2008.08.27 Fishing for a tale from the past

Written by David Green.


Who has time to write a column? I was out of town for a long weekend in the north. It was the wedding of the month—this time my son, Ben, and his new wife, Sarah. It was another great one, this time overlooking Grand Traverse Bay.

So far there’s no word on Maddie’s bridesmaid pledge to follow up with a third wedding in September.

But who has time for a column, or even to make a newspaper?

Here’s an old one from 20 years ago. It’s really very appropriate because it’s about five-year-old Ben and fishing. He’s always loved it, always longed to do it, but it seems that he never catches much.

He and his groomsmen went out into Lake Michigan before the ceremony to try their luck with the salmon. They caught quite a few, but I wanted to know specifically how Ben did. What I consider his bad fishing luck was covered in this experience.

I didn’t know how it works, but there are several poles in place around the boat; not one pole per person. So when something is hooked, one member of the party steps forward to reel it in.

I guess I never got a definite answer, but I’ll assume at least one of those catches was his on his wedding weekend. It wasn’t always that good.

(From July 27, 1988)

The blame for our dinner problems Saturday night lay squarely on the shoulders of a local hardware store owner who also happens to be a neighbor.

This kind-hearted gentleman gave an old fishing tackle box to Ben recently. It wasn’t any great loss to him since he’s got about a dozen of them in his boat. And if Ben has an empty tackle box, what can he do but go down to that hardware store several times a week to buy fishing gear. It was all pretty good thinking on the part of the hardware man.

This guy took Ben and me fishing a couple of weeks age and we never got so much as a nibble. He provoked Ben to a high level of excitation with tales about Lake Hudson muskies, but we were left with nothing to do but compare who caught the longest weeds, the bushiest weeds, etc.

Ben’s life pretty much revolves around fishing now. Or at least thinking about fishing. He’s always walking around the yard with his pole, talking about digging a pond out in back.

He’s been able to afford about half a dozen plastic worms and grubs. He’s hoping for some old lures to accompany that old tackle box.

He’s financially so far away from the high price of a real muskie lure that his mind is starting to move into high gear. He showed me his tackle box last week and there was a zucchini inside. He’s going to tie a hook to it and catch a muskie with that thing.

Then came Saturday night dinner. It’s hard to believe, but there were no zucchini remaining in the garden. Colleen had to have a zucchini for Zucchini Helenique or something, but there weren’t any. I told her where to look and sure enough it was there, but Ben wouldn’t let her have it.

She took a closer look at it and decided she didn’t want the thing anyway—it had spent a few nights in the tackle box—and we had some other kind of Helenique.

That’s not the end of this fishing mania.

I know at least one car drove by our house Friday night when I stood out front holding a very strange contraption. Ben had called me out to help him do something. I walked down the steps and he thrust into my hands a broom which had a flashlight secured with a few feet of duct tape. Extending out from the end, buried under more tape, was a fly swatter.

He flipped on the flashlight and directed me to a small opening between the steps and the porch foundation. I stuck the thing in, looked around with the flashlight, and sure enough, there was a little red and white fishing bobber at the back.

I could just reach it with the swatter, but it rolled off to the side out of sight. I gave him back his tool, went inside and tried to forget about fishing.

Some people are glad Lake Hudson exists, but I’m not always so sure.

  • Front.poles
    MOVING EAST—Utility workers continue their slow progress east along U.S. 20 south of Morenci. New electrical poles are put in place before wiring is moved into place.
  • Front.cowboy
    A PERFORMER named Biligbaatar, a member of the AnDa Union troupe from Inner Mongolia, dances at Stair District Library last week during a visit to the Midwest. The nine-member group blends a variety of traditions from Inner and Outer Mongolia. The music is described as drawing from “all the Mongol tribes that Genghis Khan unified.” The group considers itself music gatherers whose goal is to preserve traditional sounds of Mongolia. Biligbaatar grew up among traditional herders who live in yurts. Additional photos are on the back page of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.base Ball
    UMPIRE Thomas Henthorn tosses the bat between team captains Mikayla Price and Chuck Piskoti of Flint’s Lumber City Base Ball Club. Following the 1860 rules, after the bat was grabbed by the captains, captains’ hands advanced to the top of the bat—one hand on top of the other. The captain whose hand ended up on top decided who would bat first. Additional photos of Sunday’s game appear on page 12 of this week’s Observer. The contest was organized in conjunction with Stair District Library’s Hometown Teams exhibit that runs through Nov. 20.
  • Front.chat
    VALUE OF ATHLETICS—Morenci graduate John Bancroft (center) takes a turn at the microphone during a chat session at the opening of the Hometown Teams exhibit at Stair District Library. Clockwise to his left is John Dillon, Jed Hall, Jim Bauer, Joe Farquhar, George Hollstein, George Vereecke and Mike McDowell. Thomas Henthorn (at the podium) kicked off the conversation. Henthorn, a University of Michigan–Flint professor, will return to Morenci this Sunday to lead a game of vintage base ball at the school softball field.
  • Front.cross
    HUDSON RUNNER Jacob Morgan looks toward the top of the hill with dismay during the tough finish at Harrison Lake State Park. Fayette runner Jacob Garrow focuses on the summit, also, during the Eagle Invitational cross country run Saturday morning. Continuing rain and drizzle made the course even more challenging. Results of the race are in this week’s Observer.
  • Front.bear
    HOLDEN HUTCHISON gives a hug to a black bear cub—the product of a taxidermist’s skills—at the Michigan DNR’s Great Youth Jamboree. The event on Sunday marked the fourth year of the Jamboree. Additional photos are on page 12.
  • Front.hose Testing
    HOSE safety—The FireCatt hose testing company from Troy put Morenci Fire Department hose to the test Monday morning when Mill Street was closed to traffic. The company also checks nozzles and ladders for wear in an effort to keep fire fighters safe while on calls.

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