One Man, Two Worlds
Historic Cannery Row
Doc, the legend
John Steinbeck used his close friend and collaborator, Edward Ricketts, as a model for the famous fictional character Doc. In the novels Cannery Row and Sweet Thursday, set in the 1930s and 1940s, the kindly Doc is a gentle, insightful and observant philosopher-scientist who lives and works on the street that has become the world-famous Cannery Row.
Ed Ricketts, the scientist
Ed Ricketts was a serious and dedicated scientist. He researched the tide pools of the West Coast from Canada to Mexico, studying the interrelationships of marine species, and worked to develop an ecological philosophy of life. His book Between Pacific Tides, a pioneering sturdy of intertidal communities originally published in 1939, continues to be used by students of marine biology.
The Edward Ricketts Memorial
A monument to Ed Ricketts stands near Cannery Row, at the intersection of Drake Avenue and Wave Street. There, on the evening of May 8, 1948, while driving across the railroad tracks, Ricketts was struck by a train. He was nearly 51. Devastated by his friendís death, Steinbeck wrote, “There dies the greatest man I have known and the best teacher. It is going to take a long time to reorganize my thinking and my planning without him.”
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Real “Docs” (here, next to this marker); A Day in the Canneries (a few steps from this marker); The Spanish Community (a few steps from this marker); The Japanese Community (a few steps from this marker); Ed Rickettsís Backyard (within shouting distance of this marker); The Filipino Community (within shouting distance of this marker); Science (within shouting distance of this marker); Jone Quock Mui (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Monterey.
Related markers. Click here for a list of markers that are related to this marker. To better understand the relationship, study each marker in the order shown.
Also see . . . Mavericks on Cannery Row - American Scientist. [This webpage is a book review, but it provides much insight into Ed Ricketts.] Beyond the Outer Shores is a new and welcome biography of maverick marine biologist Ed Ricketts. The title refers to Ricketts's name for the rugged coast of the Pacific Northwest, including Vancouver Island, the Queen Charlotte Islands and the islands (Submitted on May 7, 2012, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California.)
Categories. • Science & Medicine •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on May 7, 2012, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California. This page has been viewed 467 times since then and 20 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on May 7, 2012, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.