3.13.2006

another story about grandpa


this is another story about my grandfather...
a story about my grandfather and two boys in their early teens

in the gated mobile home community that my grandparents retired in there were two clubhouses
one in the far left corner of the mobile home community that was filled with alluminum homes that are not in fact mobile at all
then there was another clubhouse that was a bit more central
the central clubhouse had a screened in porch, a swimming pool, a workout room, a sauna, a dock, and a row boat that granted access to a large man made lake
a lake that linked to several other man made lakes
a row boat that may have inspired my brother to row in college and continue to row today
that same row boat that had crust old rotten oars that broke from the oar locks each time we took it out
that same row boar that I pulled out from under my brother ashe stood balancing on the seat as I held the anchor rope standing on the shore

at this dock by the screened in clubhouse there was a gathering of fish
fat and lazy fish that were fed bread crumbs by every grandmother and grandfather that wanted something to share with their visiting grandchildren
well, among this gathering of fish was a big old bass
an impressive fish

we used to spit into the water and watch the blue gills gather then scatter as the big old bass slowly lurched to the surface and snagged the loogie from the surface of the lake

my grandfather would talk about this fish as he was a fisherman
if there was one thing that summed this man up it was his love for fishing
nothing else in his life described him better than a fisherman
he painted houses for a living
yet he would be described as a fisherman before he was to be described as a painter

during one of our long summer visits my brother and decided we would try and catch this great fish
we tried a variety of methods
we tried lures
we tried cheese balls
we tried worms
we tried lizards... yes we caught and hook a lizard all in the name of sport
but nothing attracted the bass
in fact none of these fish could be bothered by food on a hook
as these fish had all been raised on bread and crackers
products that most certainly would not stay on a hook

so the project became a challenge
we grew determined
determined beyond the task of sticking a hook through a living lizard

so we went to the tackle box and pulled out at three prong hook, a treble hook

this fishing adventure was to go into our catalog of epic fishing experiences
up there with catching massive snook, netting bushels of crabs, stringgers of snapper, sheephead, and flounder, sand sharks and sting rays, this giagantic bass was sure to be a story to tell
a story to meet the approval of any fishermen

the exact details of the capture are faint in my mind
it is not clear which role I played
I think I was on the dock and my brother was on the shore
as it was unethical to fish from the dock
with the hook on the line in hand I walked to the edge of the dock as my brother waited to reel in the fish after the snag

like a faithful old lap comming when it is called the big old bass came to the surface as my shadow went over the rail of the dock
not sure if it was the first effort of the third
but the fish was snagged then the line was tossed
as my brother reeled the great bass to shore
without a tug, a pull, or a fight this fish was pulled to shore

I rushed down the dock
jumped the rail
then ran across the grass to where my brother stood with the rod in hand
he gently made the last turns of the reel
then let the fish rest on the grass

a big slimely lifeless fish with a cloudly glaze over its eyes rested in the freshly cut grass
shamefully, immediately knowing we had done something wrong we removed the hook from this less than fantastic fishes side and did as any sportsman would do
we caught and released
the fish moved with the motion of the water
not a rapid dive thankful to be freed only to be caught another day
the fish floated at the top and moved with current created by the breeze

with our hands in the water we tried to wash our hands of this slimey fish

later that day we were back at grandma and grandpa's double wide on bluebeard drive
killing time on the porch playing checkers or rummy five hundred
in walked grandpa
the kindest grandpa a grandchild would want... when he wanted to be
but not at this moment
without hestitation
without question
without trying to read our emotion or our mood
he laid in with the accusation
what did you do with that fish?

it was not a fair trial
there was no body
the fish has certainly floated away to a distant part of the lake by the time he "happened to pass by the dock"
yet he knew
how did he know
had he been told
could he see it in our eyes
could he smell it on our hands

there is no one to ask
we will never know
just like the thousandth mailbox tilted at 45 degrees
we did have something to do with it
and
somehow grandpa knew

definitely time for bed now
maybe when I have a second I will try to read these two stories to see if they make sense
that or I may type some other random jibberish for people to ignore

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