The club is open to all, but club events take place during the week and we meet at Chilson Senior Center in Loveland, CO. Our basic purpose is to fish, but we're easily distracted by the chance to work with youngsters or improve northern Colorado outdoor resources.
Club President Jim Baxter checked with Perkins today; the restaurant is set up for indoor dining in accordance with Larimer County coronavirus restrictions. They are allowing groups of up to four people to eat together in tables set at least 6 feet apart. That doesn’t fit with resumption of the club’s Friday breakfasts.
Editor’s note: we’ve been encouraging club members to share stories of their lives, even when it’s time not spent fishing. Some time ago Charlie Higgs wrote down his memories of the summer of 1945, which we share with you on this Memorial Day..
It was great news “Dad is home for good!”
In the summer of 1945, Joe was almost 10, I was 5 and Rich was 3. The big war was over! Soldiers, sailors, airmen, husbands, fathers, brothers were being discharged from the military service and returning home.
Those are the historical facts. As a 5 year old, what was important to me and my brothers was that Dad was home to stay!
He had been away for almost 2 years serving in the navy. We had seen him only two times when he was allowed to come home on short furloughs. On one visit Dad and Mom took Rich and me to a photographer in Memphis. They had our pictures taken wearing little sailor suits.
My most vivid memory of Dad’s homecoming was the big family picnic held to celebrate his safe return. In addition to Dad, Mom and my brothers, there were lots of other relatives present. Grandma Haynes and Jack – Dad’s mother and step-father, and Aunt Christine were there. Dad’s step-brother, Uncle Richard, his wife Edna Earl and their two daughters Shirley and Barbara Jean (BJ) came over from Memphis.
Mom’s sister, Aunt Katherine who lived with us during the war was there. Her husband-Uncle Pate, who was an airman, had not been discharged yet. Another sister of Mom’s, Aunt Mary and her husband Uncle Bill came down from Hickory With for the day.
As usual at such family picnics, we had fried chicken, potato salad, baked beans, cold slaw, sliced tomatoes, deviled eggs, pickled peaches and lots of iced tea. For dessert we had Dad’s favorite – lemon meringue pie and a coconut cake. A big watermelon was cooling in a tub of ice water.
It was one of those perfect summer days, not too hot, especially if you found a spot under a shade tree. Later in the day, some of the adults played a game of lawn croquet. We kids played games of tag and hide and seek. We also played a game of rolling down the small hill in our side yard. When you got to the bottom you would try to stand and race back to the top before the others. It was hard to do because you would be so dizzy from all the spinning on the way down.
One of the men carved the cold, sweet watermelon. He handed out the half-moon pieces of the juicy treat. We didn’t need spoons or forks. We spit the seeds on the ground. Soon we were laughing at the site of red, dripping faces.
In the early evening as it was starting to get dark, someone brought out a big jar and cut some holes in the lid. It was up to us kids to run around in the fading light and try to catch lightening bugs. Once we caught one, we would put it in the jar. Soon the jar was aglow with so many of the little bugs inside. Once it got completely dark and the long day caught up with us very tired kids, we opened the jar and released them.
I have lots of childhood memories – bits and pieces that occurred before this picnic. There is no question this family celebration of Dad’s homecoming is the most important and memorable event of my young life.
Like families across the country, I think we all sensed this homecoming was the turning point for us to get on with the hopes and dreams of our lives.
Later that year, probably in early fall, I had another memorable experiencewith Dad. He and Mom had decided to move our family to McCormick, Arkansas. They would rent 40 acres of land along with a 4 room house and we would become cotton farmers. One thing that made this farm special was that it was located right next to the one where Grandma Haynes, Jack and Aunt Christine lived.
I think because Joe was in school, Dad decided to take me along when he made a trip to our new home to deliver furniture and other household goods. What I remember was a feeling of pride and happiness that I got to spend these two days alone with my Dad.
I sat on the truck seat next to him, barely able to see outside. We were traveling in areas I had not been before. I do remember it rained most of the way. When we arrived, Dad had me stay with Grandma, while he and Jack unloaded the truck at our new home.
I recall little about the rest of the trip. But even as a 5 year old, I sensed big changes were coming.
Jim Visger has confirmed that the Lake John Trip is still on. Come out for a day or come out for several days and join club members in their efforts to catch some nice trout and spend some time together.I did talk with the Lake John Resort and the camping restrictions have been lifted. Some spots are reservation only. You can call them at 970-723-3226 to find out about cabin availability or camping spots, some with electric etc. on their property.
Lake John fishing
When Jun 2 – 5, 2020
Where Lake John west of Walden
Description Club contact: Jim Visger, 970-800-3399. Lodging
available at the lake includes 4 cabins and RV park with full hookups and
drive-through sites. (Contact http://lakejohnresort.com
) Free state campsites are also available around the lake on first-come basis.
Our intrepid club secretary, Christina, knows the value of getting up early in the morning and getting on the water. Not only do you avoid the crowds, you also have a better opportunity to catch fish. Often times we are rewarded with a welcome statement, a good morning call out from the planet on which we live, like this one that greeted Christina yesterday. It's a reminder that being there is why we go, catching fish is just a bonus.
