So, the other day I was sitting, talking with a co-worker about stuff on the job. If you have to know, I work at the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries. You get the idea from the name alone what this office all about.
Some of the conversation dealt with fishing and often drifted toward young people going out on the water, fishing with their parents.
It felt good to have that conversation because it drew me back to a simpler time when I was young and innocent. You could get me to do most anything then.
Just thinking about fishing and how peaceful it is, had me drifting away the stresses of reality and work. Fishing is a lot better than thinking alternative facts (isn’t that just lies?) and the idea that someone could be charged with a hate crime if arrested for resisting a police officer. (Good Gawd, that’s crazy.)
It was good to see that Gov. John Bel Edwards and a lot of other people don’t quite see a new law to protect our first-responders that way. But, you have to worry about those in the criminal justice system that do.
But, back to fishing. My dad took me fishing several times when I was elementary-school age. In fact, he would sometimes take me and my stepsister. It was so cool to be standing with her on the bank as we put a worms on the hooks of our cane poles.
It was great to talk about stuff while we waited and waited and waited for a nibble. Once we got something there would be a major production.
I liked being brave and getting the fish off her hook. It didn’t matter the size. Everything was a keeper. But my dad would come over and say we had to throw the little ones back into the water. I never liked that. I also didn’t like the first time I took a catfish off the line and got finned. Yikes!
When I got older my dad bought me a rod and reel. That made me an official fisherman. He took me on little boats with him about three times. It was great the first time, because it was just him and me and a lot of talking about whatever. That was awesome.
But, the drawback was that it was usually hotter than Hades when we went. Later on, I started to cool to the idea of fishing altogether. I went a couple more times with some of my neighborhood friends. But that died away. Besides, I think I cleaned only one fish in my life.
If I was going to be in the sun, give me football, a baseball or a basketball.
Flash forward many years, and my son was in Scouting. On a couple occasions, the boys and their parents went fishing. It was so great watching him fish. He actually caught one. I was happy for him. But the excitement soon went away and we didn’t do it much after that.
I hear so much now from the young male co-workers around me who talk about how much delight they get from fishing and hunting with their young children, especially their sons. But, I think my dad and I and my son and I had great relationships. We just did other things.
My son did not make a big pitch to continue fishing. We spent a lot of our Saturdays at the toy store as he took long periods trying to determine which plastic Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle figure he was going to get. He would take almost an hour to decide on one turtle figure. Once he settled on one, listening to the conversations he had with the turtle figures on the ride back was priceless.
By the way, he ended up with bazillions of those things.
Still, though, I’m a little jealous of those fathers and their fishing trips with their sons.
I wonder if they tell them the old big-fish-that-got-away stories. Or as we would say now, the old big-fish-that-got-away alternative fact stories.