Thursday, April 30, 2009

Just a few more thoughts

Hold your horses Mr.

Before I move onto paradise in Maryland, I need to say a few more words about my first 7 years of life---first of all--I don't remember the first 3--which were spent in a place called Baileys Cross Roads-sp?-Va.-in a little brick house--which my parents bought right after dad got home from the war--WW2--
They sold that house when dad started his own business--in D.C
If things were rocky around our house with the arguments etc--they were tempered by the pure enjoyment of going to my Grandparents house every Sunday after church--thank God for Grand Parents!!!
I loved them to death--there house there yard, their dogs--Rusty and Chico--the fun and excitement they stirred in us with stories and teaching us things and--Grandad allowing us to make money doing chores and always he was handing out 50 cent pieces---and the food--let me tell you--I may have had a spartan existance Mon -Sat--with mom being the worlds worse cook--but come Sunday Grandmother C--would serve the worlds greatestmeals and desserts----she even let us help snap peas and lick the bowl of cake batter--I'm going to go into a lot more detail about the Grandparents influence on us and the joy they brought--and salute them right now---they are both gone from this earth but not from my heart or memories-------- Rick The Codger
My Favorite Place

Part way through 2nd grade at Walter Reed Elementary in Arlington Va. in 1952--dad got a new job in Edgewater Maryland--and we moved from the red brick apts. called the Waldorf--and it was the most memorable move in my young life--I was moving to paradise!!!
First we went there to hunt for a house---and after I saw the place--I didn't care what we lived in--it was on the water--almost every house had a dock or a boathouse--Mom and dad narrowed it down to two houses--the first place was on the far side of the cove--2 story with knotty pine paneling throughout--fire places a basement--large guest room upstairs--with 10 beds for company----cots but--looked like a dorm---they said ya get a lot of company here.
There was a long boatdock and at the end of it was a cabin cruiser that came with the house----oh brother!!!PLEASE PLEASE-PLEASE---the parents liked it but felt it was a little steep--for them--and then we looked at the other house---------and behind curtain number two--our house in Paradise---
Let me describe this house--it was a single level house sitting on 2 1/2 acres--with huge trees--it was large--with hardwood floors throughout--and a massive porch across the front--and a basement--the innner walls close to the porch came down to allow seabreeze into bedroooms--the cove was across the st. and down the bottom of a dirt road--and there at the bottom was our own boat dock//let me rephrase that--our own Boathouse--it had stalls for two boats,under roof--it had picnic table on it--benches across the front and railings in the front for fishing--under roof-had a fish cleaning table---and the cove was fishing grounds central----the yard had a lattice work like tunnel that went in a L shape around a lot of the yard--and it had lillies of the valley growing all over the outside of it and every so often there was a benches area and little gazeebo for relaxing with your sweetheart------I just thought about fishin in those days--
There was a 6 foot tall privacy hedge across the entire front of the yard---and just to the side of the house was the most beautiful Scotch Pine tree you have ever seen--it was at least 85 feet tall--with giant pine cones and with thick needles that tree had you could sit under it in a rain storm and stay pretty dry.
My life was about to get a whole lot more interesting-----more later--The Codge

Night Fishing--a world of it's own

Night Fishing--part #2

The colorful lights from shore and the star studded sky helped create an artistic master piece upon the black velvet canvas and the ripples born from a slight night wind accent the surface beauty,giving it a shimmering appearance.The trees with brached arms outstretched,stand as staunch sentires,guarding the lake.There is a brilliantly lit cathedral spire casting its likeness upon the waters face,and the lights of aircraft skim the surface unimpeded,flashing across the teflon plain on wings of silence and then disappear into the night.
The sound of wind on wings spirited over head as a bird flashed by on his way to full-fill an agenda known only to him.There are bright flood lights at docks ends that pierce the shadows and attract a storm of insects who fall easy prey to the birds and bats above and the hungry fish below.
The attack upon the bait we cast may only be a tap,but it shudders through graphite,through our hands and to the brain,signaling a STRIKE;lower the rods tip,take up the slack and prepare to set the hook,but into what?,a fat and sassy Bass,or some powerful creature you have just awakened from a million year slumber,such are some of the possibilities in the world of dark imagination and a reality found in the world of night fishing.
When you catch fish at night you may not view your quarry right away,but you can hear him, the blast of water thrown skyward,the surface commotion and feel his violent gyrations as he tries to shake your hook.
These bass may stay deep for a while or blast from the water like a rocket,their huge cavernous mouth looks as big as a wash tub as they clear the water,your heart pounds--his size and your embellishment make him a 20 pounder before he comes to net and light.
Night fishing offers adventure and memories so remember---there's an old moss backed monster waiting along some darkened shore or lying beside a cayon wall or benneath the brush through a small pot hole, tap tap, it's a strike,rod tip down and prepare to set the hook when the sun goes down and the fish and imagination turn on. The end-Eric



My dad, rest his soul--had various expressions--for instance "For Crying Out Loud"--now dad was born in 1923--another was he called strangers when addressing them---hey Chief--which is one I can't stand for some reason--another was hey Mack--not especially courteous but used by a lot of people.---another favorite of the masses--hey buddy.
He liked to say that things didn't amount to a hill of beans--tell that to the baked bean guy and his dog!!
Certain things strike my funny bone--for instance--your driving along and see a sign that reads " Draw Bridge"--have you ever seen someone with an easel and a chair sittin there drawing the darn thing?
Here's another---slow children--well help um out for cryin out loud--or give um some geritol to speed um up!!
Another biggie-----Stop A Head---I've never seen one yet--have yall?
Deer Crossing??? I've seen football players thanking the powers to be for their good fortune to make a touchdown but never have I seen a Deer crossing himself or herself or well you know----You Know!! night yall---Codger alias Eric

Load Specialist--who are they?

Did You ever wonder?

I think about off the wall things--like who are the incredibly skilled people that load the big trucks--I don't mean front to back with square boxes--I mean those huge heavy weird loads on flat bed trailers--where it seems a computer must come into play so that balance and placement are cruical--one shift and people could be killed--and to the people that pack the items-so that they arrive unscathed.It seems there must be a special science involved with just the transport of the super heavy cumbersome highly expensive items--If some one would enlighten us with info on that subject --first my hats off to folks who do it--and do it well----Eric

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

He viewed me from his 1 dark eye as I lay on the bed

Monster on the Wall

Monster on the Wall

By day he was eight feet of motionless stone cold beauty mounted on the wall behind the bed, a magnificent creature frozen in arching leap,having died in a fierce battle fought years before.
To a young boy he came alive at night,rising from a sea of twisted branches and mysterious shapes that danced across the walls in the moonlight.There was an ominous look to his one dark eye and his
cavernous mouth was open wide to consume his prey.----

Monster on the Wall----part 2

I was 4 years old in 49 when I first saw the Monster behind the bed. I was frightened fascinated and tired when they layed me down to sleep,the Monster in quiet patience poised as darkness engulfed the room. I lay below him on the bed.I eased myself below the covers to avoid his icy stare!
When the daylight came I scrambled to the doorway and looked back on his awesome form,even in death he looked alive and hadn't I seen him stir and play with the shadows of the night?
That morning I learned the Monster was a sailfish,caught by my Grandad in a place called Florida.My Grandad described to me the fierce fight the creature had waged,his powerful leaps from the ocean,and how he appeared to dance across the oceans surface on his tail in a frantic attempt to break free.Grandad was proud of his catch and said someday I might catch one.
In the years that followed my dad taught me how to fish and I became as passionhate about the sport as hewas. We fished the rivers lakes and ponds around Va.,and each trip was an adventure.I caught Blue Gill and small Bass and by ther time I was 5, a 3 lb. bass had succumbed to my expertise.
When I was 8 years old we moved from Arlington Va. to South River Park, in Edgewater Maryland.Our house was on Wharehouse cove just off the South River and the opening to the mighty Chesapeake Bay.This incomparable home of my youth was a veritable paradise for a growing boy, a land of adventure,water and a wide variety of fish to challenge an egar angler.
I spent my days catching delicious blue clawed crabs by the bushel,hauling in eels,golden croaker,spot,perch and fought the powerful bluefish in the bay.
Dad surprised me one day and said I could take the rowboat out on my own-to fish the cove. There was such a huge variety of fish to catch-I honestly cannot remember even one boring day at that beautiful place by the water.
We spent 5 wonderful years in Edgewater and just after my 13th birthday dad announce we would be moving out of state--I was crushed untill I found out we were moving to Florida--Orlando Florida, thousands of lakes and the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico-some of the best fishing in the country, alligators palm trees and the memory of my youth---Sailfish-------
Monster on the Wall part #3

