Sunday, May 18, 2008

A long time ago

When I was a little girl, maybe 8 or so, we lived next door to a family with two boys. Chuck was about my age and his brother Steve was older. I hadn't played much with boys, and these two were great guys, endlessly inventive in devising games, and didn't fight much, and even more incredibly, never told me to go home. The best time was when their father let me come along one night when they went surf fishing. It was wild being on the beach at night, the vastness of the sea, the loudness of the surf (not competing with screaming kids, blasting radios), the lights of ships waayy out on the horizon, how fast they moved. I had never fished at all, other than a worm on a hook in a pond, but Mr. C was endlessly patient, baiting it and casting it and showing me how to feel for a bite. I'm sure he got very little fishing done himself that night, and I don't remember us kids getting anything either, but we all climbed back in the car and promptly fell asleep on the ride home. Such a simple gift.

Mr. C developed a brain tumor a few months later, and died in a matter of weeks. The boys and their mom moved back to Virginia where she had family, and although they promised to write, they never did. I still grieve some when I think of them. I'm sure those boys grew up to be good men. And I've gotten pretty good with surf fishing, all in all.

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