Saturday, March 19, 2016


Dad was a softy, he never liked to see people unhappy or struggle. When it came to his own family, he was particularly diligent and aware of everyone’s aches and pains. In the early 1950’s, Dad decided to book a little fishing trip, with me and Grandpa.

Getting grandpa out of the house on Fulton Street in Brooklyn was a major effort, Grandpa didn’t like to go anywhere that required his traveling for more than 15 minutes, but that had to be round trip.

Grandpa's bride (in black, of course)
Being how we were living on Long Island, Dad decided one summer to get grandpa and take him fishing; “We have to get Grandpa outta the house!” He went go to Mastic Beach one Saturday and rented a row boat, got a few rods and reels and bait, and set out to fish.

My thinking was that that was all the equipment we would need, since we were fishing we would eat what we caught. Build a fire on the beach and cook our catch. Dad and Grandpa both seemed perplexed by my plan, and since I was only 11-years old, what the Hell did I know. The problem with the plan was there was a huge package coming on board the ride to the beach, it consisted of six to eight Italian heroes, packed with peppers and eggs, chicken parmesan and a chunk of provolone cheese and a genoa salami, along with a gallon of homemade wine, courtesy of the grandfather of the group. This was sent via his bride, Grandma Frances.

Being the ‘city type’, both Dad and Grandpa dressed for the occasion. Dad wore his shorts, sandals and black dress socks, while Grandpa never changed. Grandpa wore his work pants, brown unpolished shoes and white shirt, along with his fedora, which he camped under come rain or shine, baptism or wake.

Dad became the grand admiral, directing me, the only crew member that showed up that day to man the oar, bait the hooks and full steam ahead.

As we set ‘sail’, we each had our position on the boat, Dad sat up front with his rod, tossing it in into the drink  (literally), and I trying to get the hook that caught me in the neck was sitting mid-ship so to speak, while Grandpa sat, in the back, legs crossed serenely holding his rod, eyes closed, dreaming of home.

Suddenly Grandpa caught a fish, then another, then still another! Dad was still fishing for his rod, and I was almost done getting the hook out of my neck and ready to fish.

After a while with Grandpa’s success, I asked him how he was able to catch so many fish.

Grandpa looks at me, squinting in the sun and says: “SSSHHH”.

I looked at him and he says, “SSSHHH, thatsa how you catcha da fish!!”

Across the street is where my grandparents lived on Fulton St.


Post a Comment

<< Home