Fishing With Ivan Part 3B

10 Mar

A Slice of Life

Bill Lites

At the end of that first fishing day in Astoria (caught no fish), Ivan cooked up the Dungeness crabs, we had caught, for our dinner and DiVoran said she remembers, “That first evening, when Ivan put that dead crab on my plate, I was not too fond of the idea of eating one of those ugly creatures staring up at me.  But once I got past the stare and started eating, I discovered it wasn’t bad.  Each evening Ivan would cook the crabs they had caught that day, on the small stove in the motel for us for our dinner.  Before the trip was over, I had decided that from now on, crab meat dipped in melted butter would be one of my favorite foods.”

Photo credit

DiVoran also remembers that while the men were fishing, she and her mom took the children on adventures into different parts of the woods around town.  She said, “We walked up soft trails with fallen leaves in the coolness of the shade of the overhanging pines.  The kids were interested in all the sights and sounds along the trails.  Then as we descended back into the neighborhoods, we would see home gardens alive with beautiful flowers such as purple Hydrangea, Day Lilies, and delicate plants with tiny blue lace-like flowers.“

 “One day as we made our way back toward our motel, we were joined by a happy little dog who graciously escorted us all the way to the motel to meet Bill and Ivan.  Of course, the children fell in love with the dog and asked if they could keep him.  We gave them a little story about how valuable such a dog must be to a community like this one. The little dog that followed us around was doing his job, looking after us just as he would all the other visitors who came to town.”  She also told me that, “We always had a nice lunch at a diner there in town while the men were eating their sandwiches out of the boat.”  

You’re not going to believe this, because I couldn’t believe it at the time, but we went out every morning and fished for three days and never caught a single Salmon.  Neither Ivan nor I could ever figure out what we did wrong, or didn’t do right, but I have never seen him so frustrated in all the time I knew him.  The processing and canning of all the fresh Chinook salmon we had planned to catch was out the window, and we ended up buying a few cans from the local cannery, so we wouldn’t have to go home and tell our friends the “REAL” fish story.

The bright side of this trip was that each day when we gave up on the fishing and headed back for the dock, our crab traps were filled with lots of legal sized Dungeness crabs, and everyone ate their fill every evening.  We even had enough to share with some of the other visiting fisherman families, who only had fish to eat.  Of course, that gesture was no consolation for “A Man Who Lives to Fish” like Ivan.

DiVoran reminded me that we had some more fun after the fishing trip, on the way back to Livermore.  She said, “I Remember on our way back from Astoria, we stopped at the Tillamook Cheese Factory for a tour.   We were all interested in how the cheeses was made, and were grateful for the tidbits of the different types of cheese the tour guide offered us during our tour.  Sometimes I see Tillamook brand cheese products in the grocery stores here in Florida, and it takes me back to that family vacation in Oregon.” 

Some people might think this turned out to be a wasted trip, since we didn’t catch any fish, but we all (except maybe Ivan) had a wonderful time and really enjoyed the experience, the company and the scenery.

—–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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