Betty Lou Setterholm Sammons
Betty Lou Setterholm Sammons got an early start – at 2 months old she went out with her Dad, Fred Setterholm in his boat! One day when she was 11 or 12 years old, her Mom, Betty, gave her a choice for that day – go to school or help Daddy fish his nets – of course she chose to go with Daddy. That happened to be one of his biggest catches ever and she worked right at his side all day long. At the end of the day, as a reward for her hard day’s work, she got her first pay-day: a crisp $20.00 bill and a Coke. As she said, some sweet memories never fade!
When it comes to working on the water, this Lady checks all the boxes: she’s pulled nets, haul seined, clammed and crabbed. She helped maintain her Dad’s boat by scraping paint, painting and caulking. Due to her Dad’s health, he had to quit the active waterman’s life but even then, when she got home from school, she’d cut out crab pot pieces for him to assemble. She even worked as a deck-hand on another Guineaman’s fishing boat and because of her hard working ethic, she earned a full share of crew pay for her efforts
This Lady has successfully worked more jobs than you have fingers: at 15-1/2, she got a waiver to work at Sanders Convalescent Home as a Nurse’s Aide, she’s worked at Pizza Hut restaurants, she’s worked private duty nursing, in 2000 she even composed, played, sung and recorded her country music, eventually released by the New Country label in Nashville placing five of her songs over a period of time in the Top Five listing on the Independent Country Music charts! She came back home (like she always does) and started working at a Subway sandwich shop – and in just 1 year, she had been promoted to manager over 13 Subway shops!!
She worked off and on at Marvin Crane’s store and, since 2005, has worked there managing the business continuously for 18 years, dispensing home-cooked food, canned goods & snacks, watermen’s gear and kindly, but straight-forward advice. She even found time to bake 70 dozen cookies for the fire department’s Children’s Christmas parties!
Betty Lou can also be found working with our Guinea Jubilee teams, bringing fresh, innovative techniques and ideas for activities to make sure the children learn the history and methods of our Guinea community. At our ‘Wonders of the Water’ program for the children this summer, she made sure they could participate in tonging for oysters, cleaning fish, handling crabs and learning how to spot ‘Jimmies’ & ‘Sooks’. The past Christmases, she’s worked with Nick Bonniville to decorate a boat ‘Santa’s Skiff” to highlight the community in-gathering of food and toys for our disadvantaged families. She even enters a decorated boat in our Guinea Jubilee parade!
Our 2023 Guinea Jubilee Grand Marshal casts a proud and loving look at our Guinea community and sees an overall cohesiveness, love and generosity as the primary characteristics of her beloved Guinea; adding to that a heavy dose of loyalty, close-knit family bonds and a growing diversity. Betty Lou is so very proud of her hard working waterman family and friends and, at the same time, so proud of her Guinea roots that she virtually ‘preaches’ of her Guinea wherever she is – it just exudes from her pores!