One man’s journey from Ames High School to Alaska and back again

HE’S BACK! Fishing smell and all, Spencer Veysey is back in Ames after living and working on a fishing boat for the last five months. Last year Veysey graduated from Ames High as a junior with the plan of becoming a commercial fisherman for the first part of his senior year. Since then, he’s been fishing near the U.S. and Russian border with stops in the small town of Akutan, Alaska. “I lived on a boat for five months,” Veysey said. “I worked 12 hours a day with rotating 16-hour shifts, everyday.” This definitely isn’t your typical high school job. His day usually started around 7 and sometimes didn’t end until after midnight. For meals, they had three-day cycles where they would eat dinner for breakfast every three days. “It’s terrible work, it’s terrible conditions, and you don’t make that much money,” he said. Despite the hard conditions, Veysey was not one to slack. “I was the youngest person on the boat; most of the workers were about 30,” Veysey said. “I was pretty good at what they had me do because I was pretty young.” Getting tired wasn’t so much of a problem for Veysey as questioning his work was. “The stupid man doesn’t go crazy, he just gets tired. The smart man, he just starts thinking about the situation and the job he’s doing,” Veysey said, after commenting on how he almost went insane. One thing he did like about his work was the end pay. He earned roughly $12,000 before taxes, and plans on saving a fair chunk of it and probably getting a new motorcycle. Now that he’s back, Veysey is looking forward to doing absolutely nothing, except maybe “rockin’ the goatee for a little while.” One thing he is happy about is getting to hang out with “chicks without beards.” Veysey plans to return to work on the boat in January, where he’ll work 16 hour shifts everyday for two months. Although that sounds like fun, Spencer urges that “all the children reading this newspaper should get an education. It’s mostly immigrants who these jobs.” He also stressed that it was very important for Ames High students to get out of Ames after graduation. “You know Ames is heading downhill when places like the Boheme and Cyclone Truck Stop close,” Veysey said. Ames High hasn’t been the same without Spencer Veysey, but we’re going to have to adjust when he leaves again in January to return to the fishing life. While he is back, we’ll just have to adjust to that strong fisherman smell.