Tag Archives: Fishing

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

Tangled

19 Feb

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis

I grew up in a fishing family and I can’t remember when I didn’t have a fishing pole in my hand. Living in Florida, we were salt water fishermen. We often spent all night fishing from river piers. I was so small I could stick my upper body between the rails to drop my line. Now, I can’t imagine how my parents didn’t have heart failure.

My favorite fishing spot was Mather’s Bridge in Eau Gallie, Florida. Years later, we graduated to boat fishing and this spot remained a favorite. One of our boats was an old aluminum cabin cruiser. I loved lying in the cabin, listening to the large fish grunting under the boat.

Photo Credit By Mike735150 – I took this photo with my phone while waiting for the bridge to close., CC BY-SA 3.0, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=50161843

If Florida history is of interest to you, here is a link to an excellent write up.

When the weather and winds were right we also surf fished. My parents only used Penn reels, their favorite was a Penn #9. I’m not sure they make that model any longer. I didn’t have my own reel and rod but my parents had a smallish one they let me use. I wasn’t the most coordinated child and I frequently ended up with a snarled mess after casting. Sometimes I could unsnarl the mess myself but other times I had to ask for help. For some reason adults found that to be annoying.

I remember one day my Aunt Della and Uncle Connie from North Carolina were fishing with us on the beach and I had my usual snarl. No one wanted to help. ( The whole you made the mess, you fix it thinking.) My precious Aunt Della sat on a blanket and patiently removed every knot. I loved her and miss her to this day.

I read a poem Thursday morning from Streams in the Desert, that made me think of her.

With thoughtless and

Impatient hands

We tangle up

The plans

The Lord hath wrought.

And when we cry

In pain, He saith

Be quiet, dear,

While I untie the knot

Streams in the desert

 

I'm a winner

After my retirement, I decided to re-learn the canning and preserving skills I learned from my mother but hadn’t practiced for twenty years. I titled the blog Old Things R New to chronicle my experience.  Since then I have been blessed to have six other bloggers join me, DiVoran Lites, Bill Lites,  Judy Wills, Louise Gibson, Janet Perez Eckles and Melody Hendrix

In addition to blogging, I work as the publicist/marketer/ amateur editor and general  “mom Friday” for my author daughter, Rebekah Lyn. I also manage her website, Rebekah Lyn Books  where we frequently host the best in up and coming authors.

My 2020 goal is to use my love of photographs and words to be an encourager on social media. You can visit Real Life Books and Media You Tube Channel if you would like to view some of the mini-videos I have created for our church, Gateway Community in Titusville, Fl.

Fishing with Ivan Part 1

17 Feb

A Slice of Life

Bill Lites

I’m sure you have heard the saying, “He is a man who loves to fish.”  Well, DiVoran’s father, Ivan, was “A man who lived to fish.”  He loved the mountains, trees, rivers, reservoirs, and lakes.  Eventually, he got a chance to live near the ocean.  Strangely, as much as Ivan liked to fish, he never really liked to eat fish, so his hobby kept his friends and neighbors around him well supplied.  His family moved to Canon City, CO, in the mid-1920s when Ivan was six years old.  The Arkansas River runs right through town, and I’m sure, as a young boy, he had his favorite fishing hole on that river, and spent a lot of time getting good at catching the biggest fish.  Whatever other influences there may have been, by the time I met DiVoran, and married into his family Ivan had become an avid fisherman.  DiVoran and I visited Ivan and her mother Dora many times over the years, and almost every time, it was in a location close to a good fishing hole of some type.

While I was going to college at Northrop Institute of Technology (now Northrop University), DiVoran and I lived in Inglewood, CA.  She was working as a hair stylist for the Magic Mirror Beauty Salon, earning her Putting Hubby Thru (PHT) degree to help me with school expenses.  I had a part-time job, at the Los Angeles International Airport, servicing several different types of airplanes for four small west coast airlines.  With DiVoran working full-time and all the school work I had to deal with, it didn’t leave us a lot of time for much of anything else.  Ivan and Dora lived about 350 miles north of us in Livermore, CA, at the time, and we would try to visit them every chance we got. Of course, as newlyweds, we also had to alternate our trips to see my family in Albuquerque, NM to keep everyone happy.


During one of these visits, Ivan took me Sturgeon fishing on the Sacramento River.  That was the day I caught the biggest fish I ever caught.  My Sturgeon weighed in at 75 lbs. and Ivan’s was huge, at 110 lbs.  They were so big we couldn’t even get them in Ivan’s small fishing boat.  We looked kind of like “The Old Man and the Sea,” coming back toward the dock with a big fish tied up on either side of his small boat.  It was all the two of us could do to get them out of the water and into the back of Ivan’s pickup truck.  Of course, we had to stop by the local VFW on the way home to show off our catch to Ivan’s buddies.  They were all properly impressed.  I had DiVoran take a photo of me with that fish, so I could prove to my friends that I wasn’t telling another big fish story.

