News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Liz Ciancone

May 22, 2012

LIZ CIANCONE: She wasn’t hooked by the fishing hobby

I’m told that eveyone should have a hobby. If “hobby” means collecting something like stamps or coins, I don’t have one.

I did start collecting brass when my friend, Lorna, and I went out to hit the “junk” stores. We couldn’t afford antique stores. I passed on anything made of glass or pottery because when our sons got into a wrestling match, nothing was safe unless it was something that wouldn’t break when they knocked the table over. That’s what started me on brass. Lorna collected pewter and I didn’t want to compete.

I guess if Mom had a hobby, it was baking. She made a wonderful sugar cookie which involved my grinding an entire pound of raisins. I thought I brought her recipe home with me, but grabbed the wrong loose-leaf notebook.

Dad’s hobby was fishing. I’m not knocking fishing as a relaxing way to pass a bit of quality time, but I spent too many hours sitting in a rowboat in the middle of a lake and in the hot sun while he indulged his hobby. There was no heading for shore until he caught an arbitrary quota of fish, one he had set.

Even Mom would get enough now and then and begin singing — with increasing volume — a ditty which may have been original. She called it “Pull for the Shore, Sailor.” It didn’t seem to hurry him.

So, as a child, I logged my personal limit of worms and fishing poles. I decided at an early age that I would never marry a fisherman or, if I slipped up, a man who did not insist that I share his enthusiasm.

I never presented my Best Friend with a questionnaire to determine his interest in fishing, but was gratified to learn that he was indifferent to fishing as a pastime. But, when No. 1 son wanted to go fishing, my BF (to his credit) gamely took him out to the lake. Furthermore, he didn’t insist that I go along.

No. 2 son, a boy after my own heart, was bored with that sort of inactivity. On one memorable day No. 1 had saved a can of worms and my BF took him to Deming Park to try his luck along with No. 2, who decided it sounded like fun. After about 30 minutes of “fun,” he was ready to go home, but No. 1 insisted he wouldn’t go until all the worms were gone. With that, No. 2 threw the entire can into the pond and said, “NOW, let’s go home!”

Dad was far more understanding of a child’s lack of patience when it came to his grandson. He took No. 1 fishing, and as soon as the kid caught a fish, he announced that he was ready to go home. So, Dad struck for the shore.

Maybe I’d have learned to like fishing if he had done that when I was a kid.

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Liz Ciancone
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