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Priceless fishing trip

Walkin'

A bonus chance to going fishing with Dad popped up last week, and I grabbed it.
Both brother Bob and I were pleasantly surprised to hear the old man was thinking of picking up his rod and reel again. A couple years ago, a bad case of gout flared up in his hands, making it almost too painful to put on his own clothes much less reel in a Bluegill.
But the gout eventually subsided and Dad let it be known he’d like nothing better than to get out on Bob’s new Lund fishing boat on Father’s Day.
Have I mentioned the boat?
Bob’s been dreaming about a Lund like a teenage boy dreams about Victoria’s Secret models. Some guys drive around checking out and making compliments about beautiful women; for Bob it’s all about that bass, as in bass boat. He’ll be driving along and, all of a sudden, his head will snap around like a dog smelling an errant Burger King wrapper. It’s not the aroma of a whopper that’s drawn his attention, however, nor the curvature of the opposite sex. No, the curves he’s checking out are the lines on the hull of a Lund bass boat, bulging seductively on a trailer.
His first boat was a 14-foot Crestliner, which in the pantheon of fishing ships is closer to the girl next door than a lingerie model. The year was 2003 and he named her Sea Biscuit, after the movie popular at the time. Actually, he thought the movie was about a legendary racing boat and had no idea it was really a famous horse at the time of the christening. Say what you like about Bob, reality never gets in his way.
Then, a couple years later, he purchased a new 16-foot Bass Tracker which is a little closer to a dreamboat but still no Miss America. He named that boat “Skeeter’s Dream” in honor of our father. Bob gave Dad the nickname because he’s as persistent as a mosquito when it comes to fishing, as well as a lot of other things. The man just never gives up. Two triple-bypass surgeries, blindness, a fall and a broken hip, trouble breathing: it doesn’t matter he just keeps on buzzing, like a starving insect in a hemophilia ward.
For me, the Tracker was an excellent boat. Cushioned seats, live well, 50 horsepower Mercury engine, trolling motor, fish finder... and, best of all, paid for by Bob. It was the jackpot for me, as Bob is generous in sharing it. However for him, it was settling for second best; a good girl but not the woman of his dreams.
But last month, he bit the bullet and put the money down on “Skeeter II,” a Lund that’s a little longer, wider, faster and more luxurious than the Tracker. To hear him talk about it, I wasn’t sure if he was buying a new boat or getting a trophy wife.
Dad was almost as excited as Bob over the new boat, partly because he appreciates a good boat as well, but mainly he was happy for Bob. Over the years, I’ve fished with Dad many times but only sporadically. Bob and Dad, on the other hand, became regular fishing buddies. In the mix is Bob’s best friend Rob, aka Gonzo, who joins them on many excursions.
Originally, it was going to be Bob and Rob on the inaugural voyage with Dad, but then Mom got sick and sent to the hospital the day before with cellulitis, an infection of the skin. At 88, Mom is generally in better shape than Dad but she is slowing down. Years of flipping burgers for McDonalds have left her with severe arthritis in her shoulder and she has trouble lifting her arms. On a recent trip to Jack in the Box, for example, she couldn’t reach up to the drive through window to get their order so Dad had to get out of the passenger side and use his walker to get around to take the order.
So to wrap up a longer story, the fishing trip got cancelled, Rob made other plans, the trip got put back on when Mom gave it the green light, and I got asked to take third chair.
Skeeter hooked six before either Bob or I felt a bite.
Priceless.