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Who was the elderly man who worked the grill at Johnnie Mercers pier for years?

Mike Voorheis

The full question:

“Who was the elderly man who worked the grill at Johnnie Mercers Fishing Pier for years and years until the pier was replaced post-hurricane?”

And the answer:

There were several men who worked at the pier during the 1980s and 1990s that match your description. Your follow-up email points, however, to John Abbott, recognized in a 1979 Morning Star clip as “Big John” Abbott.

Smokey Adams was the “man-in-charge” at the pier then. “Just chatting with Adams and his sidekick “Big John” Abbott, can be an experience in itself,” Brenda Overman wrote.

Abbott worked at the pier around 20 or 25 years, said Matt Johnson, pier manager.

Johnson said Abbott did most everything at the pier — cooking, selling fishing tickets, fixing rods and reels, getting change for the arcade.

Johnson said he believes Abbott retired in the late 1990s and worked some flea markets after that. He passed on within the last five or six years, Johnson said.

User-contributed question by:
Stephen Worrell

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2 Responses to “ Who was the elderly man who worked the grill at Johnnie Mercers pier for years?”

  1. On January 19, 2012 at 5:28 pm Christie Hales Jones wrote:

    There was also a woman who worked there in the late 60′s and 70′s. she always had her makeup on, hair done (and in a net) and if I remember correctly a cigarette in her mouth pretty regularly. She made great burgers! She never seemed to break a sweat though….and it was hot!

  2. On January 20, 2012 at 10:35 pm Sheri Brooks wrote:

    John Abbott was my uncle. We loved him very much. He had a very colorful personality, and unique laugh. John’s sister, Louise Abbott Gurgainous, who was my mother, and I all shared the same birthday June 20th. I will always treasure those memories. John was a people person, he enjoyed working at the pier and making people laugh.
    Sheri Brooks – his neice