We moved to Orlando in the summer of 58 and by the fall had fished many of the pristine lakes near our home,catching the largest bass of our lives.
Our first Christmas in Florida was spent at my Grandparents home in Delray Beach on Floridas southeast coast--a 180 mile journey south from Orlando-well worth the wait it was-- sugar sand beaches-pastel colors--art deco designs--coconut trees flowers of every description--and water as blue as it gets--jeeze what a place--just the weather and appearance put you in a good mood--the mornings were fresh--just cool enough to invigorate-then warmed up nicely around 11.
It was during this memorable trip that I first laid eyes on Boynton Inlet---a channel to and from the sea,protected on north and south by jetties of rock and concrete--this opening to the Atlantic was not a docile one but a churning cauldron of huge waves and flying spray.
The inner portion of the inlet,behind the protection of the beach was amove with the incoming tide.The sun easily penetrated the rich green water and the colorful forms of countless fish could be seen moving in from the open water.
South of the inlet was the harbor,home to the sport fishing fleet, a nest of powerful sleek wave warriors made of wood and glass. Twice daily their engines would roar to life,and they would leave their safe haven and venture to the blue water,where excited fishermen would try their luck and test their skill against some of the oceans swiftest and strongest game fish,King Mackeral,Wahoo,Bonito,Amberjack,and the most prized quarry of them all,the acrobatic powerful Atlantic Sailfish. ----
Monster on the Wall part # 4

The docks that day were crowded with eager fishermen preparing to leave on their offshore charters. The boat captains and their mates worked feverishly loading supplies of ice and bait as their departure time rapidly approached. Relatives and onlookers wished them luck and at one o'clock the once placid harbor was churning as water boiled from the sterns of those awesome craft.The strong lines that tethered the sleek beast were cast aside and in a procession of power and grace the boats moved past cheering waving crowds on their parade to the sea.It was an impressive sight as power and skill met the watery turmoil at the mouth of the jetties.The fleet easily broke the bond and plied forward toward the fish rich waters of the gulf stream.
I could only imagine what those lucky fishermen might experience and hope that someday I might have the same opportunity. I had now seen the waters where the Monsters roamed, the boats that hunted them and was at least one step closer to the dream of catching my own.--more tomorrow----

Monster on the Wall part #5 Back to Full Blog

Monster on the Wall--part #5

My chance came much sooner than I could have hoped for, a year had passed and we were again preparing to visit Delray for the Christmas hollidays but this time dad had a big surprise.MY Uncle Robert and his new wife Gail were chartering a sport fishing boat out of Boynton Inlet and dad and I were their invited guest.I could hardly contain my enthusiasm--and the trip south seemed to take forever.
It had been 10 years since I had first seen Grandads Monster on the Wall and with each passing mile I was closer to a chance that lady luck might shine on me-and make my childhood dream a reality.
We arrived in Delray late at night,stayed up for a while visiting with my grandparents and talked about the next days adventure.
I really had a hard time falling asleep because I was so keyed up.I was awake, envisioning a huge sailfish rocketing into the sky. I was holding tight to the rod as the huge billfish crashed back into the sea,the whine of the drag blended with the sounding alarm clock and I heard a voice saying Ricky wake up,it's time to start getting ready.
The day I had waited for-was at hand,this was certainly no ordinary fishing trip,it was the gulfstream where the big fish roamed--and I would have my chance--we made final preparations and it was time to go.
Dad and I rode with Robert and Gail,the rest of the family would follow to see us off. Robert told us that the boat he chartered was the "My Sweetheart",captained by Homer Adams,one of the most experienced Skippers in the fleet and he often found fish when conditions were not favorable.
We turned onto A1A heading North toward the inlet,the Atlantic waters were blue and docile,only a few puffy white clouds floated high in the sky.We arrived at the inlet,the parking lot was abuzz with activity and filling up fast. We made our way onto the dock past a number of boats and suddenly there she was,The My Sweetheart,long and graceful and pure white--she sparkled in the mid-day sun.
Captain Adams spotted Robert and said "welcome folks,it's a great day for fishing",I could not have agreed more.
The mate then helped us on board,we stowed our gear,then watched the mate prepare the tackle and the special ballyhoo baits we would be using.The Captain invited me to join him up on the flying bridge for the trip out to the fishing grounds.The elevated vantage point was great. I waved to the family as the Captain fired up the engines.The mate walked about the boat walking the gunnels with sure footed ease,casting off the lines.
The boats propellers agitated the water a frothy white and we began to move,the Captain skillfully manuevering the boat from its snug berth.The engines low gutteral throb became a more audible roar as we made the turn into the current and green water of the inlet.We all waved again at family and the huge throng of people lining the seawall,the blue waters of the Atlantic lay just ahead. WE reached the rough water and Captain Adams,sensing my concern just smiled and said"no problem"-he then pushed the throttles forward and the My Sweetheart powered through the cross currents with ease and we were on our way.-------

Monster on the Wall part # 6

The ride to the fishing grounds only took a few minutes.I quickly climbed down the ladder taking my place in the forward swivel chair facing aft on the starboard side. Aunt Gail took the chair opposite me.
Our lines were attached to out riggers, which ran our baits far to the sides. Dad and Roberts lines were trolled directly behind the boat.
I remember wondering how a fish could take a bait skipping so fast across the water. I would soon find out that it was no problem and would in just a few moments be introduced in grand style to blue water fishing.
We watched the ballyhoo skim across the surface,we were loaded up and it was time to get it on and we didn't have long to wait!
A LOUD SNAP--Cracked the air as Gails line released from the outrigger,the slack line disappeared,the sharp hook SLAMMED HOME,her rod bowed with the strain,she SCREAMED the drag WHINED--and the FIGHT was on!!!
The mate shouted instructions as she fought the unseen creature. I didn't get to watch her battle as a hungry Kingfish attacked my bait so fierce'ly that his momentum carried him 6 feet in the air,my line released from the outrigger and disappeared along with the fish beneath the waves.I now had my hands full with the strongest fish I had ever fought.We landed our fish,both Kings in the 15 pound range.
The afternoon had just begun and I had already caught the biggest fish of my life.
Everyone else soon joined in on the action which continued hot and heavy for the next 2 1/2 hours. The four of us boated 28 Kingfish,one Bonito and a pilot fish. I was exhilarated and exhausted and had clearly had the finest fishing day of my life,catching 9 of the Kings,the largest being about 20 pounds.
The excitement for the day was far from over. Robert had been trolling a live Blue runner baitfish in deep water and suddenly had a massive strike,it was a heavy fish.He fought the powerful denizen till he finally turned him toward the boat. Captain Adams shouted from the bridge that it was a big Wahoo maybe a 60 pounder.Our cheers were short lived however as a huge Porpoise took the Wahoo in his mouth and headed North at a blistering speed,the line melted from Roberts reel and then broke,its separation split the air like a rifle shot.
Whew--what a day--and then Captain Adams spoke the words that were music to my ears--" hey folks lets spend the last hour in deeper water and see if we can't raise a sailfish to a bait!

