I’m exhausted, the second half of my day off has been all about fishing. There was a time when I dragged Dirani around, dictating the rundown of activities. Now a days, I drive Dirani around follow behind his pastime pleasures.

I don’t complain because for one thing it’s interesting to watch him develop hobbies and explore new interests. Secondly, he’ll be driving soon and I’ll only hear about where he’s been and what he’s done.
So, for now I’m the sidekick the Uber Mom.

Fishing is his new thing and I think it’s pretty cool. I was with him when he got his first fishing pole. And I took him to find the bait shop, which was like trying to find a speakeasy. The first time we went, we made several u turns; thinking we had to be driving into someone’s private driveway or a dead end. We nearly gave up and finally got out and took a chance.

It was Vinny’s Lake House Bait Shop.
Walking into his place, just the two of us. Felt like, ‘maybe my husband should have taken this run’ and ‘oh boy this is the most interesting creepy basement place I’ve been!’ There was fishing gear every where tanks with I suspect yucky bait and pictures of people holding their catch, from floor to ceiling.

Vinny, the bait guy, looked way to clean to be a fisherman. He seemed more like a golfer. But when he talked about fishing, when he saw my son’s interest in fishing, his eyes danced and his heart was open. If ever there were a person who paid it forward it was Vinny.

He looked at my son’s rod and told him he made a great choice. My guy bought night crawlers, hooks and sinkers. Vinny showed him how to bring the line up and put the hook and sinker on. As we were leaving he said, if after a while you don’t catch anything, take this — and he gave him a tootsie roll. He said put that in your mouth and it will make you feel better.
We’ll, we’ve been back a few times since our first adventure. We made a run there today. This time my guy had a new pole for fresh water fishing and needed more guidance with the set up. Again, Vinny’s eyes danced. He studied the new gear and gave instruction. The warmth of his spirit turns his basement garage space into a magical hideaway.

I wandered around taking pictures, waiting for my lesson. You see I looked forward to our bait runs; each time I asked a question that sparked a story. It was easy to look around the shop, it surroundings and Vinny and tell there were generations of stories he could tell. Our short visits could only scratch the surface.

Today he pointed out some of the fisherman in the pictures. They were from all over the country and from all walks of life. He said his shop was the oldest bait shop in New York State. That amazed me. He bought it from a family that had it for years before him.

I cut myself off at the knees because, as he was explaining that he touched on the purchase of the Red Oaks Mill waterfall in Poughkeepsie. And I asked we switched to that story. Yeah, did you know you could buy, a piece of property that had a waterfall?

Someone came in his shop and talked it up and he bought it before a developer could do something crazy with it. So, today I learned that Vinny was a conservationist! He touched on so much with in the course of sharing just those tidbits, I want to come back with a lawn chair and my mom’s chicken salad or chocolate cake, to just visit for the afternoon.

There’s no doubt that before it’s all said and down I will be welcome. Our friendship is unfolding — even though he doesn’t know our name.

My young fisherman, was incredibly motivated foe us to jump in the car and get to his fishing spot. He wanted to drop his new line in the water and catch something. A photo of his first catch, which Vinny raved about, was displayed on Vinny’s counter. I know my son has to be excited to see it amidst the other big catch photos. Vinny has him write his age, the date the picture was taken and fishing location on the back of the photo. My son, Dirani is part of the shop’s historical tapestry. I suspect it won’t take long for finding the picture to become like a page out of Where’s Waldo? But, for now, my guy had a prime spot, fingertips away from Vinny and his bait & tackle.

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