First things first. Thank all of you for your concern about my mentioning a medical “issue” that might keep me away from my column fo a couple of weeks.
I guess when you become an old geezer like me you expect changes in your life, even if you do not like their being there. Over the past couple of years various medical flare-ups have limited my outdoor forays, but that dooes not mean that I do not love writing about them anymore.
But my current “medical issue” are cataracts, and they can make reading stuff on my computer difficult, at best. I am due to have them taken care of in June, so it is literally a wait-and-see event.
Again, thank you all for your concern. Next to my Darlin’ Edna, having you for friends is priceless.
July of this year will mark 40 years that I have been doing this column and I am often asked what my trip in outdoor writing has been like. In a word: AWESOME!
First, I became a member of the New England Outdoor Writers Association (NEOWA), and that opened many new doors in the outdoors for me to explore. It meant trips to various northern New England states to experience what they had to offer and allow me to share some of the trips with you.
Next came an invitation to join Outdoor Writers Association of America (OWAA), a national outdoor communicator organization. With this, my outdoor world became even larger.
This entailed trips to different states across our great nation, like North Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Tennessee, Louisiana, North Carolina, West Virginia, Oregon, Idaho, Utah and Washington — states I would never have gone to if not for OWAA.
I am often asked If I had any real favorites, and that would qualify for a “yes.” Heading that list would be a trip to Duluth, Minnesota. I had a chance to get my first taste of walleye fishing on Lake Superior and also to taste walleye in many of the fine food places in that city.
One of the most memorable aspects of Duluth were the over-the-highway enclosed walkways that allowed one to go from place to place without venturing into the outdoors in bad weather. They even had a huge walkway that took us down to the Convention Center where most of the OWAA activities took place.
Edna and I even developed a lifelong friendship with a young lady by the name of Renee Mattson, who has become like an adopted daughter. We still stay in touch and she has even traveled here to Meriden to check on us.
While a member of OWAA, I was able to chair a couple of fishing events for inner-city kids, one in Portland, Oregon and one in Bangor Maine.
We had a group of outdoor writers, both male and female, that donated time to ensure the kids had the time of their life fishing for trout. To see the joy that the kids showed while fishing has been one of the high points in my outdoor life.
Young people are the future of our outdoors, and if we do not introduce them to our outdoors we will soon lose it.
I would like to share some of my outdoor adventures with you that I got to experience during my writing career because of my limited ability to read black and white print.
I will “try” and do the columns from memory but, again, we really appreciate your well-wishes and hopefully I will able to get back to full bore on the column.
It has been quite a trip traveling around looking for different things to tell you about and hopefully I can share some of them with you in the coming weeks.
See ya’ and God Bless America and watch over our troops, police, firefighters and first responders wherever they may be serving our great country.