The Monster on the Wall part #7

We appreciated the run to deeper water,it only took a few minutes but just to relax was a big help--the wind sun and fighting fish had taken a bit of a toll on us.
We arrived at the spot and the Captain said that on the previous day they had raised a large sail but he didn't take the bait.We now had about thirty minutes to troll before we would head back to the docks.
The lines were put out and I was just sort of day dreaming when someone shouted, SAILFISH!!,I turned to locate him,and there he was,slashing through the water towards Roberts bait.Roberts rod plunged forward,he hollered but suddenly his line went slack.This awesome fish would not be deterred as he cut through the water towards my dads bait,again he missed!
The mate jerked the rod from my hand,quickly released the line from the outrigger,reeled in the slack positioning the bait directly in front of the trailing Blue Monster.The fish lunged as the mate set the hook solidly and all hell broke loose.He handed me the rod and I was jerked forward by a force and power like I had never felt--the reel screamed,like some demon from the underworld had been loosed.
The mate hollered --FISH ON--and my rod was bent double and it was all I could do to hang on--the mate said let him run--like I had anything to do with that--he tore 400 yards of line from my reel.
My huge fish blasted from the ocean high into the air in an incredible display and even from such a distance he looked huge and then my quarry made 4 more leaps into the afternoon Florida sky-dancing across the ocean--I really thought he would break free or he would cut the line with his tail.
My dream fish had taken 1200 feet of line and I had not yet retrieved any.He finally went deep and I began the hard work of retrieving line a few feet at a time. I would pull back on the rod with all my might and then push it forward winding in slack as quickly as I could-a chore repeated over and over-till my muscles were nearly shot.Everyone was shouting encouragement-and truthfully it was the hardest challenge I had ever had-to that point in my life--this fish was so strong.I was intent on the job at hand and oblivious to the transformation going on around me.The smaller swivel chairs had been removed and a large fighting chair was put into place in the center of the deck and I was moved to it. It was more comfortable had a big harness which was very comfortable and a large foot rest which really helped.MY hard work began to pay off as I reclaimed line lost in the start of battle. What had been a vivid childhood memory was a reality at the end of my line, 20 minutes had passed and the beautiful sail was nearing the boat--I found myself relaxing thinking I had survived the challenge--but my adversary had other ideas.He viewed the boat with his dark round eyes and began to create his own senario.The mate yelled "He's not ready yet" and then the huge predator charged away from the boat like a runaway freight train,tearing 300 yards of hard earned line from my reel and again capped this marvelous run with with skyward leaps showing amazing power.---

Monster on the Wall part#8

He not only took 900 feet of line but also a bit of my heart. My arms felt like rubber and I was nearly spent.They offered me help but again I refused--he would win or I would-there would be no other way.
The Captain and mate were discussing how unusual this fish was--that most sails were caught in 15/20 minutes--as I began the arduous now painful task of retrieving so much line.I had to fight for every foot as this beautiful fish cut me no slack-his head was turned away from the boat as he fought with all he had.
Gail rubbed my shoulders,they poured cool water on me and the reel and the mate then tightened the drag to put increased pressure on the fish.Once again I slowly pulled in this ultimate challenge to my resolve. I was sick from the sun and drained physically but doggedly kept pumping and retrieving line--until my beautiful Blue Monster from the sea neared the boat once more--the struggle was an hour long and for the first time his long lithe body could be seen below the surface---He was an 8 footer just like Grandads-the mate stood by the transome with gloved hands waiting to grasp the leader when this marvelous Blue Dynamo did what would seem impossible--he lurched away and was at full speed in a second or two--the reel played its mournful tune and the mono disappeared along with the fish--only to reappear 300 yard away--blasting from the ocean like a rocket bound for heaven-in one last almost suicidal attempt at freedom.
This beautiful fish had more heart than seemed possible--and with that last frantic attempt--his head turned toward the boat for the first time--and the mate screamed at me to reel fast and take up the slack or I would lose him.
I couldn't feel my arms anymore--could barley turn the handal--and at last the mate grabbed the leader and pulled him to the boat--and said my God he is foul hooked in the top of his head--making his capture far more difficult--1 hour 28 minutes---They ask if I wanted to let him go--I kept my mouth shut-all I could think of was showing grandad,
there would be no mercy from me this day-but there should have been.

This all transpired in Dec-1959---in 1992 I finally wrote a story about it--this one.
I sent my Aunt in Delray a copy of the story and she contacted Captain Adams home and found out that he was dying of cancer--they went to the hospital and read him the story and he cried from happiness to have been rememberd for what was his livlihood-I am so glad to have brought some joy to him.
I also thank my father for teaching me to enjoy the outdoors,my Uncle for inviting us,may he rest in peace and to all that release their prey to fight another day-- The Codge

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Night Fishing the Winter Park Florida Chain of Lakes

Night Fishing

I went bass fishing with my dad often at night and wanted to write a short story to describe what the experience is like--the following is that offering.


I backed the sleek bass boat down the narrow ramp into the ebony stillness of the lake,and the sudden displacement of water by fiberglass and steel,sent a surge of waves rolling out into the darkness.These waves would meet their deminished demise lapping up against the distant shore.
The powerful Evinrude outboard roared to life,and this sudden violation of what had been a tranquill moment sent a flock of ducks into a panic and the flutter of their wings and race to gain flight was clearly heard from a darkened region of the lake. There was a whisp of white smoke from the motors exhaust--which hung suspended for a moment in time and then was whisked away by the soft night breeze.The Sling Shot Bass boat slid easily from the trailer and rested comfortably upon the black satin plain,the mysterious sable depths below and the star and moonlit heavens above.
We knew the lake well by day but with the setting sun and ensuing darkness,came an air of mystery that stirred the imagination.
The canal to our left was shrouded in a veil of fog--this scenic pathway to another lake now a twisting highway into a blackened void.
The familiar landmarks and terrain along shore now were reduced to shadows peppered by points of light.The light bulb which lit the ramp area was nearly obscured by a swarm of insects, attracted by its luminous beckoning and warm radiance.
The pounding beat of rock and roll could be heard from a lively party somewhere across the lake, an oldie that stirred memories of younger days.
We moved away from the ramp area to the strains of " The Little Old Lady from Passadena",the rythmic slap of water on the bow kept time,and a moonlit pathway lay before us.The music whailed,go granny,go granny go,the motor whined,the bow rose in the air,hesitated a moment then settled down,rose briefly one more time as the motor gorged itself on fuel and in a burst of power the boat hugged the mirrored surface and we were screaming across the lake at 50 m.p.h the sounds of rock and roll obliviated by a cresendo of noise from the maxed out motor and the sound of water as it shed itself from fiberglass.The sudden rush of wind caused tears to well in the eyes,the deafening roar of the motor carried on the wind and through the water,turtles dove for the bottom,bait fish scattered in every direction and fish leaped from the water in a race to escape the speedy predator that had entered their realm, a predator bearing gifts,tantalizing lures to entice the wary and also a predator pocessing keen electronic eyesight,capable of penetrating the ink hued aquatic regions,revealing the mountains,caynons and plains and the fish that lived there.

