One of my
little rituals is getting the mail from the mailbox everyday, I like checking
to see if anyone has sent me anything,
Itís kind of reassuring , like Iím still alive.
This week I received a beautifully designed brochure
from Portland State
University titled, ďAlumni work to
expand PSU Art Community.Ē PSU is where
I went to graduate school. I received my masterís degree in 1978 and now,
30years later they had finally caught up with me, I found it disturbing,
especially the photoís of people I actually knew thirty years ago. Why, I asked, are they still hanging around
the hallowed halls of academia? And why are they reaching out to me? A lowly, lowly old Trout bum? When they were kids, did they dream of being
on committees and ďgenerating new relationships and networks?Ē
lived in Omaha, my brother and I
had pets. I had fish and Gary had turtles; we also had the evil dachshund Hans.
Once in a while, one of my brotherís turtles would wander off and expire,
turtles are pretty quiet so we could never hear them calling for help. Later we
would find there remains in weird places, like Dadís shoes, that is if the Dog
didnít find them first and have Turtle taretare.
would find a turtle corpse, he had a funeral. First he would construct a casket
out of a match box with a cotton ball liner and special masking tape seal; then
the casket would go into a small plastic box with more tape and, finally into
the flowerbed with a little Popsicle stick marker.
I would guess Gary
was about seven at the time he began with the turtle funerals; thirteen years
later he was the youngest licensed funeral director in the state of Oregon.
Really you canít make this stuff up.
So I ask
myself, what are the first indications of becoming a future Trout bum? If you could catch it early, maybe a life
spent chasing trout could be turned into some productive and positive vocation.
Iíve made an extensive and for me fairly scientific study of the subject. (well
I mean I did ask my Trout bum community a few questions about there childhood
propensities and the connection to there adult fishing life. What I found out is that most of these guys
canít remember what they had for lunch let alone what they did as kids.)
My conclusion is that you can be struck down
at any time by the pure joy of fly fishing and after that the Trout bum life is
just around the corner.
the PSU Art dept. committee with my updated information; they want to know how
my PSU art education has affected my life. I would say it has been as useful as
a long- sleeve Hawaiian shirt, but that I, too, dream of generating new
relationships and networks. On rivers I have yet to see.