Gerald Wetzel (left), Lady (center) and Paul Lucas
after the gang had a good night of hunting.
I am going to start the column this week on a sad note. On January 5th, one of my oldest and dearest friends, Paul Lucas, passed away, after a long illness. As little kids, we served weekday Mass every day for two years. Our dads took us fishing many times. We laughed, cried and fought. As we got older, we hunted and fished a lot. We hunted squirrels, rabbits, deer and anything else that was in season. Most of all, though, we hunted coon. Along with (now) old Bub, Dan Harmon and Bill Coradi, I couldn’t guess how much time and how many nights we spent on the hills and woods of our area. The late Gerald Wetzel, another of our friends, had the best coonhound I have ever known. Old Paul (“Punka”) Lucas played a big role, and his passing leaves a hole. Rest in peace, dear old friend.
Due to my unfortunate encounter with Covid 19, my outdoor activities have been severely curtailed. I tire very easily. When they discharged me from the hospital, they told me that, due to my age, and the severity of my case, it could be months until I am back to normal. That seems to be bearing out.
It is, as the old saying goes, an ill wind that blows no good. I have spent a tremendous amount of time watching YouTube videos about hunting, fishing and shooting. Since I can’t do them myself right now, I have gotten vicarious enjoyment out of watching others doing them. Some of the videos featured people shooting elephant guns. I have done that, in the form of my son’s 416 Rigby. It kicks, but I think the folks in the videos exaggerate it a bit. There are also scenes of game being taken with these big rifles. They are neat to watch.
There are also countless videos regarding fishing. A number of them deal with the catching, cleaning and cooking of suckers. Hopefully, when the sucker run rolls around in March, I will be in shape to go after them. There are so many ways to deal with the bones, a lot of which never occurred to me. I know that the meat is whit4e and tasty, but the bones have always gotten in the way of enjoying it.
If you are an outdoor type, and you are stuck inside, you should really check out these videos. They can send you off on a great imaginary trip.
I am very reluctant to wax political in this column, but I feel that I must at this time. Given the final results of the last election, whether you think it was fair or not, it is what it is. One cannot help but feel that our Second Amendment rights will be subjected to an assault such as none of have ever seen in our lifetimes. This will include all of our gun rights. The anti-gunners will not pick and choose which guns to go after. They have made their intentions very frighteningly clear. They want to totally disarm us, for what I believe are sinister reasons. If they can take your friend’s AR-15 today, they can take your 270 tomorrow. Now, more than ever, we have to stick together.