Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Ernie Harwell and fishing

For my old fishing pal, Bill Baker, fishing and Ernie Harwell went together like a rod and reel. Many summer afternoons we would head for Port Huron and the area known to locals as South Park, to fish from shore with set lines for walleye.
Once we had all the gear arranged and a couple of chairs set up, depending on how many people were fishing, we would cast out as far upstream and across as we could, letting the current take our bait down toward the bottom.
Attaching a small bell to the end of the rod, we found an empty rod holder, set the rods down, grabbed a soda and tuned in to Ernie and Paul Carey calling a Tiger game.
There was something homey, summer-like, friendly, and warm listening to these two while the St. Clair River drifted silently by.
Occasionally we would look around and see one of the huge freighters either up or down bound, barely making any noise as they went about their business.
Ernie Harwell helped pass the time while waiting for the bell to ring indicating a bite. He was always right there in the background, sort of a given. You just knew, probably took it for granted that he would be talking about the person from Garden City that just caught a foul ball, or "he stood there like the house beside the road."
Fishing won't change much along the river. But the music of Ernie's voice won't be heard any longer. We probably won't even taken a radio along the next time.

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