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Other People's Stories...

The Accidental Fisherman

Muddy-Fish
Muddy by the Water

I have this buddy who is an incredible cook and a hot-shit photographer. My kid is very partial to him, because he spoils her with pickles. She calls him “Muddy”, and I think he’s rather partial to her, as well, because whenever we walk into his restaurant, he has a bowlful of pickles up on the chute before we even get to the table.

As it happens, Muddy’s restaurant is one of Ruby’s favourites, and that’s where she took us out for dinner the other night (Ruby is very partial to my kid, too – I only got to tag along because I have the wheels).

Once we had our bellies crammed full of comfort food (and pickles), I noticed Muddy had snuck out the back, so I followed him out to smoke cigarettes and talk (Photo)shop…

He had just come back from a fishing trip, although he doesn’t fish. At all. Has no interest in fishing whatsoever. When his pals go off a-fishin’, Muddy tags along with his camera…

This particular trip, nobody was having any luck. The fish weren’t biting. At all. The Muddy-Buddies were disgusted. So much so, that they decided to all wander off on a hike, trusting Muddy to watch the gear. Muddy figured he could handle this, although he only knows the business end of a fishing rod because it’s generally the one pointing at the water.

Muddy wanted duck pictures, anyway, so he was happy to “watch” the gear…

The ducks weren’t cooperating any more than the fish that day. They kept swimming so that the fishing rods, propped up against the rocks on the shore, lines still in the water, were between themselves and Muddy’s camera.

Muddy was determined to get his shot, however, and he finally decided to get rid of the rods….

Of course, this was not a matter of just picking up a rod and moving it. No… Muddy had to figure out how to unlock the reel and wind the line in first – which he managed – he’s fairly bright. Easy-peasy.

What he didn’t expect, while reeling in the line, was to nearly have the rod yanked out of his hands. Yup. The non-fishing photographer/cook caught himself a fish. Illegally, too, considering he didn’t have a fishing license.

He got around that one, though, by throwing it back – after yelling at one of his buddies to come back and take a picture first. I’m not sure how he convinced the guy to take the shot and not just throw the camera in the water; he was that mad that Muddy had caught a fish by accident when the rest of them couldn’t pull it off for trying…

I was rather impressed, though, and talked him into letting me have the picture… and posting it… and telling the story. Thankfully, he agreed to it all, ‘cuz I was tapped, story-wise.

I might actually have to go back to writing my own, if this keeps up.

Random Song-for-the-Day: “Trumpets” – Flipsyde

Categories
The Landlady

Where’s the “Beech”?!

Ruby - Bathing Suit - 1956
Parade Girl – 1956

It didn’t show up in the photo, so Ruby’s sister, who took the original picture back in 1956, wrote what the sign said with a ball-point pen, on the copy she made for Ruby. Yes, that’s Ruby with the mask, goggle eyes and bathing suit. Ummm. Yeah. That’s a bathing suit.

Ruby had no qualms whatsoever about handing it over for bloggery mischief – in fact, she hunted it out on purpose for me in March of this year.

Sorry, folks. This post is a few months late.

* * *

Did I ever tell you about the time I marched in the Community Day Parade on the Island?

Me: No! When was this?!

(laughs and claps her hands together) Wait’ll you see this!

She disappears into her spare room and comes out with the above photo, at which I, of course, laugh.

Me: ‘Splain to me this, Ruby.

Ruby (eyes just a twinkling): Do you think that Mushy-fella will like this?

Me: I think he’d rather no mask.

Ah, well. He’ll have to suffer the mask, then.

Me: So, what’s with the sign? Were you protesting?

Kind of. But we were more making fun, I guess.

Me: Who were you making fun of?

The Town Council, that’s who! A couple years before this, somebody on the council got the bright idea, that if they made a sand beach along the waterfront on one side of the Island, that the tourists would come in droves. There was fighting and voting and more fighting and more voting than you ever would believe over that beach mess, let me tell you!

Me: Looks as if the town wanted it, by the sign…

Nope. Just the opposite. Most people in town didn’t think it would work at all. They figured Lake Huron would just wash the beach away in a couple of years, and wouldn’t that be just a waste of sand and money?

Me: I guess it would.

Your darn right it would! But Council won out, and they must have spent thousands trucking in sand in big trucks and dumping it. They made a right nice beach, too.

Me: And….?

And the very next Spring, Lake Huron melted and hauled the whole works away to God Knows Where! (laughs for a long time) Town Council was pretty red-faced about that, lemme tell you!

Me: And so you marched yourself down Main Street in the Community Day Parade with that get-up and a sign, just to make fun of the Council? I wouldn’t have thought you to be so mean, Ruby!

