by: Eddie Trapp
A fishing trip to Galveston in early June proved to be one of our best ever. As usual, Carol and Junior rounded out our crew. Oh yeah, don’t forget Zack. The highway beside several miles of the seawall seems to be Zack’s all time, favorite place. Usually there are several people walking their dogs along the beach. I roll my window half way down and Zack just barks his head off. As you approach the ferry, homeland security officials randomly pick out vehicles to send to a special lane to be searched. Last year was our first time to get in that line. As luck would have it we got searched again this year. You get out of the vehicle, open all the doors, and raise the hood. While some check around the motor, others have a specially curved mirror to look under the car. They look in ice chests, tool boxes, and such. Junior pulls a small enclosed trailer packed with fishing and camping gear. I told him if they checked him they would unload all his stuff and leave it laying on the ground for him to reload. I don’t know if they would do that but I had a few minutes of fun with Junior.
At a track meet one of the most common phrases is “Gun’s up.” The starter raises the gun above his head just a few seconds before firing the starting gun. “Gun’s up” means the race is about to start and the phrase is commonly heard throughout the crowd. As we drove down the seawall in Galveston I got beside a type of car you don’t see every day. It was a Shelby Ford Cobra, one of fastest and most expensive cars on the road. This one was bright red and at first the meaning of his personalized license plate threw me a curve. Then it hit me. It read GUN’S UP. Like as far as he was concerned the race could start any second. He and the Shelby were ready.
The McDonalds where we ate breakfast one morning had an aquarium right out in the middle of the floor and it was loaded with colorful tropical fish. A van pulled up outside and two men got out with brushes, towels, and other cleaning items. On the side of the van the company name was “Just Feed ‘Em.” If you got an aquarium and don’t want to do the regular maintenance, you just feed the fish and they come do the rest. While we ate, one of the men rolled his pants up past his knees, climbed over in there, and put that aquarium in top shape. Reckon he checked to see if any piranhas were inside?
While at a red light I noticed the pickup beside us had his company logo on the door. It read “Sandcastle Construction Company.” Maybe I could just call the number on the door and ask him how much he charged for building a sandcastle. What’s the biggest one he ever made? How long are they guaranteed? There was another character most people in Galveston know. It’s not a real big town. A man that looks to be in his eighties drives a beat up old pickup. Has high wooden side boards and a sign on the back saying “There goes Slim.” Each day Slim parks his pickup on the side of the highway near the riding stables a few miles west of the seawall and has other signs proclaiming “Mexico Vanilla and Pecans.” Next time I go I plan to interview this colorful character.
At San Luis Pass we wade out chest deep and throw our lines as far as we can into deeper water. Sometimes we stand there and hold the rod a while and other times we let the line unspool as we walk back to shore and set the rod in a holder. Jean is afraid she will backlash the reel so she asks me to cast for her. We would both have to walk out to cast since I couldn’t hold one and cast the other. Once I cast hers out and handed it to her then cast mine. A few seconds later Jean said she was taking her rod to shore and flipped the little switch so it would let out line. As she turned to go her pole was almost jerked out of her arms even though it was freewheeling. Instinctively she pressed her thumb on the spinning reel and friction burned it pretty good. She managed to flip the switch and the rod bent down even more. Some kind of huge fish. Then the line went slack. The thirty pound test either broke or was bitten in two. Thirty seconds after her bite, my pole was almost pulled from my hands but I still had the reel in gear and the drag set to slip a little. For five seconds the rod was bent double then it also went slack. After reeling in the line I saw where one of the steel leaders was faulty and the clamp was not fastened tight enough, allowing the end to slip out. Next week—The Old (Wo) Man and the Sea.
At the annual festival at Beavers Bend this weekend I attended the fiddle playing contest. I always have been partial to “The Waltz That You Saved for Me” but the contest winner played a waltz I had never heard. Now it’s my favorite. After the contest I asked him the name of it and it was Memories Waltz. The winner was nineteen year old Douglas Thompson from Rose, Oklahoma and he had to hit the road because he plays weekends with a band near his home.
June 25 orange Mars is above the Moon as darkness arrives. Mars stands to at the upper right of the Moon on June 26 with Spica and Saturn to the Moon’s upper left.
With the approach of the Olympics in England a fresh crop of jokes has erupted. Three men, one each from England, France, and the U.S. were arguing which was the best fencer. You know, like sword fighting but with something that looks like a car radio antenna and it’s not a sword, it’s called a foil. A fly flew by and the Englishman cut it in half. Another flew by and the Frenchman cut off both wings. A third flew by and the American went swish, swish but the fly kept going. The other two laughed at him. He just grinned and said, “That fly will never be a daddy.”