We crossed the lake to within a few hundred feet of the shore,turned off the motor and began to stalk our prey,the more quiet hum of the trolling motor propelled us through grass beds as we cast our fishing lines toward shore presenting artifical worms toward appealing spots just visible in the moonlight.
The driving beat of rock and roll again pierced the evening solitude,War,what is it good for?,Absolutely Nothing!,say it again,War,and below the plain where light diminishes and mans unaided eyes cannot see,the creatures in the watery hidden shadows fed on the weak,the carnage imaged only by the limits of our own imaginations.Without clear vision you focus on sounds , a crash in the grass near shore, a sudden swirl of water, as larger faster life consumes smaller slower morsels--the survival of the fittest a never ending drama--above and below the the waves.-----more later

Lake Berry 1958 Winter Parkl Florida

Lake Berry 1958

Lake Berry 1958

In some ways it must have looked similar thousands of years ago, this unspoiled aquatic paradise.The depths teamed with ravenous large mouth bass and the shores were alive with wildlife and foliage of every description.
Nestled serenely in Winter Park, Florida.,this ancient dark pool was majestic,mysterious and alluring.To first glide across its mirrored surface in 1958 was a real adventure.There were no houses on its shore and no boat ramp. WE had to ease our boat down an embankment to gain access.The treasures in her depths were abundant and the visual treats along her jungled banks were a sight to see.
In the shadows of early morning or when the tide of darkness swept in, Lake Berry would take on a forboding look.The imagination of a 13 year old boy could conjur up visions of some ancient creature rising from its pitch black waters to devour some hapless fisherman plying its pristine shore.
In reality, large reptillian creatures with mouths full of teeth would slide off her banks and glide like silent subs benneath our fragile craft. Huge Cypress trees stood like weathered sentinels and the flora was alive with strange and wonderful birds of every color. One strange winged creature could be seen high in the Cypress. They had long necks that looked like snakes and would extend their wings, drying them in the sun,or in an instant fold them close to their body becoming sleek and compact and then dive to the water below toward an unknowing victim--the impact upon the water made a slight hiss sound and tiny ripples quickly disbursed, life and death playing out on the watery stage.Some birds walked the thin algae on the waters surface as if they were dancing on a wooden floor.
Old fallen trees rose from the murky abyss like skeletons of the past, weathered and gray, like trophys of defiance refusing to decay.
I learned to paddle our old flat bottomed boat and to quietly cut the surface with my paddle, a silent surgeon leaving only small whirlpools in our wake.
You could cast your line and the bait would barely settle below the surface before being devoured by a hungry bass. The drags on the closed faced reels would whine as the fish would make their furious charge often culminating in a rocket leap skyward, their heads shaking from side to side in an angry frantic attempt to break free.THe light weight rods would bend double and sometimes the line would break, it's separation like a rifles shot splitting the air.Ocassionally my dad would take out his fly-rod and launch an artifical bug 40 feet back toward a small pocket of water in the brush, the fly landing gently as a real bug might. He would twitch the rod tip slightly giving life to the bait and suddenly the water boiled and exploded and the fight was on!
Lake Berry by day was an inspiring liquid delight but it was the night when the giant large mouth fed,those huge moss backed monsters of the deep that hold honoured places in fishing lore, those storied old lunkers knew every crag and stump--they were 10 14 pounds of fighting fury in the summer of 58.
Many fish were caught some were lost but it didn't take long to realize that this bounty would not last foreever so we began to release them to fight another day.
We fished Lake Berry up untill the early 60's and I remember seeing the dark long winged U2 surveillance aircraft fly over the lake, back from some secret mission. Central Florida and the world were changing at a rapid pace. Jungled pristine shores have been replaced by manicured yards occupied by wood and masonry and glass, on the lakes of my childhood. Fertilizers and chemicals mix with the waters, once deep aquatic holes rise toward the sky on ladders of silt and population and progress premature the aging process.
The ten pounders of my memories are much harder to find,and the pristine Lake Berrys of the world may only be read about--I'm glad I have mine to remember. Eric

Fishing with son Scott -the conclusion!

The Nassau Banks --part 3

I left my spot on the cooler to make room for Scott to throw the 12 foot cast net--his 6 ft.3 inch frame and long arms allowed him to throw and open the big net with no problem---first try no Pogeys--yet the water was full of the little dudes---second try Scott pulled the net almost the second it hit the water---BINGO--200 Pogeys!!
We found the bait and then a torrential downpour found us---the bottom fell out--heavy sheets of rain poured from the sky for the next two hours---It was a safe rain--no lightening-the wind and waves were not too bad either--just a good soaking--and when it ended our pathway to the Nassau Banks was lit with sunshine and filled with promise as we headed east. I was pleased to see how well Scott and his buddy Gail worked as a team, many hours of fishing together had honed them into a good tandem. They readied the gear as we arrived at the Banks.
They prepared double live Pogey rigs and two rods were set on the port and starboard downriggers. We.. were in 65 foot of water and the baits were set at the 30 foot mark, another rod was put out about 40 yards behind the boat, and on the last rod-they fabricated what's called a Zombie Rig--this was awesome!!They had a ribbon fish, a dead one about 2 1/2 feet long on which four treble hooks were inserted along its length.In front of the Ribbon Fish on a single hook they put a live Pogey bait. This bait was set out just a few yards behind the boat and could easily be seen.The POgeys swimming motion caused the ribbon fish to look alive further more the Pogey in front thought he was being chased by the Ribbon Fish--causing the Pogey to dart around frantically trying to shake the hungry predator on his tail.What an outstanding bait combination and it would soon pay off!!
We discussed what might be caught out there,Cobia and Kings were the main focus.We didn't think Mahi- Mahi was much of a liklihood because they normally bit much further out than we were--as we were just on the edge of the Banks at a distance of 7 miles from the beach.I was staring at the Zombie rig going from side to side when suddenly from the right a streak of Green Yellow and Blue knifed through the Patriot blue water and nailed the ribbon fish.Scott hollered grab the pole dad. I said you get it son. I was more interested in watching them than catching fish that day. Scott grabbed the pole to fight the lively Mahi -Mahi.He jumped right away blasting skyward the meet the sun--his head shaking violently from side to side--he was a four footer and great table fare--
The rest of the day we caught 4 sharks in the 4 foot range--I enjoyed the day and look forward to other trips in the future--fishing out on our N. Florida waters.---Eric

Fishing with Scott part 2

The Nassau Banks part 2

The Nassau Banks

From the Mayport jetties to Fernandina Beach is a beautiful run along the coast. I was familiar with this area from articals I had read while hunting artifacts and looking for buried treasure--with my metal detector--it had been home to pirates in the 16 and 1700's. The old dunes along the coast had been the camp site for many a pirate and the burying ground for many a treasure--or so the stories go--no telling what lay below the sand.
The unspoiled beach was a protected area--weather beaten logs and wind swept sand and flowers and other greenery made an
inspiring sight an actual living post card
of natures beauty-and many an artist had duplicated their vision of this scenic coast.The palm trees swayed to the tempo of the wind, the white capped waves broke upon the sand bars signaling shallow water--as Gail moved the Bounty Hunter a bit east to deeper water--our eyes peeled for the Pogeys--our bait of choice.
The unpopulated portion of the beach eventually gave way to signs of civilization--as homes were seen,and condos--as Amelia Island Plantation came into view--a millionaires playgrond on the North Florida Coast. People could be seen walking along the beach many with their pet dogs in tow, little poodles and other noteable breeds enjoying the early morning stroll. There was a large building looming in the distance--" The Ritz Carlton Hotel" .
WE had moved past Nassau Sound a ways when suddenly birds could be seen diving to the surface in a frenzy--we had found the elusive Pogeys!! more tomorrow in part 3

Fishin with Scott my youngest Son part 1

The Nassau Banks

The Nassau Banks

I parked the car and walked toward the boat ramp, which was becoming more luminous by the rising sun. The Bounty Hunter was already moving back toward the water. Son Scott was in the boat and as soon as the wheels of the trailer went under--the big Evinrude came to life and into reverse.
The boat eased off into the water and rocked slightly from side to side---a 21 foot fishing machine, a center console boat with a V-6 200 H.P, all rigged out with overhead canopy,gold anodized rod holders, GPS-fish and depth finder,radio and two Penn down riggers.
The boat had a nice deep V hull and should handal larger waves quite well.
I sat on the the big cushioned ice chest facing forward and readied my digital camera for the first few shots. The Bounty Hunter swung east toward the open water. The horizon offered both sunshine and masses of gray as early morning thunderstorms peppered the sky from North to South. Gray clouds drilled the ocean with torrential rains from thousands of feet in the air.
Scott and Gail discussed the weather and turned the radio to the latest forecast.
The morning thunderstorms should ease by 9:15 A.M. It was now 7 A.M and we were between the rock jetties. I took a pic of the ominous sky and another of two channel pilot boats, and as soon as we cleared the jetties Gail turned the bow north and then west as we moved closer to the beach--which we would parrallel heading toward Fernandina Beach and Amelia Island in our search for Pogeys/Menhadden-our live bait for the day.
THe Nassau Banks were our fishing destination, a stretch of water 10 miles east of Nassau Sound with a water depth of 65 feet. It was here the previous week where Scott and Gail had gotten into a large number of Cobia and one of their most exciting days where few things went right and a bunch went wrong. Laughingly later, a real fishing adventure and learning experience.
I held on for dear life as the waves pounded the bow and jarred my body but the ride was great. I was out on the ocean again, a place I always felt at home.
more this evening

