The giant redear I couldn’t keep

The giant redear I couldn’t keep

Fishing pool 9 and the Tri-State area is gonna be ugly for the next several days–wind rain, cold front, rain & more rain. The fish are already wet, of course. But the seasonal change we are about to weather will have a definite impact on presentation & location of the most sought after species.

All three of my boats are ready to go. Come Monday hoping one will get wet from flowing water.

Those who have shared the boat with me over the decades know that a trip is more than just catching fish. River lore and fish tales are part of the experience.
Fishing has dominated my life for over 60 years. There is a thumbnail pic of me and my sister, The Bean, crappie fishin’ back in 1960. It appears as part of a spread in the latest BIG RIVER magazine about trends in hunting/fishing. I was 9 back then. The Bean was 6.

A dozen years later she caught a hybrid redear sunfish which I am STILL jealous of. Dimensions? The redear was a platter–not a plate! WE were fishing a farm pond in southern Illinois which bordered Crab Orchard Nat’l Wildlife Refuge.

The pond was owned by Prof. Marv Rimerman, a portly little Jewish guy who was passionate about journalism and fishing. We had a symbiotic relationship.
Marv taught me how to be a journalist. I coached him and Marshall & Danny–his two sons on fishing.

A massive southern oak on the refuge fenceline produced the biggest buck I have ever harvested. Quit counting deer in 2000 @ 100 animals. Several good ones are on the wall. The horns of this bruiser were last seen in southern Illinois when i graduated SIU and became a newspaper editor. Details of all aspects of that caper still bring a chuckle & headshake to this very day. Remind me and I’ll share it next time you jump in my Lund.

This blog was supposed to be about the Bean’s dreadnaught redear. But my writing is like the River. It goes where it takes me. You can come along or jump out of the boat.

Marv’s pond was managed by SIU Fisheries, the Ichthyological counterpart to Ft. Deitrich, Md or maybe the Wuhan Lab. The gain of function on Marv’s pond was sterile redear sunfish so massive they would make Jonah break into a cold sweat and hop the next Greyhound to Ninevah.

There was only one caveat for fishin’ Marv’s pond: every hybrid sunfish had to be carefully and immediately released.

On the other side of this equation was Dr. Rimerman’s quest for fair, accurate and unbiased reporting asmy major mentor in journalism. Rimerman hailed from Baltimore where he set up the city’s CATV system. He came to SIU to teach the new media: cable TV.

State-of-the-art gear was a 1/2″ black & white video recorder. I sometimes worked for Marv as an intern/reporter for Carbondale Cablevision–a side gig for Marv when he wasn’t doing professor stuff.

Perks of my work were few. The singular highlight was going for pizza and beers with Marv and Buffalo Smith after a shoot to promote Smith’s upcoming appearance at the SIU arena. Who was Buffalo Bob Smith? He was the man behind the iconic HOWDY DOODY !

Pizza & beer revealed the reason for this kid show’s untimely demise. It involves a potted plant (not a pot plant) which was a stage prop and a young lad from the “Peanut Gallery” who couldn’t hold his corn. Gonna have to get in the boat to hear the finer details of that caper, too.

ANYWAY the real thrust of this blog is about journalism. Today, this is a dirtier word than anything with four letters. There were two framed black-and-white photos on the wall behind Prof. Rimerman’s desk: Marv interviewing Nixon and Marv interviewing JFK for Baltimore cablevision, prior to the 1960 election.

Edawrd R. Murrow and Walter Cronkite were the professor’s gold standards. Rimerman was a staunch democrat. But you never, ever saw that in his reporting or that of his minions.

Today extreme bias in reporting has replaced the unvarnished truth. Our nation will vote on the most critical mid-term election in US History next Tuesday.

My advice to y’all from this old school journalist is this: believe only what you see. Question what you hear. Inflation, gas prices, crisis at the southern border with fentanyl /human trafficking, $25 billion in modern arms—and a million Afghan girls/women who won’t taste freedom again–is America’s Afghanistan legacy. China’ quest for world wide domination and the potential with nuclear war with Russia are REAL. If you look closely, eyes wide open, vision correct for media spin, maybe you can find some truth.

The River is an unforgiving and dangerous place. That’s the truth. Our Republic is in imminent danger of going down the River forever. That’s the truth too.

Afghan girls will never be able to vote. Will this be the legacy for American girls, too? Think about it. Pray about it. Seek the truth. Then exercise your GOD GIVEN right: Vote on Nov. 8!!

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