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A Fish And Golfers With High Handicaps

Updated: Jul 29, 2020

BY TOM VALLEY

For the past two weeks I've been relating my experiences on the St. Lawrence River here in this space. The trip was meant as a get-away and a chance to escape from the anxiety and stress of what's going on in the world.

My intent was to spend a few days with my wife and my own thoughts instead of being bombarded by those whose views are diametrically opposed to mine. (Both sides tend to do that to each other nowadays.)

I understand that opinions are opinions and there is no “You are absolutely correct, Mr. Contestant! Johnny, tell him what he's won” - I get that. But quite simply, I needed a break from those who won't stay on point when I refer to a fact and they rebuff my claim with blatant misdirection.

Deflection in order to skirt the addressed issue: It's usually done by demonizing others with derogatory names and accusing them of something they may, or may not, have done, totally unrelated to the topic. Makes no sense.

It's obvious when someone responds to a question with a question, you've hit a nerve. They are not programmed to elucidate a response because a rational explanation doesn't exist. Ergo, their missing-in-action manuals of reasonable-justification wouldn't help even if they had one. Mumble-jumble word-salads are cop-outs. Period. And frighteningly, I don't think they even know that their absurd babbling is … exactly that. Scary.

I went to the river for some down time; down time to get away; to get away from people - and whatever persuasions they may have. Agree or disagree, I was tired of the whole argument. I needed none of that and more Mother Nature to soothe my battle-worn spirit and embittered soul. I soon found out that's it true: you can run, but you can't hide.

Along with the pandemic, everything has filtered into every nook and cranny of our society. So I came home for the very same reason I went there: to get away. Sad.

BUT … while I was there, I went fishing. Mostly bass fishing. And because I don't like to work when I fish, I anchor my boat in the middle of the river and sit. I use worms as bait. Casting and trolling would entail using energy and clicking the brain up a notch or two. That ain't gonna happen.

I enjoy the serenity of the moments as I sit there – and I sit there for lots of moments - to contemplate the meaning of life and things like why the cable TV-company has never been able to explain to me why the same stations show up three or more times throughout the channel lineup. Baffling.

I thought of how loneliness is an under-appreciated facet of life. And that if a night-crawler gets lonely he can simply chew himself in half for company.

I think of the fish below the surface of the water and how they must incorrectly assume that the whole universe is confined to the waters they live in. And I relate that way of thinking to mankind and how some people refuse to believe in the possible existence of a Greater Being simply because of their own limited abilities on what they see and how they think.

I think of the proverb: “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach him to fish and you feed him for a lifetime” and how it could destroy the fish-market industry and restaurants like Red Lobster and Long John Silver's.

I think of the adage that the only time a fisherman tells the truth is when he tells you he's a liar and how am I going to convince people that I actually caught a 6 lb. 3 oz, small-mouth bass the first day I went fishing this year?! Yes, I did.

And by the way, I'm not fond of large-mouths. They don't take responsibility for their own actions and tend to deflect blame for getting caught on some other “dumb-bass” fish (their words). Whatever.

That just about wraps it up for me. But before I go, I must offer congratulations to all-around great guy, James Tee for winning our club's (golf) championship, at Shelridge Country Club in Medina. Super person. The event was successfully run by Mr. Do-it-all, Brett Decker. Nice job, again, Brett.

I, luckily, won the higher-handicap division. There were only three of us competing and my fellow competitors both had to withdraw. One of them had the unfortunate luck of having a deer run in front of him and his seeing-eye-dog took after it, never to be seen again (no pun intended).

The other one's wheel chair stalled out after the battery got wet when he accidentally rolled into the pond on the 13th hole. (He was 8 strokes ahead of me at the time.) I'm proud to say, after I finished my round, I I thoughtfully went back and pulled him to safety.

I did mention it was a higher 'handicap' division, Alrighty then.

And that's the way it looks from the Valley.

Tvalley@Rochester.RR.com

Author Tom Valley with 6 lbs, 3 ounce smallmouth bass.


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