Posted by codger at 11:49 AM - 1 Comment Add a Comment

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Out of Controll

I had always had a plan,goals. I had spent my time working,improving myself or in a meaningful relationship and then I found myself going onto the Navy. The year was 1965,Aug 29th. I raised my hand and swore alliegence to the United States and protect her against all enemies foreign and domestic and off to bootcamp in the Great Lakes,A school training in Millington Tenn. and then to my regular duty station-Chase Field Beeville Texas squadron 26,the flying Tigers for the duration.
I had a plan up till the part about my duty station. I was disciplined enough to work dilligently in my Navy jobs and attain rank as fast as was possible.
I achieved the rank of E-5,second class Petty Officer Jet Hydraulics Mechanic but due to a Navy screw up went all the way up in rank on the flight line-ending second elisted in charge of daily operations which normally meant 140 sorties a day.
I was supposed to be working in the hydraulic shop on aircraft like I was trained to do LOL.
The Navy discovered their glaring error when I only had 1 year to go of my 4 year tour. They were pissed off about it but it was their error not mine.I had it made finally on the flight line,our long 17 hr. days had given way to my 4/5 hour shift with weekends off.I was in heaven and was studying very hard for my E-6 test.
The order came in ___Green report to the Hydraulic shop ASAP. The other mechanics lined up at the hangar doors and covered me in grease for missing all that time working in the shop. The thing that made all this so rough was I was now an E-5,had never worked on a plane since I got there and was obligated to not only start working on planes but to be a crew leader and safety inspector.I had forgotten much of what I learned in Hydraulics school by then.
The guys in the shop were not understanding either,they gave me the hardest jobs,the ones no one else wanted to do. I had finished 2nd in my class in hydraulics school and if it were not for the fun of trouble shooting it would have been harder.
I used to go back to the barracks from the flight line in pristine condition. I now went home with red hydraulic fluid covering my uniform and grease . I swore if I survived this final year ordeal I would never work in hydraulics again.
I wrote the heading Out of Controll in regards to this story because it was the 3 1/2yrsI spent at Chase Field that were out of controll.I went there under 21,had never been away from home in my life,never drank never caroused. I had a plan,go to college,marry my High School sweetheart have a family and live happily ever after.
The girl dumped me the second I mentioned marriage,I caught mono and had to audit my college classes and was about to be drafted.
My dad did a sales pitch on me to join the Navy, I enlisted with my good friend Chuck on the buddy plan--even that screwed up. I flunked my physical the first time with sugar in my urine from some candy the night before the phycical in Jacksonville.
Chuck went on to bootcamp and I went home for a week with the order that I had to be tested for a week for sugar and I could go to boot camp if I passed.
MY Dr. said do you really want to go into the service--lol I know what he was saying--but I was patriotic and didnt eat any sugar and passed with flying colors.One week later I was on my way to bootcamp.I didnt want to stay around town anyway. I was reeling from the breakup with my girlfriend--like an idiot tried to get her back for 3 years--an exercise in torture I could have done without.
By being out of controll I am referring to the fact that untill I met my current wife 2 years and 10 months after getting to Beeville I spent all my free time chasingwomen,drinking,carousing,partying--nothing useful to make me a better person. I could have gone back to college,gotten my pilots licenseand the Govt would
have paid for it.I could have invested or saved money!
You might say hey that was a growing up life experience. Learn about people and real life etc.No it was a total waste of time and brain cells-it was an undisciplined out of controll responseto strict parents and no one other than the Navy telling me what to do. I was so into having a good time that I didnt even call or write home to let my parents know hw I was. The commanding officer had to call me up to his office and chew me out and tell me to write home more often.
Since my grandchildren will be reading this I will skip all the sordid details of my carousing and the ends I went to to score---I was a player a pathetic one at that.
I will pick this life memoir up when I met my wife,8 months before my Navy tour would end. More later Gator-Codger Ricky G.

Sleeping all day was not an option! 50's and 60's

Busy Teenagers

I am going to change tact here and instead of talking about specific events in my life I am gong to discuss typical days and how I filled the time.
I didn't sit in the house staring at the TV unless my shows were on and of course sports . I was a big football,baseball and tennis and swimming and track and field events and bowling and just about any thing that was a sport.
If I was not watching sports I was playing them.Our side yards in the homes in which I lived were the gathering point for area kids. We got out there in the grass and sand spurs and played tackle football with no pads. I loved defense and I also fancied myself a kicker and spent hours practicing. I could kick a nice spiral and worked on distance hitting 40/50 yards sometimes. The fact was I was good only in my own mind,I lacked sufficent leg strength to be good enough.
I was hurt one day playing football,no not by another player but by a bush--a Japanese Bayonette Bush with 1/2 inch spikes backed up by rigid 1/8 inch thick leaves. I leaped to catch a pass and fell into that bush and the prongs went into my chest and side -think it made a 10 on the pain meter.
There were benefits to playing football in the side yard on Howell Branch road. We attracted the sisters who lived behind our house and right in the middle of our game they showed up on their roof in their underware. Our attendance at games increased after that as did the appearences of the show off females. Their mom must have caught them cause that came to an end lol.
If I wasn't playing football I was on my bike riding the narrow Winter Park roads sonetimes lookin for good fishin spots often bringing home good size bass draped over my handal bars. I was taught well by the greatest fisherman in the world my, dad and rarely came home empty handed..
In central Florida there were over 2000 lakes and also canals,plenty of water to investigate and fish.
I also took classes from Coach Varner the Rollins College tennis coach,after that I spent time practicing and looking for games.I did all this while holding jobs from the time I was 14,that does not count my lawn mowing business. I had all the customers I could handal.
I think my Grandfather Campbell and dad for instilling a good work ethic in me. Dad believed a boy ought to be workin. He did when he was young. His own father left when he was 7 and never returned his mother divorced Benjamin Sr. and never remarried.
I started out bagging groceries in the Food Fair but dad said that was not an educational enough job. Dad got me a job at his friends gas station and from then till leaving for the Navy in 1965 I worked gas stations among all my other pursuits LOL.
These were the days of cheep gas 28 cents a gallon and service ,checking under the hood for oil and water and brake fluid and power steering fluid and belts etc.
Dad knew I didn't like mechanics much so he wanted to make me learn about the subject so I would have a knowledge lol.
Everything I did I tried to do it the best I could and since I really liked people I gave very good customer service. Mixed in and around all this work and play I managed to run track and water ski and date and go with the family to South Florida to visit the Grand Parents when they were there in the Winter.
I also bought everything I needed,cloths etc. I remember telling mom I didn't like a shirt she bought me and she said I could buy my own and I did. I liked to dress well. I didn't realize at the time that I was following" an Old family Tradition" as Hank Jr.said,my Grandfather and his dad were considered cloths horses-because they were in the mens clothing business. This was something I learned much later in life when I worked on the family history.
I also ironed my own cloths--why cause I told mom I didn't like the way she ironed my shirt LOL! I had a girlfriend who taught me the proper way to iron and I went to town after that. She even taught me to sprinkle water and to dampen them and put them in a bag in the refrigerator and it would make it easier also she taught me in the use of starch.
Mom was so impressed she rewarded me with the familys cloths to iron,was't that nice of her !
At this time I was also in the Explorer Scouts,my friend Richard got me into this organization,Reinis Fox was our President and Jim Evans now passed was our leader.
I was also in the Civil Air Patrol an auxillery of the Air Force and was a search and rescue organization.These activities were on different nights . I was one busy teenager but preferred it that way and never felt over worked or stressed out.
These activities were not all I did back then. I was in Jr. Cotillion and went to formal dances at the various country clubs and the officers club at the base. The base was the Air Force Base in those days and the entrance we used was right at the end of Lakemont ave.
Someone suggested the Jr. Cotillion and a formal invitation was sent to our house. I dont know who did it to this day but it made me feel very comfortable around famous and wealthy people refering to the adults present at these occasions because there were always receiving lines to go through to meet them. Often we would have senators and generals etc .
I was also a member of the Winter Park Methodist Church and MYF-( Methodist Youth Fellowship).We went to a summer camp in Leesburg Florida and always had great places that we made trips to.
THe schools in those days were very aggressive in extra curricular field trips and concerts with the Orlando Symphony.
Ya may wonder how I worked with al these things to do. When your dad is friends with your boss hours can be worked out. I put inmost of my hours on the weekend and if I had an activity to do I got the hours off. The Codger Rick G