DiVoran reminded me that she learned that unlike any other kind of fish we know of, if you cut Sturgeon up and put it in the refrigerator, it has no fishy smell whatsoever.  Wikipedia informs me that one popular belief is that Sturgeon have been called a primitive fish, because their characteristics have remained relatively unchanged since the earliest fossil records.  It’s just warm enough in the San Francisco Bay area, and surrounding rivers, to allow them to thrive.  Several species of Sturgeon are harvested for their roe, which is then processed into the luxury food caviar.  That has led to the overexploitation of the fish, which, combined with the other conservation treats, has brought most of the species to the critically endangered status, and at the edge of extinction.

—–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

Gone Fishin’

24 Jul

My Take

DiVoran Bowers Lites

 

Photo from Pinterest

 

My dad learned to fish from his dad. He loved it the best of all recreations. The first fishing trip I recall going on with dad was when we lived in Westcliffe, Colorado. We had a little restaurant and bar on Main Street called Min’s Café.

One early fall, Mother and Dad closed the restaurant and we went up into the Sangre de Cristo Range to fish in a creek. We drove our black 1946 Ford two-door car to about 9,000 feet elevation. We took a tent, fishing gear, and an aluminum set of pots, pans, and flatware that all fit together in a cozy kettle.

It wasn’t far, so we arrived early in the day and found ourselves in a high meadow. Dandelions with their green leaves grew all around, some of the flowers were yellow, and some were dressed in white fluff. The air was cool and fragrant. Grasses along the creek had begun to change colors. As soon as the tent was set up Dad took my brother and I down to the creek to start fishing. Our poles had two hooks each so we’d have a chance to catch more rainbow trout and more browns. Dad thought that since I was such a big girl I ought to be able to thread the worms he’d brought along onto the hooks. They were wiggly and squishy and I didn’t like doing it one bit, because I knew it had to hurt them. Dad was proud of me for doing it, though, so I was proud, too. He wanted us both to learn to enjoy his favorite sport. Dad and my brother went to fish further up the creek. Mother was resting in the car after a long week of working in the café. Feeling lazy, I released the fishing line into the creek in a quiet place and propped the rod against the bank with rocks. I then crawled into the tent and picked up my Nancy Drew mystery from the library. Reading was already my favorite recreation. Before I got through even one chapter I heard a commotion outside and crawled out of the tent to see what was going on. Dad and my brother were waiting for me. Holding up my fishing pole to show me that I had caught a fish on each hook. Wow, was I ever satisfied with my talent for fishing. Dad took them off the hook for me, thank Heaven. We put them in the creel, then Dad and brother went back to fish for our supper. Mother was ready to pick dandelion greens and wanted me to help her. I had never heard of such a thing as eating dandelion leaves before, but she said said Auntie Elvira had taught her in Camp Fire girls when she was younger.

After we picked a batch of green and started them cooking in the kettle, mother gave me a bar of soap and told me to wash my hands. I got down as close as I could to the water and put my hands in holding the soap. Whoosh, the creek took it, and it was gone. I went back to tell Mother and she was understanding about it. “Oh, well,” says she, “we’ll just have to wash our hands with sand.”

Dad had brother and I watch him clean the fish so we’d know how to clean our own next time. I’ve never had to do it, but I can see clearly in mind mind’s eye how he slashed it from the bottom of the belly to the gills and pulled out the guts. It was pretty cool and then after it was fried in cornmeal in a skillet over the camp stove dad taught us how to get the bones out. We started at the tail, got hold of the inner skeleton and pulled all up together. We then pulled that from the side and had two clean sides.

During supper, my brother kept casting bright-eyed glances at my dad. Did they have a secret? What could it be? I would find out one way or another.

As I was finishing my canned peaches for dessert I looked up and saw that gentle snowflakes were wafting down. I’d never seen it snow in summer

Later on when no one was looking I got my brother in a headlock and made him tell. Did I mention he was younger and smaller?

Anyhow he talked. He said that after he and dad had caught a few, they sneaked in and put a couple on my hooks. “That’s what you get for readin’ when you’re supposed to be fishin’” my brother said. He then ran away. I gave chase, but I never caught him. Did I mention that he was swifter a well?

 

 

Fishing Therapy Part 2

16 Feb

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis

Because my brain begins racing as soon as I wake up, I have asked God to give me a scripture or song to start my day in a grateful mindset. Last Thursday morning I was given the word joy. My first thought was oh boy, what will I face today that I need to count it as joy.

 

We had planned to try out the fishing at Port Canaveral but I wasnt feeling  energetic so we changed our fishing plans and went back  to the park close to home.

A beautiful family from Ecuador stopped by to talk and we enjoyed communicating with my high school Spanish and his pretty good English. Then they went to have lunch under the pavilion.

 

boatramp-pavillion

 

A few minutes later, the little boy around 4 yrs old and his sister around 8 came running up to me with big smiles. The little guy had a fresh chocolate covered glazed donut in his hand for me. God’s joy gift can come in many forms, today it was in smiles and my favorite donut!

