This small town is typical of many communities in Minnesota. There are people of varying personalities, means and persuasions, but almost all share one passion: making a huge deal out of the opening of walleye season. This day that falls on the Saturday in May that is closest to the 15th has a strange influence on the citizens. Normally sane men, and a few women, forsake their everyday mediocrity and become intoxicated at the chance they may catch a few walleyes.
Mr. Randolph is a banker – as tight and conservative as one can be. It is said his miserly ways are known in several counties. But before this opening day you find him spending money at the local tackle store like a drunken sailor. Spools of line, two new rods and reels, a minnow bucket, landing net – he’ll buy them all.
Mr. Sanders is an aspiring fishing expert. His dream is to host his own fishing show on TV. The trouble is his passion for fishing notoriety dulls his mind and, thus, he is chronically broke and amounts to nothing. His wife and kids go without food, but Sanders has the latest fishing gear. His six-year old girl weighs 45 pounds, his tackle box of jigs weighs fifty.
Of course there is Mickey who invites a bunch of buddies from the Twin Cities to come up fishing every opening day. About six guys will arrive Friday night with $5.00 worth of fishing gear and about $200 worth of beer, beef jerkey and microwave sandwiches. They always threaten to go fishing at midnight, but invariably are drunk by then. Once four of the guys stumbled down to the dock to actually go out fishing, but they got in the wrong boat (it belonged to the sheriff) and they ran it on a reef. Now they figure they are ahead if they just stay in the cabin and forget the fishing.
Then you have the mayor, who’s dream is to one day host the Governor’s Opener on the small lake next to town. Each year he sends a 40-page proposal to the Capitol about the fine accommodations, the excellent guide service, and outstanding fishing in their area. Once the lieutenant governor made an incognito trip to the town and hired Mr. Sanders as a guide. He had his check refused by the banker and was mooned by one of Mickey’s friends. The Governor’s Opener will never be in this town.
So where is this quaint little town who’s fate is often determined by the fickle nature of a goldish-colored fish with staring glassy eyes? No one really knows. It describes many towns in the land of the lakes and walleyes. It could be the town you live in!
Posted by Jeff Howard on May 9, 2011
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