Monday, April 27, 2009

THe Cuban Missile crisis

Remembrances of the 50's and 60's in Central Florida

We in the Florida area remember the Cuban missile crisis--and the build up of our armed forces.
All around Florida and our area--troops and equipment could be seen on the move--heading South--Convoy after Convoy--troops equipment and armament--we all really felt that war was a very real possibility--nuclear war!!!
U2 aircraft could be seen coming and going across the sky--people hurried construction of shelters--we were never so close to nuclear destruction
During this time my father was Operations Officer for a Civil Air Patrol Squadron in Orlando--and he had to fly one night to Jacksonville on C.A.P business--I was a cadet in C.A.P at the time and went along with two other sr. members--nearing Jacksonville we had engine trouble and had to set down at one of the Jacksonville Navy bases--emergency landing--
WE were surrounded by vehicles-of armed men and the anxiety of the military grew when we deplaned and were wearing fatiques and the flat top fatique caps like Castros men wore--that was the only time I have had guns pointing directly at me.
We were cleared after ID'S and our military orders were verified--

You know the 50's and 60's were a simpler time--fun could be a hayride out in Oviedo and a camp out telling stories around a fire--
Untill I left home for the military--I never saw self service gas stations. I worked part time throughout Jr. High and High School--at filling stations--we pumped the gas--checked the tires and oil--all fluid levels--cleaned the windshields--Dad thought it was the responsible thing to do--work and earn--I did like buying my own cloths--and having some money in my pocket-Dad was a great provider but he wanted us prepared for the real world.
The Sound of Music opened in Orlando and I don't remember it ever closing--did that movie run forever?
I remember 17 cent a gallon gasoline--reel to reel tape recorders.
I bought my cloths at the Male Box--a trendy mens store in Winter Park--Madras shirts were in and Pennie Loafers--no socks with the loafers.
Girls wore girdles in those days-as effective as midievil chastity belts--you knew you were in for a hot evening if she wore kulats--a combo skirt and shorts. Till you discovered that darn girdle.
Moms told some daughters about us guys-- If you were lucky maybe a little action above the waist but they would say mom said nothing below the waist-better happen--My parents were so strict--I had a date one night and was progressing right along in the back seat on a double date--but I went a little farther than I thought I could--so I stopped --and my date said--look buddy--I'll tell you when to stop--I'm 60 now and am still being reminded of that night by my friend Chuck--who was with his date in the front seat.
My dad went round and round about the 5 bad transmissons with Ford Motors regarding his Falcon Squire Wagon--he didn't know my brother was blowing the tran--eees at the st. drags in Bithlo----run what ya brung!! more late Fellow and Lady bloggers Eric

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My Tribute to the Shrimper Man

Texas Shrimper Man-- -------

Texas Shrimper Man
They've left the safety of home and harbor the jetties now lie astern,a diesels drum and the rattling sounds of the rigging set the cadence for their march out to the sea. The doors are down the nets deployed and another days begun for the Shrimper Man.
They labor upon an untamed sea with an eye on the changing sky, there was no band to herald their leaving only a lonely seagulls cry.
Benneath the heavens and above the depths they ride the emerald plain, on chariots of sun bleached bone and rustin steel,carrying ice in holes or freezer stalls, with rope and steel, chain and net, they drag the oceans guts for shrimp, the Shrimper Man.
Their boats have names like the Mary Lou, the Poseidon and the Virginia, with capable Captains at the helm, with Riggers and Headers, the crews they roam,our coastal waters they call their home.They work in the heat--the cold, the light of day and the dark of night often fighting sharks so mean stainless steel they'll tear, just dragging their nets for a meager share, just another day in time for the Shrimper Man.
Tell me Shrimper Man where ya gonna be tonight? Your radfio message said ya had Galveston in sight,are ya loaded down with shrimp and fish and the like? Tell me Texas Shrimper Man, where ya gonna be tonight?
If you stand on some wind swept beach at dusk or dark of night, you'll see their deck lights bob and weave, a diesels drone may warm the breeze,thank God for earth and sky and sea and land and save a special spot for the Shrimper Man--Texas Louisianna,Mississippi,Florida Alabama,Ga. and South Carolina-Shrinmper Mans !!! Eric

He's such a good boy!

Oh Mrs. G--your son is such a polite young man.

Polite to a fault--that was me,yes mam,yes sir,thank you very much, may I be excused please?

I was just hanging out on the concrete stoop-a handsome young man of 4 years old and when the stranger walked up to me and ask " Young man do you have a basement in this apartment?, I was more than happy to show him-so down into the bowls of hell we treaded, me and the man stranger.
The man led me to the far end of the basement--and he said it sure is hot in here and I said yes sir--and he proceeded to start taking off my cloths--
I'm very fortunate that the maint. man for our apts. came in at that time and ran the man out of the building-I of course did not realize at the time what was happening--- ERic

THe Prarie Lake Drive-IN

The Drive In Movie

I don't know about yall but isle 5 on the end was mine----The south end---It didn't have my name on it but was almost always available--yall may have had your favorite spots as well--on this hallowed ground where the passions on the screen often held no candle to the young emotions behind those fogged windows--when a simple kiss burned its way to your very soul, and the stars of the 60's played out their fantasy on the big white screen and the youth which were us,fumbled and grasp at clasp and life's little catches on our trek toward adulthood.
I don't know about yall but aisle 5 on the end was mine--but it's gone now, another victim of expansion and replaced by videos and CD's and cable and satellite--a world on the fast track to oblivion--heres to the old passion pit, the Prairie Lake Drive-In. Eric

Stand Up to those Bullies Son!

You've got to stand up to those bullies son!!

I was 4 years old--we were still living in the sea of red brick apartments called the Waldorf--it was Christmas morning and one of my gifts was a matched pair of Gene Autry chrome plated cap pistols and gun belt-I put them on and my cowboy hat and headed out into the yard to show them off. I wasn't out there 2 minutes when 2 kids about 10 years old took them from me and walked off--they were from another apartment--I had never seen them before.
I was crushed and went in and told my parents and dad was furious--he said I needed to stand up for myself--and fight for what was mine--those boys towered over me--he said if you see them again demand your guns back or come and get me.
The next day here they come again--I summoned all my courage and walked up to them and said give me my guns back and they just laughed and then each one of them grabbed my shoulders and they led me off forcibly to their apt building which was some distance away. They tied me up and took off my cloths and to my horror hoovered above me with a butcher knife and said if I turned them in they would cut off my private parts.
Dad ask me some time later if I had seen those boys and I said no--they must have moved!!

