Rainy Day Reading

Tropical depressions make me depressed. I normally love the rain. Being rained-in on a lazy Sunday with blueberry pancakes (thank you babe), a frisky cat (thank you Ninja), the interwebs and many good books to read, usually makes me happy. But I’m itching to get outside, rain or shine. …Its just water. damnit I need to fish.

Meanwhile, I’ve had the fortune to finish, continue and start on several books today. Yes, I often read several books at once, I’m a serial reader, voracious, the more esoteric the book, the better. Typically, my reading list is all over the place too…

How about THE PLANTATION SOUTH by Katherine Jones, on, yes, life on plantations in the ante-bellum south? Not exactly, snuggle up on the couch material, but its excellent research for my book, accounting for all walks of life on the plantations from North Carolina to Texas, captured in letters from visits by Yankees to international dignitaries to school teachers. One of the best– a letter describing a slave auction in Richmond, Virginia by a first-time buyer, his disgust at the slavemonger, but not himself of course.

I just completed Ray Bergman’s classic TROUT. Bergman’s tome is the first, and frankly, last word in fly fishing for trou. Written over sixty years ago, I experience its lessons everytime I’m on the water. Nothing in the world is new…except 100% graphite fly rods, and the fact that its simply not possible to catch the lunker trout he caught in his day in some of the rivers he describes (thank you mankind’s little gift…global warming and pollution). Yet every lessons still applies.

Starting tonight, TWELVE YEARS A SLAVE, by Solomon Northup. This unfortunate NY freeman born in 1808, was kidnapped into slavery while visiting Washington, DC in 1841 and forced into life as a slave for 12 years on a Louisiana cotton plantation. More research, of the terrifying, wake up in the middle of the night with shakes, sort. I have every intention to visit Charleston, NC in the fall to conduct research and I won’t lie…I’m nervous. Yankees have always felt “uncomfortable” walking in the southern shadows of their ancestors. My great, great, great, great grandparents, Joseph and Maria Sherman were Charleston slaves who were freed upon emancipation. One of these days, I’m going to do a series of posts on my genealogy…the stories there!

And then there’s Frank Daignault’s STRIPER SURF. I finally bought this book after years of lollygagging, and consumed it in less than a day. Now I’m dreaming of picking up my salt fly fishing outfit (my birthday present to me) as soon as possible because in two weeks the missus and I are going to be in Fort Walton, Florida… No, there are no stripers down there, but snook will make nice practice before the fall run in October.

Hmmm, I’m starting to see the symptoms of becoming a curmudgeony blogger or becoming a curmudgeony fly fisherman…guessing at what you might be thinking as I write. Will have to let that go.

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