Santa Monica, CA (Strutts News Services) – Legendary mariner and celebrity, popularly known as “Popeye” passed away at 2:30AM PST Thursday at St. John’s Health Center in Santa Monica, California. Leaving behind no documents to prove his full name, Popeye suffered quietly for years from complications caused by hypertension due to a lifetime of sea salt inhalation.
Popeye’s last words were reported to be, “That’s all’s I can stands, and I can’t stands no more!” before he drifted off.
Popeye is survived by two nephews, Pupeye and Peepeye (71 and 73 respectively). [Nephews Pipeye and Poopeye disappeared on a fateful mission in search of The Sea Hag and Alice the Goon. Declared missing in 1982, their whereabouts are unknown, and are presumed to be dead.]
No records remain of his birth, but Popeye claimed, “I’s beborned unner a typhoon off SanMont Pierre during the squall of Nineteen Ought One, in a sabot cast adrift by me pappy. Me mammy succumbed to the wrath.” Although reported to be blind in his left eye, Popeye had employed his transom and spyglass so often that, in his own words, “me eye got a tad squinky.”
Long time girlfriend Olive Oyl passed away due to anorexia in 1979. They never married, although Swee’Pea, rumored to be the love-child between Oyl and then boyfriend Harold Hamgravy, was adopted and raised by Popeye as a foundling. Swee’Pea became a nomadic recluse, whereabouts unknown. No other living relatives are known as records are sparse.
Popeye’s career as a mercenary sailor is spotty, but this is known: in 1933, word was passed among dockworkers for crew to man a vessel owned by a gambler named Fadewell. Popeye was subsequently hired by Castor Oyl (Olive’s brother) and Harold Hamgravy (Olive’s boyfriend). Popeye helped pilot the vessel to the Island of Dice, where Fadewell hoped to make a fortune with the luck of a voodoo whiffle hen head.
After an attempted attack on his life by Fadewell’s crony Jack Snork, Popeye disembarked, and never looked back.
Although Popeye generally shunned attention, he accepted an invitation by popular talk-show host Dick Cavett to appear for one rare interview in 1974. Popeye, in typical fashion, refused to divulge details about his personal life, and spoke mostly about his admiration for Josh Slocum. Cavett was nonplussed, and politely asked about Popeye’s reputation for liking spinach.
“Ehehehehe,” Popeye chuckled. “That were a mistink in the transcalation. Spinach? Nae, ’twas me spinnaker thet gimme ahoops in 1927. I ates the rime off me sheets ‘n sails. We had some pemmican tins, but the water raskins was off in the drink.”
God bless you, Popeye. R.I.P.