This story starts and ends at 222 West 83rd like so many others. It is one of those rare memories of doing something with my dad. I know it was before 1960 because that is when he sold Jasper the pontiac, so I was nine or ten.
We took Jasper and left early and headed somewhere I do not recall to climb aboard a day charter to go fishing for what, I also do not recall. I learned a lot on that charter.
First order of business was to find out who was in on the “gambling,” biggest fish got the money. While the captain steered outbound the crew set us up with fishing poles and bait and some basic lessons about charter etiquette. This included waiting to drop your line until you’re told to and pulling up when you’re told to; and how not to get tangled with other guys’ lines.
On that charter, yes, it was all guys.
We were ready to fish in no time at all. And then I got sea sick, very, very sea sick. After I stopped throwing up they installed me in the cabin and took turns keeping an eye on me.
I had caught nothing before nausea struck and during the rest of the voyage dad caught one six inch fish. If there was a smallest catch reward he would have won it.
When we pulled back into the slip everybody had a bag of fish to take home. We did too. Yup, every guy on the trip contributed a fish for the poor sick kid.
We got home with our bag and Helen took one look and said something like “you don’t really think I’m cleaning all those, do you?”
A long time later, dad’s little fish was still in the freezer.
And after that sometime, we were walking into Riverside (the funeral home), to attend a funeral I have since forgotten, and the man on the door, took one look at us, and we at him, and it was a fisherman’s reunion. Many more times this man greeted us with a knowing smile of comradery and a secret shared.
It was many, many years later when history sort of repeated itself. My son and I, as the guests of his grandfather, went deep sea fishing off Puerto Rico. Just the two of us. We didn’t get far before sickness struck my son and we had to turn back. A bit different; we came back completely empty handed.
Still later, my son and I spent many happy hours fishing off the beach for fluke which I learned to filet and we had for supper more than once. He gave up fishing before I did but it had been father/son time like I had so long ago.
*Photo by Veit Hammer on Unsplash
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