It’s no surprise that when a story about Virginia Oliver ran in the Globe on Sunday, it piqued broad interest among readers.
After all, at 101 years old, Oliver still works the water as a lobsterwoman, getting up three mornings a week before dawn to head out for the day’s catch alongside her son, Max, who is 78. She is the oldest licensed lobsterer in Maine.
Max works as the helmsman and hauler, while Virginia measures the lobsters and throws back the ones too small to keep.
Now, here’s where it gets juicier than a thick, buttered lobster claw. This photo, taken by Globe photographer Jessica Rinaldi, became its own hook.
Oliver, who’s thrown back countless crustaceans since she started lobstering at age 8, just before the Great Depression, has become a meme, her photo shared and commented on hundreds of thousands of times on social media over the past few days.
Even Luke Skywalker had a response to that. Actor Mark Hamill tweeted the photo of Virginia, noting her strength.
Here, we’ve gathered some keepers.
When we called to ask if she’d seen the massive online response to the photo, or to the story by the Globe’s Brian MacQuarrie, Oliver said she had not. As for the photo resonating with people, she said, “That’s good people think it’s really nice, but to me, myself, it’s just a daily thing I do,” before reiterating that she loves what she does.
“Well, I guess if people like it and it’s a big thing, I guess so am I,” she added, with a laugh.