys taken last fall. Like Cape Cod LIFE, the memory of catching your first fish never gets old.

Gunkholing is the art of getting a boat into any small shallow cove, forbidden to boats of deeper draft and out again, without running aground much over a dozen times.J.Benjamin

Brian Shortsleeve

Brian Shortsleeve is the owner, publisher, and founder of Cape Cod Life Publications. His personal column, “Gunkholing,” has appeared in all issues of Cape Cod LIFE since the very first issue in 1979.