by Sherry Stocking Kline
October 19, 2009
It may sound crazy, but the best fishing trip I ever went on was nowhere near the water and we didn’t catch any fish.
It All Started With a Garage Sale…
It all started with a garage sale. (I do love garage sales.)
Driving by a garage sale late one Saturday afternoon I begged my son to stop so I could feed my garage sale fix. (no, I have no pride and he was driving so I begged, maybe even offered a bribe.)
I knew we were too late in the day to get first choice on the good stuff, but we were prime time for getting bargains on the I-don’t-want-to-box-it-up-and-keep-it leftovers.
Sitting there amidst a lot of stuff we didn’t want was what looked like a really nice fishing reel. I picked it up, checked it out, and laid it back down.
Which immediately prompted an offer from the owner of the garage.
So I snapped up the fishing reel. When we got back home, my son and I immediately went to my mom’s home to show off our ‘treasures.’
“Looks like a nice reel,” she said, “but it needs new line.” And she, being the veteran of years of pond, river, lake, and ocean fishing, knew what she was talking about.
Take it To Your Uncle Daryl…
“Take it to your Uncle Daryl,” she said, “he can put new line on it and get it ready to go for you.”
So I did. My Uncle Daryl Jones, Sr. was pretty much a ‘pro’ at fishing. Whether it was pond, river, creek, lake, or ocean, he’d fished them all, and he usually brought home the fish that the rest of us call “the one that got away.”
He looked the reel over, allowed that it was an “o.k.” reel, and that I had gotten a pretty “o.k.” deal, kept it, and promised to put new line on it and get it back to me soon.
A couple of weeks later he called me up and asked me if I had a little time. He had an hour to kill while my Aunt Elsie, got her hair done.
“Sure,” I said, and when he knocked on my door an hour later my fishing reel was now attached to a pole.
And Not Just Any Pole…
Not just any pole, but the one that his first wife, my Aunt May, who had passed away, had used to catch a shark in the Ocean near Aransas Pass, Texas, where they and my mom and her husband used to spend their winters fishing and being winter Texans.
Awesome! I was thrilled, and moved to tears, and I tried to talk him into keeping it. But he wouldn’t have it.
“At my age, it won’t be too long before someone will have to put my things in an auction,” he said, “I’d like for you to have it.” (Fortunately, it was some time yet before he passed on.)
Nothing would have it but that he give me an on-the-spot fishing lesson. So out the door we went to his little Toyota pickup, put down the tail gate, sat down, and he began to show me the right way to cast and reel in, cast and reel in.
That day is a Golden Moment in my memories…
It was fall, and the air was fresh and clean and just crisp and cool enough to need a light jacket. The trees were turning gold and red and even the dust motes in the breeze were golden with reflected sunlight.
We sat there, uncle and niece, on a pick-up tail gate in my driveway, dangling our feet, talking about fishing and memories, and casting out up and down the street as if we were actually on a lake, and bonding.
Casting out and reeling in, and hurrying like mad when a car turned down my dead-end street and threatened to run over our ‘catch.’
And enjoying being family on a beautiful fall day.
My Neighbors Thought We Were a Brick Shy of a Full Load…
There’s not a lot of traffic on my street, but I’m sure the neighbors and the occasional ‘foreigner’ (car that didn’t live there) that drove by that day had to be certain we were ‘a brick shy of a full load’, but I didn’t care.
I learned a lot that day, not all of it about how to fish, and the most important thing I learned was to tuck golden memories like this one into my heart to keep forever.