By Walt Trandum
All those years of fishing and hunting and picking wild mushrooms and berries are now just memories and the fact I have them is good. One salvation as I embark on this nostalgia trip is that it has all been a lot of fun. Over the years I have acquired a great many toys that allowed me those memorable days on the water and in the woods always looking for something to eat. I suppose some of the equipment and time that I dedicated can all be justified when I realize that we had a large family and lots of mouths to feed.
In my garage there is a place on the wall that is covered with a great many fishing rods that are all of different weights and lengths. Some were built by myself and one custom fly rod was acquired when I retired many years ago. I remember the day it was delivered to our home and as I took it out of the case I was proud to see my name under the lacquer that covered a beautiful piece of equipment. I showed it proudly to my wife and she asked who gave it to me. I had to admit to her that I actually ordered it myself. It still looks brand new and I don’t do that fly fishing any more. I can look at darn near any one of those old rods and bring back the memory of the fish they caught. Maybe it is a good thing that I can’t remember the ones that got away!
Along with the fishing rods and equipment there were several boats that were bought with hard earned money and there are all those great memories of the time I spent on the water fishing and crabbing. The boats ranged in size from car top to ocean going and they all fulfilled that obligation to prove that they were actually holes in the water that had to be filled with lots of money. A good thing is that I met lots of nice people over the years and provided a great experience for kids and grand kids and many friends.
The last boat that I still own is an aluminum 14′ that has a trailer and or can be carried on the top of a pickup truck. I bought it new along with a 10 horsepower motor and even had another electric motor that was terrific on small lakes. Over the last few years it has been used by friends and relatives who managed to bring us some fresh crabs and a fish now and then from the local bay. I still have a collection of crab traps and rings that are all serviceable and there is a story for each and every one of them. This season hasn’t happened yet and I was thinking that soon we might just be cooking some crabs
Well I have to report that our days on the water with all this gear have come to the end. The last few times people tried to use that boat there were problems and I thought I could probably fix that old engine myself and we would be back in business I wasn’t having much luck so I took it down to a repair place and they agreed to look that 45 year old motor over. They called me with some sad news it turned out that we have a hole in the exhaust manifold and along with other deterioration the end is here and it isn’t worth repairing. I will probably keep the boat and equipment here where I can keep it all looking good, but those grand kids are going to have to come up with a motor if they want to do any more crabbing and fishing.
So another segment of my life has expired and some other news the other day made me even more morose. According to the experts on the front page of the Oregonian newspaper who study financial things, my wife and I have just been dropped from the middle class Pretty hard to take the news that you have a hole in your exhaust manifold and lost your position in the world all in one week. With my new found forgetfulness I suppose that I won’t remember much of this for very long and that is a blessing. Hanging out in the garage is fun but wish some of my old buddies and family members were still around.
Just remember that while you are still able, keep on fishing and don’t wade out further than your boots can handle!