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Gone Fishing

by: Lloyd Tackitt 4/27/2013

I lived in a small town when I was young, population about 1,800 people.  There were only a few stores and the local residents pretty well depended on them.  When something special was needed you could get in the car and travel to a bigger town to find it, but that was a fairly rare thing.  For the most part everything you needed could be had right there.

The hardware store was an old building, probably nearly a hundred years old.  It had really high ceilings made of stamped metal tiles, wooden floors worn down between the aisle where people had walked for so many years, and shelves that sometimes required a ladder to reach the top.  There was an assortment of just about everything you could think of in there, including a fishing corner.  The owner was a fisherman and although it was a hardware store also stocked rods and reels and lures and all the little things like split-shot and swivels.

Hardware stores in small towns are dependable things.  You know the hours its open and can go there and find whatever it is you need to finish that plumbing project or building project.  So you would think that if you were in the middle of something and found you needed a 3/8"x3" carriage bolt and walked to the store to get it, but found the store closed during business hours, that you would get upset.  And I gues normally you would.

But if you found the store closed with a "Gone Fishing" sign hanging on the door you smiled instead.  Sure it was a problem for you, but you thought of the old man relaxing on the bank under a shady tree you wished him well and went somewhere else for that bolt.  It never occurred to you to be upset, not if he was fishing.  Now if he had been sick or chasing a pretty woman, or doing something else silly like that then you could be upset, but not if he was gone fishing.  Fishing was understood to be not only respectable, but necessary for one's mental health. 

We all need a gone fishing break now and then. Nothing planned you understand, just a sudden taking off. When that week's stress accumulates to a certain pitch, when your nerves are becoming shredded, when there's a knot in your neck muscles, when you start seeing everything in negative terms, that's when it's time. You just pull up and go, don't even need to ask permission - in fact getting permission would ruin the whole thing. It's an act of independence, of defiance. An act of sovereignty over your own life. A statement to yourself and everyone else that "This is my life damnit! I'll do what I want to with it."

It's better for you than a thousand hours of therapy, better even than drinking - hard as that is to believe. When you come back, relaxed and refreshed your friends will ask how the fishing was, although they are really asking if you're feeling better. They will be envious that you just took off like that and thoroughly approve. Any disapproval you meet on your return will roll of like water on a duck's back - you just won't care what they think.

Every once in a while consider doing what you want to do, not what everyone else wants you to do. It's your life, and you only get this one shot at it. Just grab your fishin pole and hang out a sign that says "Gone Fishing" and don't look back. You damn well deserve it.

Blog content © Lloyd Tackitt
Member comments
Dave Mauldin, TX   4/28/2013 8:51:57 PM
You are damn right! I own a home repair business, and sadly, WalMart has put all these small town h/w owners out of business. When ever I can, I buy from the few remaining small businesses.....hardware, lumber, etc. My staff knows where they are, and we buy American made product when ever we can./.......sorry to divert from the fishing angle, but had to vent. Let's all shop local, buy American, and go fishin!
Flyrodn, CO   4/29/2013 7:38:23 AM
You're dead on. We all need to take time to do what we want to do and not what others feel we need to.
skiman, CO   4/29/2013 9:50:35 AM
Yep...I'd finish this reply, but I've gone fishing! Thanks Lloyd, Ski
Rsrecurvehunter, CO   4/29/2013 9:06:24 PM
Great blog! "I go fishing not to find myself but to loose myself"- Joseph Monniger
Coyute, CO   4/30/2013 9:51:09 AM
Good one. Hey Lloyd, I noticed you changed your picture. Don't get too sophisticated on us or else your stories might lose some of their authenticity. :P
Lloyd Tackitt (Lloyd Tackitt), TX   4/30/2013 1:28:05 PM
This old mug will never be "sophisticated". Scary maybe, but not sophisticated. My sweet daughter took the picture and insisted that I use it. Daughters generally get their way with their fathers don't you know.
Coyute, CO   4/30/2013 5:14:46 PM
LOL. Right on!
Dave Mauldin, TX   4/30/2013 8:50:09 PM
yes daughters get their way. I have three, and three grand-daughters, and they all get their way with me! Thanks Lloyd
Lloyd Tackitt
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