Why would we prefer instant communications over an hour-long bull session?
The most glaring thing a Twitter account would do is put us into regular instant contact with husband or wife, who has a daily goal of getting us out the door. It would also tend to leave us with little new to talk about.
Unlike kids (that is, anyone under 60), Loveland Fishing Club members welcome the second or even a third retelling of a well-crafted fishing story. And unlike spouses, we don't jump in with helpful corrections when that tale strays a bit from an absolutely faithful recollection of size or number. And when one of us comes down with a hip replacement, bad gall bladder or failing lung, the rest of us truly do commiserate. Who else will not roll their eyes when John brings up the delicate subject of his troublesome testicles, or Jim updates us on his hemorrhoids?
I was introduced to the senior concept of time by Past President and Founding Grandfather Tom Miller, who invited me on a short trip to Fort Collins that evolved into :
- A half-hour conversation with the secretary at Larimer County Parks and Open Space
- A short stop for coffee at Vern's in LaPorte
- An illuminating but kinda lengthy tour of the nearby Division of Wildlife's fish hatchery, where I learned they even keep a sizeable collection of albino trout
- A winding trip through the countryside to check on the water level at Horsetooth, followed by a stop by the Miller homestead to feed his cat and check out the buffalo hunter's gun that put a dramatic end to Tom's grandpa, a turn-of-the century Kansas sheriff.
Why would we have breathlessly tweeted or Facebooked our friends every time we stopped to pee between Loveland and central Kansas? For one thing, in that particular instance we would have filled up the kids' in-boxes with updates. Because there sure were a lot of pit stops.
We don't embrace instantly delivered news because we prefer to digest it over (decaffeinated) coffee. Wives of Senior Anglers instinctively understand this need to linger, just as they've learned to tolerate the occasional box of maggots in their refrigerators. They generally don't ask, "And how are you this morning, Dear?" when they know we haven't done a darned thing interesting between the time the two of us crawled into bed together and the time we got up for breakfast.
This is not to imply that LFC members do not occasionally embrace appropriate technology. There is nothing like a fish photo from a cell phone camera to send a timely taunt to a fellow club member, when you catch something he or she didn't. If they happen to be in a separate boat on the same lake at the same time, that's even more priceless. But as a general rule, there is little that can happen at any given moment that should not be simply committed to memory, to be lingered over later.
As mentioned in the "Jim's hemorrhoids" reference above, we do have a few aches and pains not overly inflicted upon younger generations. When the afore-mentioned Tom Miller talked me into joining the club, he said, "The usual minimum requirement is bypass surgery. But we'll waive that in your case." I thought he was kidding.
Lately we seem to have even more than our usual share of infirmities. Among many others, Shirley is having a long recovery from her surgery, and muttering something about not being ready for another ice fishing trip to Grandby anytime soon. Bernie is mourning the loss of a 90-year-old gall bladder. And Norm will be happy to show you the big new scar he purportedly got in a knife fight.
Without getting all weepy about it, this is a club whose members pretty much look out for one another, and enjoy one another's conversations without having to write them all down on the telephone.