Today is my Grandpa Fulford's birthday. He would have been One Hundred and Ten.
Walton "Tink" Fulford was born March 8, 1903 in Cortez, Florida to William Thomas and Sallie Adams Fulford.
|Tink Fulford 1952|
Tink owned the business and was mad that his son would cut him off. Tink called Junie and told him to get the crew together and go out after dark and gave specific instructions on where to fish. He said "be sure you don't come down here until after dark because if Pig sees you he'll cut you off." Junie took the crew out and they caught 45,000 lbs of mullet. When they unloaded them on the dock the next morning, Pig was mad and said "you can't bring fish in, I cut you off." Tink was there and told Pig he was cut off but Junie hadn't been cut off. He said Pig started calling buyers and sold the fish before noon. Tink said he knew Pig could sell them. He had never been cut off in his life and wasn't going to start then.
|Tink Fulford mending net 1954|
Blue tells how in the 1940-50s when they were running big Stop Netting crews there was fierce competition between them. Tink always wanted to catch the most fish. Sometimes he would "hog" the other crews by tricking them out of a spot if he knew there were a lot of fish there.
It was understood that if a Captain had a boat anchored in an area the other crews had to stay away. On Saturday all the crews would pull the cotton nets out of the boats and let them dry on the spreads over the weekend to keep them from rotting. If you saw a crew pulling out their net you knew they were done for the week. Tink would have his crew pull out the nets but tell them to stay around the dock. They would wait for the other crews to pull out their nets and leave and then he would pull his nets back on the boats. They would go out and anchor one of the boats on the spot Tink wanted so they would have it later when they were ready to fish.
This picture from 1954 was taken by a Tampa newspaper photographer but it wasn't necessarily staged. Mending net is what he did on days if he wasn't fishing. He gave me his old white hat like the one he is wearing in this photo the summer before he died. It was his dress hat, not for fishing.
September 24, 1965
"Tink" Fulford, Pioneer's Son, Dies At 62
Walton "Tink" Fulford, 62, of Cortez died Wednesday, Sept 22,1965 at Memorial Hospital. Mr. Fulford was born and lived all his life in Cortez and was the son of the late Captain William T. "Billy" Fulford who was a pioneer settler in Cortez.
|Tink and Mark 1959|
Mr. Walton Fulford owned and operated one of the largest fishing fleets on the west coast of Florida and shipped fish all over the eastern part of the country. In 1940 he opened the Fulford Fish Company in Cortez. He was a member of the Cortez Church of Christ.
Survivors include his widow, Mrs. Edith Wilson Fulford; four daughters, Mrs. Mary Green of Tallahassee, Mrs. Belinda Porterfield of Montgomery, Ala., Mrs. Irene Taylor of St. Petersburg, Mrs. Anna Dean Riddick of Hollywood, Fla.; three sons, Ralph M., Wayne W. and Gary D. Fulford all of Cortez; four sisters, Mrs. Dora Adams, Mrs. Grace Guthrie, Mrs. Sallie Moore, all of Cortez, Mrs. Bessie Henning of St. Petersburg and 13 grandchildren.
Funeral services will be Saturday at 10 A.M. at Griffith - Cline Funeral Home with Olin Hastings, of Oneco Church of Christ and Charles Geer, of Cortez Church of Christ, officiating. Burial will be in Skyway Memorial Gardens. Pallbearers will be J. O. Guthrie Jr., Thomas Fulford, Woodrow Green, O. K. Drymond, Paul Taylor and Manley Bell.