Life is a tragedy when seen in close-up, but a comedy in long-shot. - Charlie Chaplin

Thursday, September 9, 2010

catch and release

I just gotta draw your attention to the bottom of the page, past all of my posts, to the fish.  Place your mouse arrow over the "water" and they'll come swimmin' up, looking for food.  "Click" to drop some food.  I didn't wanna do it, but that little boy Matt welled up in me and screamed "FISHY!" clicked on the gadget and now look.   

My brother and I received fish as a first pet, three of them:  Alvin, Simon and Theodore.  Apparently I wanted to be a vet at that age and had a habit of taking them out to do check ups.  Luckily I wasn't at the age for some of my other firsts and they generally made it back before going to the big tank in the sky; first pocket knife, first fry-pan, first sushi for example.

We went fishing as well, walking down a long field along side our grandfather; a former machinist, coal miner and Navy vet, who retired to a life of all kinds of tinkering and diligently tending an annually large field of strawberries.  It took a lot to drag Pap away from the weeds of his strawberry patch, but on most summer afternoons we succeeded, rippling the smooth face of the water with our lures until sun-down.

Taking our catch back to my grandparents' deep sink next to the washing machine, we'd watch our new finned friend swim and after washing and a quick snack, we'd watch them, well, die.  And I will say it that bluntly because luckily there were people in my life growing up that didn't sugar coat the fact that to eat we'd have to kill Charlie Tuna (er, Bass).  After the deed was done, the fish sometimes went into something I now wish I had, the smoker.  It was the only cooking I knew my grandfather to do and he did it well.  

After dinner my parents, brother and I would stroll back down to my grandparents screened-in porch.  For the life of me I can't tell you what we all may have talked about, but I'll always remember the cocktail of smokey fish, pretzels and beer, carried around the room on the sweet country breeze.  It would be the last visages of the day before I fell asleep on my dad.


  1. I love these "photographic memories". Have you cast the role of your grandfather in the movie yet?


  2. I wish I could say Paul Newman.