CHARLYN II Swordfish, Freeport, NY – 1953
New York fireboat Chief and Captain of the charter boat "CHARLYN II", George Versfelt, prepares to iron a swordfish from the pulpit circa 1953. George Versfelt was also a member of the Freeport Tuna Club and the 80 pound Sailfish he caught in 1951 still stands as a club record. Photograph by Cecil Clovelly.
PS – This and the next four photographs were taken by amateur photographer, Cecil Clovelly. Along with being an avid saltwater angler and very good amateur photographer, Cecil Clovelly was a stage, film and Broadway actor, stage manager and director. British-born, he performed in movies such as "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde", released in 1920 playing Edward Enfield, "So Young So Bad"(1950) as Mr. Riggs, and "Two Gals and a Guy"(1951) playing Herbert. He appeared on Broadway opposite John Barrymore in "Peter Ibbetson" (1917) and "The Jest" (1919), and as the Gravedigger in "Hamlet" (1922). He later played Dr. Sommers in the long-running Broadway show "Life With Father" in 1947.
Now here is the dirt… Cecil Clovelly was his stage name; his real name was George Cecil Lovely. He was a drinking buddy of actor John Barrymore and seller of bootleg liquor; was influential in the early careers of actors Bette Davis, James Stewart and Fred McMurray; ran an arts theatre in Woodstock, NY in the early 1940s and an acting school in New York City in the 1950s. With his background, Cecil had a good eye for photography and was probably a great guy to hang around with and have as a fishing buddy. Cecil passed away in New York City in 1965.