Double Darers Go First

Double Darers Go First Back to Full Blog

I guess I was 3/4 years old-living at the Waldorf apartments, me a my buddy John were riding our tricycles on the landing--the raised concrete porch of our apt. building-about 3feet above the ground.
John said dare ya to ride your bike of the edge and I said--------------------double dare you!!!-----and he said--------------------------------------------------------------double darers go first!!!--!
! *

I rode right off the landing as instructed cause double darers always go first-went into a dive landing headfirst into the brick abutment in front of the basement window--splitting my head open--I could barley make it up the five flights of stairs to our apt--cause blood was in my eyes--mom freaked and they took me to the hospital--they bandaged my head up like a mummy--I was out in the yard the next day--fire trucks had come to the apts across the street--a nice fireman talked to me and said what happened to your head--I said I drove my bike off the edge of the landing--double darers didn't seem like a good thing to do anymore--the fireman just patted my shoulder--said take care of yourself kid. Eric

Sunday, April 26, 2009

The Day I Locked Up My Mom

The day I locked up mom-and split with superman cape and a butter knife

There were two things I hated when I was a small child in the Waldorf apts.--One was going shopping with mom at Macy's-to the bargain basement---think of a little child in a crowded store with a herd of women fighting over cloths in a bargain bin--looked like land of the giants to this 3 year old--the other thing I hated was going down into the basement with mom to wash cloths--what fun!! Maybe I had a thing about basements cause I almost got killed in one-but that will be a later story!
Anyway--here we were heading to the basement-mom opened the door with the key and left it in the door as she struggled with the large basket--the door closed and I found myself on the outside with the key.
I really don't know why I did it--but I did--I turned the key--I don't remember if mom was screaming at me as I headed up the stairs to our unlocked apt.--I got a big towel and made myself a cape like superman--and I got into the kitchen drawer and got a butter knife for protection and headed out of our apartments to see the world and introduce myself to new people.
Mom was locked in the cellar for 5 hours till dad got home--no one else came down there all day--meanwhile I had gone to 3 different apt buildings and knocked on multiple doors introducing myself--and finally came across a lady who knew me and took me home to freaked out parents--I can't remember if I got my butt tore up that night or not--wouldn't matter--they called me rock bottom--I would never cry if I got spanked----ERic

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The U-Tube Time Machine

What a pleasant surprise

I watched Susan Boyle on U-Tube,she was amazing but the amazing revelation I had was the majic carpet U-Tube.It has filled my weekend with travel adventure nostalgia,my eyes with tears my depression with cheers and allowed me to forget my various Illnesse's and travel anywhere I wish on the U-Tube time machine.
Nearly anything I conjured up in my mind,someone has made a video of,nearly all he music I care for is represented at the click of a mouse.
I thought of my Navy Duty station,Chase Field Beeville Texas--I was there from March 66 till Aug 1969--got married near there on Dec.26th 1968 .
I had those memories in my mind as I typed Chase Field Beeville Texas.
There was the line shack where I worked for 2 1/2 years and the squadron hangar where I worked on F11's the last year and the hydraulic shop.
The snack bar --( Geedunk) we called it was right there--everything looked so errie--desolate and empty but the memories that came flooding back to me from the 60's were like fresh .
I thought of all the salt water fish I had not yet caught but through the majic of U-tube and its video doners I was right on the boats in azure tossing seas,huge Wahoo,Marlin,Mahi Mahi coming over the stern or being released at the sides,Cobia Blue sharks and Tuna right before my eyes--the excited shouts of fisherman-shouting fish on!!
I wathed my sons video marketing productions and learned a lot about him and his enthusiasm.
I give prps to U-tube and the community of doners who have made it a must see in the cyber world. More later 1grainofsandon the infinitebeaches of time. The Codgerman,papaG,Erio--Rick saying good night.,

Southern Women

They have Fire in their eyes and a touch of Scarlet deep in their Soul. Back to Full Blog

Back in the 1970's I was with my brother visiting his friends--they were having a jam session--and since I'm not a musician I was feeling a little left out--
I told him I was gonna write a song--so since I shot off my mouth-I had to do it--
THe following is that offering--now all that is required is for Willy Nelson to call and say he will do it-and everything will be cool.

Southern Women

Southern Women they're so pretty yeah, they've got fire in their eyes and a touch of scarlet deep in their soul. Southern breezes smell of jasmine and magnolia, but now the past is gone and the present here: but does the stench of black powder and death still linger in the air for the Southern Woman?
Concrete Towers have grown where stately mansions once stood, is this the progress of man or the Destiny-the destiny of fools. How could they trust their lives to fate when they had thrown away all the rules
THe old manners and decorum-are they ashes of the past or are the memories that last, the ones kept alive by the spirit of the Southern Woman?
Southern Women they're so pretty yeah, they've got fire in their eyes and a touch of scarlet deep in their soul, southern breezes smell of Jasmine and magnolia,but now the past is gone and the present here:but dooes the stench of black powder and death still linger in the air for the Southern Woman?
If ya go down south today my friend-respect it's history be kind to its land , think reverently of the pain endured by the land and the Southern Women. ERic

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Saturday, April 25, 2009

When I was 3/4 years old

Tiny little ghost creatures in my room,docs carrying hypodermic needles ,making house calls, a trip to the moon and all the ice cream you could eat. Back to Full Blog

When I was a little guy of 3/4 years-I was afraid to go to bed and have the door shut to my room-because there were little creatures in my room--less than 2 feet tall--they sat on my bed, jumped up and down when the door shut and the lights were out. They were a smokey white color and easily visible---they didn't hurt me but I had to hide under the covers to go to sleep--parents just think your being a kid--when I got older the same creatures followed me to my Grandparents house--but only when the door was shut and the lights turned out.
You younger folks may find it interesting that doctors used to make house calls in the 40's--and when my friend John downstairs got a shot I could hear him wallering--and the footsteps of the doctor coming up the stairs--I had no where to hide and the damn creatures in my room were no help--
I got very sick and had to be taken to the emergency room, I was put into isolation and they kept giving me shots--I was terrified and screamed for my mother to help me--all she could do was hold out her arms on the other side of the glass--I was having convulsions--something to do with an infection from bad tonsils--they said I had to have my tonsils out--I was so scared--but they said I could get all the ice cream I wanted after the operation.
When I went into the operating room they said I was going on a trip to the moon and put a breathing mask on my face and told me to count down as they instructed me--I think I just made it to 5---
When I woke up in a ward--my throat hurt--it was dark and no parents were there--kids were crying all around me and some were screaming
I had no ice cream and felt abandoned in a nightmare world.
When the sun came up the nurse brought me ice cream and my parents brought me presents--things were a lot better then.

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Fun in the 40's

Cardboard ,snakes, Fireflies and Baseball Back to Full Blog

We had fun in the latter 40's-all it took was a piece of cardboard and a grassy hill--and down we went.We tried sliding down steep banks of dirt-whew ---lot of speed-almost slid out onto the road.
In the winter the gravel little hilly roads would ice over--man talk about flying down a hill.
In the good weather we would walk to Bull run--the park--there were a lot of snakes in the creek and we would chunk rocks at their heads--I think that helped me later in life in baseball.

