Hathaway is a big family name on the Edgartown waterfront. And among them all, Dick Hathaway is a legend. There are many stories that circulate around this hardworking, hard headed, crusty fellow, but no one questions one fact: Dick Hathaway loves to go fishing for bay scallops. At 87 years of age, he was the eldest on Cape Pogue Pond on Monday morning, the opening day of the commercial bay scalloping season.

Dick Hathaway fishes now with his younger cousin, Mike Hathaway. On Monday they were up and out early. Dick’s wife Janice was up early too, well before sunrise, making him a sandwich and putting it in his small cooler.

By 9 a.m., there were close to 40 fishermen out on the pond.

Dick’s earliest memory of scalloping goes back to when he was a kid, just old enough to go commercial fishing. He worked side by side with his uncle. “I went with Lewis Hathaway,” he said. “We were in Anthier’s Pond [Sengekontacket].They didn’t allow motors in the pond.”

In those days they used dip nets, wind and the power of the hand. They rowed.

To harvest the bay scallops, Lewis tossed the drag off the stern of the skiff, Dick said.“He’d hand me the line and I’d go to the bow and pull in the drag.”

Today shellfishermen use powerful outboard motors. Most boats have a winch that is powered by a gas motor to help raise the drag from the bottom.

Bay scalloping remains a key Vineyard industry, though far less significant than it was. “I remember when there were 135 boats out there,” Dick said. “I never missed a season, unless they didn’t open. That is at least 60 years.”

Dick has always worked on or been near the waterfront. But no matter what he did, bay scalloping was always the centerpiece of autumn.

“If there weren’t any bay scallops, you starved,” he said with a smile.

“He lives for scallops,” Mike said. “This is his passion. Dick called me back in July, asking me if my boat was ready.”

“He doesn’t talk when he works,” Mike added “His head is down and he is just culling.”

What does he think while he is concentrating? “I just see dollar signs,” Dick said.

The two Hathaways are easy to pick out amid the Edgartown bay scallop fleet. They both wear similar yellow and blue foul weather gear. And Mike is no slouch in the Hathaway legend. For years he worked on the water as a commercial conch fisherman. In more recent times, during the summer he is the deputy harbor master, and in the winter he is on the ice, commandeering the Zamboni at the Martha’s Vineyard Arena.

“We are the geriatric fleet,” Mike said, turning to look at his longtime friend. The two share more than they’d like. Both Dick and Mike have separate stories about back injuries. As the day progresses they’ll move a little slower and often end the day with a Tylenol.

How does Dick like to eat bay scallops? Keep it simple. “I like to shake them in corn meal and fry them,” he said.

Of the season ahead, Dick said he didn’t think this year’s harvest will be anywhere as good as last year but they were going to make the best of it.

“Next year will be a better year, if the seed lasts,” he said.