Fishing With Ivan Part 2

24 Feb

A Slice of Life

Bill Lites

Northrop Institute of Technology (NIT) in Inglewood, California, was a small college when I first started my education with them. My mother and dad had saved money for me to go to college, and it was enough for me to get what was called a technology degree (which was the equivalent to an AA at most colleges). On the day of registration, the registrar urged me to change my study course from Aircraft Airframe & Engine Mechanic (18 months) to Aviation Mechanical Engineering Technology (36 months).  He said he could see that I had the makings of an engineer, and that the Los Angeles area was in an aviation boom.  As an engineer I would be able to “write my own ticket” as far as a job was concerned. 

I fell for that line and signed up for the engineering course.  The first two years were hard on both of us.  Divoran was working full-time as a hair stylist for the Magic Mirror Beauty Salon, there in Inglewood, to help pay for my schooling and get her Putting Hubby Thru (PHT) Degree.  I was going to school full-time and working at a part-time job.  By sometime in my third year I was offered a full-time engineering job with North American Aviation in Downey, CA.  We really needed the money, and besides that, my beloved DiVoran was getting a little broody, so I took the job.  I switched to night classes and we decided DiVoran would quit her full-time job and we would start our family.

Things settled down for us for a while.  Our daughter, Renie, came along first and two years later our son, Billy, was born.  During those years, we continued to visit Ivan and Dora in Livermore as often as we could.  I remember on one trip, while Dora and DiVoran were having fun with our young children, Ivan took me fishing, at his favorite spot, on the San Francisco Bay.  We fished the “riptide“ where the saltwater came in, and the freshwater met, and caught over 100 Striped Bass before we went home with only one “keeper.”   The legal length for Striped Bass, at that time of the season, was 16” and every one of those 100+ fish we caught was between 14” and 15” long. I didn’t care that we only took one fish home from that trip.  It had been non-stop “Catch & Release” as fast as we could reel one fish in and take it off the hook, throw it back, and re-bait the hook.  This went on for the whole time we were on the water, and it was the most fun I have ever had fishing. 

DiVoran says she remembers that she got to go fishing with her dad too, although she wasn’t sure at the time if she really wanted to.  She told me, “He took me out under the Golden Gate Bridge, and I was feeling sick from the motion of the boat.  I had to lie down on the bench seat in the boat to keep from throwing up. When he got the herring-shiner bait on my fishing hook, I got up and tossed the line over the side into the roiling water. I immediately felt a tug on the line and the pole bent over. Dad took over and hauled up a large gray silky looking fish, which turned out to be a small shark. I held onto the pole and stared at one emerald green eye.  While I was looking at that exquisite sight, Ivan took care of the shark.  Before I realized what was happening, Ivan had whipped out his knife, cut the shark’s throat, and dropped it back in the water.  I was so shocked by the speed at which everything had happened that I just stood there with my mouth open, gulping like a fish out of water.  That fishing trip didn’t last very long, and soon we set off for the marina.  We ended up getting home just in time for supper.”  

—–To Be Continued—–

Bill is a retired Mechanical engineer living with his wonderful artist/writer wife, DiVoran, of 63 years in Titusville, Florida. He was born and raised in the Southwest, did a tour of duty with the U.S. Navy, attended Northrop University in Southern California and ended up working on America’s Manned Space Program for 35 years. He currently is retired and spends most of his time building and flying R/C model airplanes, traveling, writing blogs about his travels for Word Press and supporting his wife’s hobbies with framing, editing and marketing.  He also volunteers with a local church Car Care Ministry and as a tour guide at the Valiant Air Command Warbird Museum there in Titusville.  Bill has two wonderful children, two outstanding grandchildren, and a loving sister and her husband, all of whom also live in Central Florida, so he and DiVoran are rewarded by having family close to spend lots of quality time with.

One of Bill’s favorite Scriptures is:  John 10:10

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