Harry James Jenkins, Jr.
Harry James Jenkins, Jr. a lifelong waterman, has been working on the water since he was 11 years old. He learned his skills from his father when he would help set out crab pots in the York River during the summer and after school.
Father and son made a good team and in the mid-1960s when crabs became scarce, they headed for South Carolina where crabs were more plentiful. This led to a second vocation-over the road hauling. Jenkins Seafood transported crabs and other seafood to Maryland for about ten years.
Harry, who turned 62 in July, is now senior man on the “Miss Gloria” named for his wife, the former Gloria Dalton. His son Allen and grandson Bret work alongside him catching either crabs or conchs, depending on the season. So far, the grueling hours and hard labor – many mornings beginning before daybreak – haven’t slowed him down.
Allen and Bret aren’t the only ones who’ve learned from Harry. His sister Faye said that often the younger watermen who didn’t know where to go for crabs “would follow Harry.”
Harry was raised in Maryus but now resides in Bena. He is one of four children born to Hazel and the late Harry J. Jenkins, Sr. A brother, Randolph died in March 2000 and a sister, Sheila died in 1975. His sister, Faye Deal serves as Bena Postmaster.