Friday, April 24, 2009

How I spent my time as a teenager

How I spent my time as a teenager-----
It's no wonder that I'm half dead now. I didn't realize just how busy I was in my younger years. I mean I just about checked myself in at the emergency room when I started this artical last week and then pressed that imaginery button somewhere on this computer that erased my well intentioned efforts.
I belonged to Explorer scouts,The Civil Air Patrol,The Jr. Cotillion,the methodist youth Fellowship,Track and Field at school and worked for Texaco and then Shell all the way through High School and at the end attended OJC ( Orlando Jr. College).
This does not involve my free time when I dated and after moving to Lyman High dating the same girl all the way into the end of a year of college when I was dumped .I also fished with my dad,made trips to south florida,went hunting.
I was a bargain for my parents. I always had jobs and even cut grass which was very lucrative. I always had money and cloths and money for dates and gasoline all bought by me.
I even paid for my college and my books. Dad bought me a lambretta motor scooter which I loved. It was blue and white and had actual chrome bumper guards and was really economical. Made it good to make the 14 mile trip to the girlfriends house--and I showed up,on time to get the ax which was my last trip to Eileen ave.
I'm going to touch on all this now briefly----------------------------------------

Civil Air Patrol
I was a member of the cadets,my buddy Chuck Rehmund talked me into it and my father was a sr. member and was the Operations Officer. For those who dont know a lot about it,it is an auxillery of the U.S A.F and a search and rescue organization.
We went out on missions looking for downed aircraft and were trained in search an rescue and first aid and military discipline etc. I was on the drill team and performed at various functions. We had meetings once a week at the airforce base in Winter Park/Orlando. We wore uniforms just like the Airforce.
The Jr. Cotillion

I received an invitation to join when we first moved to Florida. I have no idea who recomended me because that was the only way to get in. The Cotillion teaches young men and women manners and the proper way to go through receiving lines and meet important people and young ladies of good upbringing lol.It enables you to make contacts and mingle and be part of social networking which may assist you when your ready to go out into the world.It enables you to have controlled recreation and hopefully become a productive adult and be at home in various settings. The dances which were always formal were held at country clubs and the officers club at the base. I had to purchase a white coat and cumberbund and dress shoes for the occasion.
It was fun and some of the most beautiful girls at school were members which was just fine with me.
The Explorer Scouts

I was told about Explorers by good friend Richard Morgan and Reinis Fox now past was the President of the Maitland Post. The post was led by Chemistry Teacher from Colonial High Mr. Jim Evans who has also past away many years ago.
The post specialized in canoeing ,long trips as well as the Florida canoe derby held once per year a race.
I joined and enjoyed my time with great friends and we managed a number of state championships as well on the canoe racing. The highlight was two long trips,one from Macon Ga . to Appalacicola,over 340 miles and another from Kissismee Fl. to Fort Meyers Florida.
Methodist Youth Fellowship

Our family joined the Winter Park Methodist church in 1958 and it was a great church that kept ya hopping with a slate of activities. I joined the Methodist Youth Fellowshop and throughly enjoyed it.We not only took classes to properly join the church we had many activites on weekends where christ and commaroterie were key! We also went to the Methodist Youth Camp in Leesburg on the lake each summer for a week.
I was in the choir untill I was the last teenage boy in the choir. MY dad made me leave,he said it looked weird me and all those girls LOL.I thought it was heaven on earth LOL.
After Church on Sundays our family normally went out to eat at an area Rest. We also made a stop at the Dairy Queen in downtown Winter Park or it might have been called the Tastee Freeze. We loved the softserve icecream.I had a craving for the strawberry sundaes.
The S@S Cafeteria was one of our favorite places to eat. I always got the Strawberry shortcake for desert. Dad always left a tip on the table and brother Ron took it and pocked the money--that really made me mad--now to be fair to him I only saw him do it once.
I had a love for seafood. We all ate seafood. Dad was a great fisherman so we always had fish and other ocean or lake fare.
Working at Gas Stations
Gas stations were the McDonalds of the 60's. In those days cars were given full service. We checked under the hood and filled up oil and washer fluid,brake fluid and transmission fluid as well as filling the cars with fuel. We also checked the tires and aired them to specifications,looked for cut or damage belts and
cleaned the windows all the way around.
Dad got me a job at the Texaco on aloma and Forsyth ave. HIs friend owned it and dad was determined that I should learn about cars. I worked the stations from the time I was 14 till I left for the Navy in 1965.
I will tell one rather risque story about the station at aloma. There was an older guy that worked there-when I went to work he said remind me to tell ya a bout the bed in the back room. One day he did--he said their was a mother and daughter who came in and they were mother and daughter prostitutes. They would hike up their skirts when we washed their windshield. They thought it was funny watching the guys get all flustered. They also were known to have sex in that back room for gasoline or car repairs. Now mind you this was a story. I never saw them get out and go back there and the older guy told me I wasn't old enough. They could have been pulling my leg,then again who knows.
The first time I waited on them and they hiked their dresses up-I spent more time than usual doing that windshield LOL!!!
I want to remind yall I am talking the time period of 1958 till 1965. Full service was what ya got at the gas stations and it required extra people in those days--that's why I say the McDonalds of the era for teenagers.
I actually repaired tires,did brake jobs and oil changes and grease jobs and attempted a few other things.
When I left to go into the Navy in Aug 1965,one of the guys at the shell station who was older bought me 2 beers. those were the first beers I ever had in my life.I drank them sitting on my scooter behind the old Charlies Bar. I was convinced I must be drunk and I drove my scooter home which was very close.

My Love Life 1958/1965
Ages 13/18--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
When we moved to Winter Park in 1958, I attended Glenridge Jr. High. Our family moved to Florida from Edgewater Maryland.
I joined Jr. Cotillion right away so I had girls to dance with and socialize with right away.
I gravitated towards the ones I knew from school and they were not necessarily the ones I wished to have a date with. We were urged to dance with specific people at our tables as they were teaching us manners,pulling chairs for the ladies,how to put on a corsage,etc.
The girls were members of the Eastern Star. I didnt care about affiliation,they were nice looking and I liked girls a lot and dancing -such a life LOL !!!!
I dated girls from my church as well and took girls to church functions. I had a date or more with Donna C. She lived near our first house on Howell Branch road and her dad and my dad were friends. I have known Donna since th 7th-grade. We actually went steady for like 2 days once and I gave her the famous cheep going steady ring.Donna actually went to Lyman High and I knew her there. She was my oldest and best friend over the years from Florida.
I also dated girls I knew from Civil Air Patrol. I dated Gloria Thompson who has past away. I liked her but she said I wasn't catholic so she couldn't marry me lol.I had a date with a girl from Highway 50 area,her brother was our cadet commanding officer in CAP,her name was Joan.We had hay rides out to the Oviedo area which were a blast!
I dated lots of girls and was a virgin. I got so many lectures from my mom about you better not get some girl pregnant that I could hear her in my ear on every date I went on.
All my dating came to a screeching hault in 1961 when I transferred to Lyman. I met Ms S and fell flat head over heels.
I first saw her in one of my classes and when the teacher introduced me as a transfer she turned around and looked at me and I saw her and that was that. She said we met at the sock hop in the gym as our formal introduction. I never dated anyone else till I got the heave ho in 1965 which more than broke my heart. I went into the navy shortly there after,helped along by a draft notice after I became sick with mono and had to audit my classe's. I wanted to have my choice of service and job and dad having been a Navy man talked me into the Navy with his arm twisting presentation of three square meals a day and a bed to sleep in every night instead of a foxhole.
I was like a lot of teenagers,I investigated sex and tried various things but repected who I was with and remained a virgin be it an experienced almost not a virgin virgin--LOL if ya get what I am saying.I remained a virgin till I was 21 years old.

Orlando Jr. College
I attended OJC--it is not there now,in its place is Lake Highland Tech. OJC was a private Jr. College. I enjoyed going there. I was taking basic courses to lead to pre -law. I intended to go to the Unn of Florida and then Stetson for law school.
The best layed plans of mice and men LOL.Everything was going along well till I got mono,the kissing disease. I figured it came from the drinking fountain at the sch.
I not only got mono -In had a severe case--I got strepp throat and scarlet fever from it and was hospitalized. I missed so much time I had to audit my classes. I( was making good grades but the audit change caused me to lose my full time student classification. My friend Chuck Rehmunds father was on the draft board and let us know that we were being called up the next week. I joined the Navy to at least have some say in the service and the job fields lol.--------------------------------more later Rick One grain of sand on an infinite beach!

My Mission Statement

I am recording memorable moments in my life to augment the family historythat I will pass on.
I have non fiction true life stories through age 19 which I will post here and continue to my present age of 63 or more.
It is my fervent belief that everyones life is unique and can be interesting if told with joy sorrow or conviction,for we have learned from all we have experienced and we are all part of those who came before and have contributed ourselves to the next generation. Rick--The Codgerman