(I said this ADMIRINGLY, though, you must understand….)

Ruby claps her hands together in laughter again….

Yup! And….

I won First Prize!!

Random Song for the Day: “Nobody Told Me” – Puddle of Mudd

Categories
Photography

Where Did the Time Go?

Image: Where Did the Time Go?
Where Did the Time Go?
Taken March 1, 2008 with Canon PowerShot A550

Categories
The Landlady

For Mushy – I Think We’re Wearing Her Down…

Joycie, Rex, and Ruby – 1928

Hey, a picture is a picture, right? Ruby dug this out especially for me to post here. That’s her on the right, sitting behind her brother Rex, on their tricycle – doesn’t she look like a little devil? And I’ll bet Rex dropped Joycie on her head off that trike about 30 seconds after the shutter clicked. Not that he did drop her on her head – just that he probably did. Just sayin’.

Rex is the brother of Blackberry Summer fame. Ruby hadn’t told me much about Rex up to this point, so when she presented me with this photo, saying, “There. I wonder what that Mushy fella will say to that?”, I asked her about him.

Rex was about 18 months older than Ruby. She was about three in this photo, so he’d have been a little over…. five maybe? He had asthma and it plagued him all his life. When he was eight, it almost killed him because of a Scarlet Fever vaccination.

They didn’t have a doctor in Northland, so every year or so, one would come in by train and stay a few days, checking up on people and taking care of any emergencies that might crop up while he was there. The rest of the time, Northlanders most likely were doctored up by midwives, veterinarians, and God Himself.

On the last day of an annual visit, if there were any school kids of the right age, the doctor would innoculate them all one after another, just before he jumped back on the train out of there. The kids would all be lined up, and with the midwife assisting, the doctor would stick them all, assembly-line fashion, no questions asked, no names taken. Prick, prick, prick, prick, pack up and go home.

Rex had asthma, but the doctor didn’t know that, and he didn’t bother to ask. If he had bothered, he’d never have given him the shot. Five minutes after the doctor left for the station house (which, ironically, was where Rex’s dad was, being the section foreman, after all), Rex went into convulsions. The quick-thinking midwife scooped him up and ran for the station house, where the train was just pulling in, and Rex’s dad watched the doctor save his boy in the nick of time.

When I asked Ruby what the doctor did to save him, she said she hadn’t a clue, just that it had been close. She also laid dollars to donuts that the doctor never gave another shot without asking a kid’s history first.

Rex survived, though, and grew up to work for his dad on the railroad, which kept him employed until World War II. He tried to sign on, of course, but his asthma did that idea in. He ended up working as a time-keeper for a chain-gang of POWs for the duration of the war, at a camp further up the ACR.

The POWs he was in charge of were mostly Italians. The were a friendly bunch, and the Canadian government treated them very well. They may have been called a “chain-gang”, but not a one of them wore a chain. Where would they go if they ran? Into the Northern bush to starve or freeze to death? No, they weren’t that stupid. Better off where they were, where they were housed and fed fairly comfortably, considering, and each and every one of them worked hard, Rex said.

In the evenings, some of them built tiny little ships, with masts and sails that were squished magically through the necks of whiskey bottles and glued down. The masts, sails all furled up, would be stuck to the ship with rubber cement, and laid flat on the decks with little strings attached to the tops of them. The tiny dab of rubber cement stayed flexible long enough that when the whole works went through the bottle neck, the strings could be pulled gently and the masts would stand up straight and the sails would unfurl. Rex said it was a great thing to watch. By the end of the war, he owned three ships in bottles, and had them ’til he died.

A lot of those POWs applied to stay in Canada when the war was over. We must have been pretty decent people back then, I guess. Who would choose to stay here otherwise, and freeze for six to eight months of the year?

Random Song for the Day: “Belgium or Peru” – Cuff the Duke

Categories
Little Bits of Stupid Photography

And the Answer Is…

"Food for Thought"Taken August 28, 2005 with HP PhotoSmart R607
“Food for Thought”
Taken August 28, 2005 with HP PhotoSmart R607

How’s that for disgusting? Nothing like a rotting, squirrel-gnawed apple rolled in dirt to whet the appetite. Hope it’s not dinner-time where you are.

This lovely vision is, of course, the answer to the last “What Is It?”. Gross, eh? 😀

On a bright, bright(!) note, JimKin has nominated “Where the Walls are Soft” in not one (not even two), but three categories at The Blogger’s Choice Awards! Check it out – I’m so impressed! I swear, if it weren’t for The Pyrates, I’d already be on the way to his house to steal him away. Belike!!

Random Song for the Day: “Hollow Life” – Korn