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June 11, 2013

Outdoors: The further adventures of Uncle Fred

Uncle Fred decided to come down to Gloucester for a visit this summer when there was some question by the local game warden in Marshfield, Vermont about the big deer that disappeared one night from my Dad’s alfalfa field. “Out of sight, out of mind” seemed to be the thought process by all of my relatives when they chipped in to send him south.

Knowing that Uncle Fred really liked night time activities involving outdoor pursuits, I thought it would be a natural to take him fishing for stripers out at the end of Plum Island. I have never seen a fellow introduced to a new environment that took to it so naturally. Before the evening was over he had walked the entire beach, quizzed everyone on how they approached catching stripers, examined their equipment and had decided that the way we do things on the North Shore was limited by our small minds. There must be a way to automate the process, get a commercial license and reap big profits.

As we drove home I knew I was in danger when I saw his eyes take on the far away look and his body start to energize like he had just been infused from the feet up with a bolt of lightning. He started speaking in incomplete sentences, waving his arms in front of him like he was drawing out some complex set of plans and talking faster than one of those salesmen reading the fine print at the end of a commercial.

The next day he couldn’t wait to get started on the new design he had conjured up. I drove him over to the junk yard and left him. When I got back to the yard two hours later, he was sitting in an old pick up truck that had no fenders or bed but was running pretty smoothly. On the frame he had tied a big box that was so full of assorted parts that, if I hadn’t already had some history with him, I might have guessed he had purchased a junk yard starter kit.

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