|The sign in front of the closed store|
This is despite the fact that fishing ran in our family. The family photo album is filled with vintage shots of Grandpa Bumke from various fishing trips in Michigan, either grinning with a fish he had caught, or with his buddies in a cabin or boat. Dad liked fishing too, and I guess he wanted to share his enjoyment of the sport with us.
During those fishing years of the 1960s, it seems like almost every Saturday we headed somewhere different: Hot Waters; behind the Water Treatment Plant in Lorain; Mill Hollow; the Oberlin Reservoir; the Kipton Reservoir (now known as the Kipton Reservation); and the grounds of Fathers of St. Joseph out on Case Road in Avon.
|The side of the Garwell's store, circa 2009|
But unfortunately we weren't very good little fishermen. We were constantly snagging our lines on rocks. Then Dad would have to unsnag them for us, or cut the line and set us up again with hooks. Inevitably, we would snag them again, and he would smile while trying to hide his disgust.
Sometimes we shattered our bobbers on the rocks. We even managed to get our lines caught in trees while casting!
It's a miracle that Dad ever got any fishing done himself, since he was constantly interrupted by our comical hijinks. But, he was a patient man and almost always caught at least a few fish.
After Dad gave up fishing with us, he fished with a few of his work buddies in the 1970s and 80s. One of them had a boat, and they would go out on Lake Erie, usually by the David-Besse Nuclear Power Station near Port Clinton.
During those years, we ate a lot of fish. The family freezer was always jammed with perch and walleye.
When I came back to Lorain after college, I tried once again to take up fishing. (I was unemployed and had plenty of time.) So I would head down to Hot Waters with one of Dad's old rods. Dad even brought me along fishing out on the lake a few times with his pals. I just remember being nervous and nauseous in the boat. So that was the end of my fishing career once and for all.
Despite Dad's best efforts to make me a fisherman, I just never got hooked.
But I cherish the memories of those days in the 60s when Dad spent all that time with my brothers and me on those Saturday afternoons.