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Jack Zaleski, Published July 07 2012

Zaleski: Column went fishing for memories, caught a few

Last week’s column on fishing the simple way apparently stirred a lot of memories among readers. Here are a few of the dozens I received:

From a reader in Minnesota lakes country:

“Can’t tell you how I felt when I read your column about fishing with your father. Your words about the sound of the rowboat on the water really got to me. It was like that for me and my father. He refused to get an outboard, so we rowed – my brother sometimes. Mostly just him and me because my brother was older and not much with fishing.

“Thanks for writing about simple stuff like fishing when all it took was a rod and reel and an old rowboat. By the way, still have the boat …”

An Inforum reader in Bozeman, Mont., wrote:

“Beautiful … lots of wisdom …thanks!”

But this one moved me the most. A gentleman from my hometown who knew my father sent this:

“You probably don’t remember me, but I worked at the Herald (hometown newspaper in New Britain, Conn.) with your dad. I was a Linotype operator like him. Met him years before when we were in trade school, then went to work with him after the war at the Herald.

“My daughter – think you might have been in school with her at Pulaski High – showed me your column, and I nearly cried. I remember how your dad loved fishing with you and his younger brother. He’d tell fishing stories every Monday after you and him had been out on the weekend.

“I fished at Peat Works myself. Remember that old boat rental place – some old lady ran it. The boats were pretty old way back then, but cheap. Five dollars a day, I think I remember.

“As Bob Hope used to say, ‘Thanks for the memory.’ ” I’m in the nursing home, you know. Just turned 92, but I’m OK …”

You never know who’s out there reading. A small fishing story of times gone by triggers a grand memory in an old World War II veteran who worked with my dad.

It’s the small, unexpected rewards that make this job satisfying …


Contact Editorial Page Editor Jack Zaleski at (701) 241-5521.