No surprise here, but it's disappointing to all: Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the club is cancelling the derby this year. It had been scheduled for Sept. 16 at Flatiron Reservoir.
Kathy Barker, this year's chair, says the club plans to resume the annual competition in 2021.
The decision was made after previous chair Ray Park talked over the situation with management of several assisted living centers in Loveland.
Scene from the 2019 derby.
The event for Loveland assisted living center residents has been a tradition since 2011. The derby remains, we think, this nation’s only free fishing derby focused on community's assisted living center residents, run by and for seniors. Other Loveland seniors are welcome, but the primary invited guests are residents of about 10 assisted living centers.
Wayne Baranczyk didn't travel far to use his new float tube (the old one kinda leaked) but put it to good use Monday with this 21-inch rainbow. We won't tell you where - get out and find it for yourself - but we will say he took it with a Gulp minnow...and put it back in the lake.
A long, long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away we asked for contributors to the blog to share a story or two about ourselves.
For such a chatty group at breakfast it feels like the vacuum of space, with the exception of a few brave souls that took the risk to tell us all a story. Those few stories were pretty good, they took us to places we would have never imagined.
This reminded me of a story I wrote as part of a writing class for beginners at Front Range Community College. Trying to write anything at all seemed to be an insurmountable task at times for most of us. We had a great teacher who used different tools to teach us that we could write and often times write quite well. Once, as part of freeing up the mind and getting us to be creative she had reach into a bag and pull out two pieces of paper. Each piece of paper had one or two words on it and the challenge was to combine the words in some fashion and write something.
She had given us a starting point, one that didn't require a blank sheet of paper like our minds seemed to be. With a bit of trepidation I unfolded the papers and there were the two words. SHOES and BOOKS. What was I going to do with those?
As it turned out it didn't take long to think of something. Soon those two words intertwined into a common likeness. In my mind they were both almost the same but so different in what they could do and had done for me. I had personal experience with both. (That's one thing we learned, write about something you know well and it's a lot easier) These two words were almost like a gift for me and made it easy to write.
The commonality was that BOTH SHOES AND BOOKS take us to places we had never imagined. They each transport us to different worlds, new and old places, that opens our minds, leaves us speechless and often educates us.
How many different kinds of shoes and boots have we had that allowed us to travel in the cities, go on those alpine trails, dance, fish, bike and gave us a glimpse of what's around the next corner both mentally and physically? We buy a new pair of shoes for a reason, to take us where we want to go. Nothing like a new pair of shoes right?
How many books have brought us to other countries, worlds, galaxies, into someone else's mind and literally hear their thoughts, each voice different for all of us, that gave us new perspectives and thoughts which let us travel in our minds to explore endless possibilities? We buy a new book because we look forward to the content and where that will take us. We can't wait to get home and start reading it.
Books have gotten us excited about where we might go on our next trip, hmmm, am I going to need a new pair of shoes or boots for that trip?
So let's hear some stories, maybe about a trip you took, maybe about something you learned or the time you turned left instead of right and met someone that changed your life or made you cry out Holy Crap! A teacher, a partner, a crevasse you almost fell into, the time the canoe turned over in that mountain lake and you fished naked until your clothes dried on the rocks. There are a million stories out there and you have more than a few of them. We would all like to read some of those.
1.I have discovered Linda can sit in silence for hours, happily knitting away, while I telepathically anticipate her inevitable next few words. Sounds impressive, until you remember we have been in blissful binary confinement for the past two months. There is just not much variation in our daily conversations; the sight of a familiar squirrel in the backyard can trigger dramatic new dialogue for hours. As I was saying, Linda can utter three simple words and I can tell you everything else that she is about to say. (The three you have to watch out for are: “Would you mind...?”)
2.Also, I have discovered Linda can sit in silence sit for hours, happily knitting away… And remain just as happy when she “drops a stitch” and has to pull apart the last 20 rows of the scarf she began when this cursed pandemic began.
3.Meanwhile, I can also sit in silence for hours (or at least just curse under my breath), as I struggle to perfect the notoriously tricky double uni knot to connect microscopic 4-pound braided fishing line to even tinier 4-pound fluorocarbon leader. (I’ve now given up on attaching 2-pound line as a challenge for much younger eyes. And trust me on this, tying knots in 6- or 8-pound braid is too easy to distract a bored homebound angler for very long. (I have, however, given up on Youtube explanations of the intricate, mysterious “FG knot.”)
4.Throughout the quarantine, from High Country ice-out through early spring, I have managed to keep my wintertime sanity intact by continuing to fish. In virtual solitary confinement, of course, under pretty much all weather conditions known to humankind. In the process, I have learned there is a fine line (it falls somewhere between 28 and 30 degrees Fahrenheit), between one’s ability to bravely cast into the teeth of a 30 mph breeze, and reluctantly quitting with an old man’s cramps in one’s casting hand.
5.I have simultaneously learned there is a tiny pond near the house that is home to at least three little bass who are occasional suckers for a meticulously presented green pumpkin Ned Rig. Maybe more! You just have to be patient enough to fish for them long enough, and often enough, to entice them into taking a bite.