2008.08.27 Fishing for a tale from the past

Written by David Green.

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.

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