News from the Tennessee Valley Columnists
SUNDAY, MARCH 20, 2005


Equal time for a young fisherman

The equal-time principle applies to politics and grandsons.

So stay with me one more Sunday and I promise to have no more grandson stories for awhile.

Wright Deas and I spent a recent weekend enjoying Tho-mas the Tank Engine in North Georgia, but Trey Buckingham and I spent last weekend fi-shin', as he says, in Savannah.

For several months when we talked on the phone, Trey would say, "Tom Tom, take me fi-shin'."

I received the honor of introducing him to fishing because he associates his granddad with the mounted sailfish we have at home. Displaying a sexist tendency, he never considered that his grandmother landed the 7-foot-4-inch sailfish when she was a perky 24-year-old.

He, Wright and I nicknamed the sailfish Nemo. His dad couldn't compete with such credentials as having Nemo hanging, so Trey assumed I'd make the better fishing instructor.

"He'll tire in five minutes," Regina predicted, thinking of the youngster holding onto a pole and watching a float bob in the water.

"And if you catch a fish, that will upset him," she said, seeing disaster all around.

But, with a ScoobyDoo rod as long as the 3-year-old is tall and a reel with enough line to tangle big time, we fished in Savannah.

Anglers his age don't need fishhooks to complicate fishing, so we tied a bright yellow floatable toy fish to the line and set out for the freshwater lake.

At his age, reeling in the line with a fish attached every time is fishing. Knowing his limits, he allowed me to cast the line and he reeled. Five minutes passed, 10 more ticked off, a half-hour went by.

A brisk gusting wind bit his cheeks and made them rosy. Still he fished.

As soon as the yellow fish splashed in the water, he shouted, "Let me, let me," and he reeled, each time admiring his catch.

You can imagine his reaction when we had to take shelter from rain. He acted like a 3-year-old. He cried.

Tom Wright Tom Wright
DAILY Executive Editor

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