Salmon

Sr. Wantabee was given a trip to Alaska. It was a dream come true. She left on Friday the 13th from gate F 13. Others felt that was the explanation for the 4 hour wait while the engine was repaired! But a plane load of midwesterns, mostly men with their cold boxes arrived in Anchorage to transfer to points more remote.
Sr. Wantabee had missed her connected little put-put plane so sat in the airport and chatted with a man from Bosnia who had not run from the war, but had run from the death of his mother and hopped boats all over the globe. They shared what is the best part of the goat to eat in different cultures and what is the best part of the fish to eat also. He had eventually settled in LA and married late in life and had two youngsters but had to come North for a couple weeks to fish. He and his friend hopped a their Cesna and Sr. Wantabee marveled that in the middle of the Anchorage airport she had met a man who understood her past and the fun of comparing cultural differences.
Unpon arriving at her destination she was driven on a dirt road to a small fishing town that is alive with tourists in the summer and has an active fish processing plant. She, in fact slept on a fishing boat made into an excursion boat to carry scientists around the area. As she walked down the ramp to the pier area where perhaps a hundred boats were anchored, she gasped. Close to a hundred salmon were swimming in circles like the beginning of a giant funnel. The leader occassionally leaped into the air, right there between the shore and the pier, almost within her reach. At that moment she knew she wanted to fish just as bad as those men on the airlines.
As a young adult Sr. Wantabee had fished for salmon with her cousins off Vancouver Island. The family story goes that her cousin caught a huge 18 pound fish while Sr. Wantabee, with all delight yelled, “It’s a whale!” Sr. Wantabee snagged the next fish which sank to bottom and ran the other way. By the time the boat was turned the truth was evident. The line was not secured to the pole and gone. The big one got away!
Outside this little fishing town, there were streams and salmon filled them, spawning, within 10 yards of her! Sr. Wantabee got a liscense for a day and began her hunt for the elusive “big one.” The fish jumped to the right of the skiff, to the left, in front, behind but her line caught 25 rocks, 3 jelly fish and 5 hand fulls of seaweed.
Sr. Wantabee began to loose spirit and had to self reflect. Why was she sad? Did she think her family woud never believe her tale of so many fish so close? Did she really want to brag to the men at work who fished all the time? Was she trying to catch the one that got away? Or was she trying to catch the past, catch an image, and impress? Certainly she was not hungry!
Yet again the fish got away. Yet again Sr. Wantabee tried to explain to her family the thrills of her youth. Yet again Sr. Wantabee felt like the little old lady at work. But in her heart, she knew the fish was still out there and she had had another adventure trying to catch it!

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