Those adventures inevitably brought me to the water. Any water would do.
I quit the soccer team so I could accompany a buddy on after school fishing outings. To a lake teeming with gar. Nobody believed we were catching such big ones so we brought some back, tied by their tails to pieces of rope. Dragged behind our BMX bikes.
Behavior unrepresentative of the catch and release mantra I now embrace. Yet I will never be able to erase those memories.
Foot-powered modes of transport have been replaced by crew-cabbed V8s. Shakespeare combos have been upgraded, and fly boxes are no longer spartan. Plenty of self-perceived experience now in tow.
Yet the quest for the Ditch Grand Slam – a grass carp, a mudfish, and a bass on a single outing – meets adversity. The previous night’s wild thunderstorm flows off the banks. Blows around at 30 mph.
And then there are the alligators. Always those pesky alligators.
The chase for the cup continues. As it has, and will.
For as long as I can remember.