by Randal Sumner
My family and
friends know I am not a great saver of things, if I havenít used something in a
while itís gone. For example I donít save old wire or screws in the chance I
may need them later for some project. I figure if you havenít used it in six
months chances are slim youíll ever really need it, or be able to find it. So
it comes as a surprise that I have saved a few bottles of Sterling Cabernet for
thirty years. I bought the stuff at the winery in the Napa valley while a college
student in the San Francisco Bay area.
It was a bit of an extravagance at the time.
Over the years I have faithfully tended to it, keeping it in a
cool dark place and turning it once in a while. I thought that my wife Liz and
I would use it for toasting the life events during our marriage. You know the
big things, birth of children, paying off the mortgage, college graduations and
the birth of a grandchild.
But no the vino just layed around becoming more and more complex
Last summer we took our annual trip to
the St. Joe River in Idaho and I brought one of the bottles along so we could
enjoy it in the solitude of the cedar forest campground. The sixth night out I
decided this was the time. We were having a beautiful dinner of steaks, Caesar
salad and corn on the cob. The evening was perfect, the last light off the
river was shimmering as I cut the foil and pulled out the dark wet cork. I let
the wine breathe for a while and finally poured a sip. The stuff had turned to
a brown swill. Nasty, thirty years and it was unfit to drink.
And so this is what you get when you
wait for the time to be right, the truth is that youíll never know when the
time is right.
In my fishing life I have never waited
for the perfect situation to go ply the famous rivers of Alaska, Canada or the
American west. I just went. There were always plenty of reasons not to spend
the time or money on another fishing adventure but now I canít remember any
really important ones.
Unlike that bottle of wine I think I
have become more complex and worldly, now I want fresh wine and new rivers.