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A Different Anniversary Story

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This message is coming to you as it was intended to be a replacement story for the last article, “Northern Lights.” To be honest, I didn’t know if I had enough data references in it for the editor to publish it.

So, last Tuesday (April 4th) was our 25th wedding anniversary, and a few days earlier, when I asked my wife what she would like to do on our big day, she gave me three words. They were not diamonds, silver, or gold, but Mary’s Fish Camp!

So, packing the R.V. for a gig less than twenty miles from home is not something that we normally do (but hey, this is her anniversary wish, so YES, it is definitely doable)! We loaded up the old Dodge truck, and in a little while, the trailer was hooked (and off we booked). Mary’s Fish Camp is a little-known spot located off Hwy 50, about a half mile west of Shoal Line Blvd. There were phone calls to get reservations locked in, and before we knew it, we were backing our trailer into a campsite.

The camp is not really big, nor is it tiny. They have five cabins to rent, 15 R.V. sites, and three “primitive” (or tenting) lots as well. The place has been in business since 1946 and offers kayak and canoe rentals (and an adjoining vessel rental has those “see-through” kayaks as well). There is a small store in the office building that offers various amenities and bait (as it IS a fish camp)!

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As the sun was setting over the horizon, we went for a brief walkabout to see if anything interesting or unusual could be seen. There were a handful of campers along the dock and seawall area, and almost all had the same mindset (catch some fish)! I supplied the editor with a few pictures (I hope at least one of them gets published).

One man had a big smile on his face and was sitting next to a 5-gallon bucket with a yellowtail Jack fin sticking out of it. After talking with some of the other camper/ fishing folk, I saw a man loading a shed with canoe paddles and life jackets. He is the person in charge of the water gear that the camp issues out (as well as his responsibilities of maintaining the grounds of the business). The man’s name is Larry Lichstein, and he stays in a beautiful “Class-A” rig (close to the office).

It turns out that he had an interesting set of life experiences during his time in the workforce (before semi-retirement). It turns out that this guy was a big-time trophy-winning bowler “back in the day.” I was intending to ask him if I could park our canoe caddy close to his rental area. When I mentioned that I write for a local newspaper and was considering doing a story on the camp, the conversation got a lot more interesting. It turns out that after his (bowling) touring days ended, he used his love and knowledge of the sport to get into a service and supply business for the industry.

He just about put as many miles over the highways and back roads as I did! It was nice to be able to go somewhere close (yet different) and find a lot of friendly folk to hang out with. The Mud River was a good place to put a canoe in, and (discounting the “no-see-ums”) we enjoyed several serene moments on the water. (Even got to see some manatees and dolphins). This was definitely time well spent, and even though I dropped the truck’s drive shaft on Cortez Blvd. on the way home, it was mostly good memories. Have a blessed week, and be ye able to feel the blessings in your lives!

(Note to Editor)- I sent you a few pictures, 3 by text, and 1 by e-mail). Thank you.

Note to Steve from the editor – It seems that the editor is being thrown under the bus multiple times, which makes things fun. We enjoy your articles, and please keep sending wonderful stories.

Steven Goodwin
Steven Goodwin
Steve Goodwin is a recently retired Christian conservative veteran (of the U.S. Army 82nd Airborne Division), who still feels that "duty to country" did not end when the military uniform got hung up. He and his wife Cecelia live on the edge of a beautifully wooded tract of land just south of the bypass, and are involved in not only church activities, but also attend school board meetings and local community action events as well.
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