"" Writer's Wanderings: My Clever Grandfather

Thursday, January 30, 2020

My Clever Grandfather

There is a commercial for a Lincoln SUV featuring Matthew McConaughey that starts with him setting the temperature in the SUV at 78 and then going out onto a frozen lake and cutting a hole in the ice to fish through. He sets up a gadget with a pole and then opens the back of the SUV to sit just inside on the tailgate. Quickly there is a flag on the pole on the ice that pops up indicating that there is a fish on the line. All of this happens while The Andy Griffith Show theme song whistles in the background.

Clever yes. But so was the system my grandfather used for fishing. Grandpa was no slouch. He worked in his garden and out in the yard at the house my parents had on Lake Erie where he stayed most of the year. He would take his fishing pole to the dock and cast the baited hook and line out into the water. He would then secure the handle of the fishing pole into a pipe he had affixed to the dock so that the pole would stand up. At the top of the pole, just where the line came through the last eye on the pole, he would tie a piece of ribbon to the line.

As Grandpa went about his work in the yard, he would keep an eye on that ribbon. If the ribbon was pulled down, he knew he had a bite and maybe even a fish hooked on his line. With a big grin on his face he would reel in either a nice perch or bass or he would mumble something about a fish who'd stole his bait--often in his native Bohemian.

Fond memories. Not only might we enjoy his catch which he often smoked in the little smokehouse he built but we'd have some nice veggies to go with it as well.

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