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Biddeford author Barbara Walsh will be signing copies of her new book “The Lobster Lady, Maine’s 102 year old Legend” at the Blueberry Festival and Craft Fair at the Unitarian Universalist Church in Kennebunk on Saturday, July 23. Courtesy Image

She is sweet, spunky, and has a sense of humor — and Virginia “Ginny” Oliver will tell you that she plans to fish for lobster “’til I die,” said Biddeford author Barbara Walsh.

At 102, she is the oldest person fishing lobster traps in Maine and maybe, said Walsh, the oldest in the world.

Walsh began speaking with Oliver, of Rockland, last fall and has written a children’s book about her and the work she loves — pulling Maine’s tastiest crustaceans from the ocean. Walsh will be signing copies of her book, “The Lobster Lady: Maine’s 102-year-old Legend,” at the Unitarian Universalist Church Blueberry Festival and Craft Fair in Kennebunk on Saturday, July 23. The fair opens at 9 a.m. and winds down at 3 p.m.

“The Lobster Lady is my fifth children’s book and my third in a non-fiction series about special people in Maine,” said Walsh.

The author, who won a Pulitzer Prize in 1988 for general news reporting for her series on the Massachusetts prison furlough system, has worked for newspapers in Ireland, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Florida.

She contacted Oliver last fall after seeing a story about her on Newscenter Maine’s 207 program.


“I just thought this woman’s a book,” said Walsh. And even though she has been interviewed by many people, Oliver told her “Sure, come on up.” The two talked in person a couple of times and there were follow-up phone conversations.

Oliver fishes with her son Max, 79, three days a week on her lobster boat “Virginia.”

“She’s no nonsense,” said Walsh, pointing out Oliver’s response to all the hubbub and multiple interviews by various news organizations about her continuing to fish is “why would I not want to lobster?”

Oliver was born in Rockland and lives in the house where she was raised, said Walsh. She fished when she was young and then worked in a printing plant for a time but dreamed of returning to the water and the job she loved. She raised four children and fished with her husband Bill, who passed away when she was 86, said Walsh.

While the volume is dubbed a children’s book, Walsh said it is written for all ages.

In addition to the Blueberry Festival and Craft Fair, the book is available on Amazon and in some other locales. Oliver will be the grand marshal of the Rockland Lobster Festival parade on Saturday, Aug. 6, and afterward will be sitting with Walsh, who will be signing books, at the Rockland Historical Society’s Heritage tent.

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