This fishing trip resulted in actually catching some fish. I caught a whiting, which is my favorite for eating, a silver trout and my husband caught a speckled trout. We didn’t keep them as they were too small, but it was fun catching them. Even though we tried to be gentle, the trout after swimming away, showed up floating on the water, I wanted to believe it was resting  and I was upset when the gulls tried to make it their lunch.

The fishing reel I use is a bait caster and over twenty years old. It is having some problems. I think I am going to go back to my favorite reel for fishing in the river, a Zebco 33. It’s kind of like having a reunion with one’s first love.

Something scary did happen during our outing. I had placed my phone in the drink holder of my bag chair so I could listen to the radio. It was very windy and when I stood to reel in my line, a gust blew my chair over and my phone went flying towards the water. My heart sank. Then I realized I could faintly hear my phone and when I looked over the side, I saw my phone lying on a boulder. My husband went down on the rocks and retrieved it. I feared the screen would be broken but it was fine. I thanked God for this and added another item to my lessons learned list.

This week we won’t have a chance to fish. I will miss it.

It is Good to Give Thanks

18 Aug

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis

During my growing up years, we lived in Orlando, Florida. My parents loved to fish, so most Fridays as soon as my parent’s made it home from work, we loaded the car with fishing gear and headed to the east coast. We would fish all night and most of Saturday.  We usually fished from a pier and late at night when most folks had gone home to sleep, we would often  begin to sing hymns in the evening stillness. Just my family, the moon and the stars. Wonderful memories.

What a beautiful thing, God, to give thanks,
    to sing an anthem to you, the High God!
To announce your love each daybreak,
    sing your faithful presence all through the night,
Accompanied by dulcimer and harp,
    the full-bodied music of strings.

Psalms 92: 1-3

The Message

Dad:Worst Enemy, Best Friend~Part 4

27 Jun

My Take 

DiVoran Lites

Author, Poet and ArtistFunny how many times I could have lost my dad, but didn’t. He was always there for me, and I had the deep security of knowing he always would be. I took him so much for granted, though, that I didn’t realize until much later that his caring for me in the ways that he did were the foundation for my trusting God.

Dad and I went more rounds over the years. We moved to Los Alamos where he became a courier for the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC).

Then we moved to Albuquerque so he and Mom could continue to work for the government. Dad still traveled.

2

 

I ran away to get married, but Dad called the florist in faraway CA, to order an orchid for my bridal bouquet. He wasn’t able to attend because of the job.

We moved to Florida for Bill’s job at Kennedy Space Center. Mom and Dad never failed to visit us once a year, and we also joined them on their fishing vacations at Salton Sea (now defunct).* After Salton Sea came Marrowstone Island in Puget sound, then Sapinero-Blue Mesa Reservoir in Colorado. The vacations were memorable, but I’m afraid I didn’t appreciate them as much then as I do in retrospect. The living was rough, fishing was all, but Mom the kids and I could always go to town (except at Salton Sea which was out in the desert by itself.) And once we did some old-fashioned clamming. That was great fun!

All those vacations were good for getting to know each other, especially the children. I’ll always be grateful that Mom and Dad went to that much effort to stay in touch.

When we first arrived in Florida, the woods that border our home seemed scary and exotic. I’d heard so much about snakes and insects I didn’t want to go out there.

1

When Dad came, though, he wasn’t daunted. He started walking every day. Our dog and I soon joined him and we learned the way. We’ve been walking the trails in those woods ever since, first with our kids and dogs then with our grandkids. It is a chief enjoyment in life.

Mother always told me to have plenty of things for Dad to repair when they came so he wouldn’t get bored. The year we had no TV he threatened never to come back again, but we got one and he did. One job dad did was to put up a jar opener under a cupboard for us. He was having a lot of trouble with carpal-tunnel syndrome by then. I use that gripper now because I need it sometimes. I wonder, if he realized what a favor he had done for us by installing it.

With maturity, my grievances have melted away. I’ve realized that I deeply loved my Dad in spite of our lifelong battles. The first time I went to visit when he was in the nursing home unable to do anything for himself we both broke into tears. Dad was aware enough to ask, “Is this who I think it is?” Later, I sat alone with him and held his wrist in my hand so I could feel his pulse because I didn’t know how to talk to him as others seemed to do.

This year, on Memorial Day Sunday our pastor asked people to call out the names of their kin who had died in wars. At first there were only a few and then it became a chorus of jumbled names. I felt sad knowing how difficult it is to lose any member of your family. But I also had a halleluiah feeling that I did get to know my Dad for the rest of his life after he came home from WW2. He carried signs of what we now call PTSD. I believe that most families whose parents have been in the military during wartime do. Thanks Dad, for coming back and living a long life in which I got to know you and your true value.

DiVoran and Dad with coats

 

Read more about Salton Sea by clicking HERE

 

 

 

 

Dad~Love~Faith

15 Jun

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis

Onisha

 

Back in the late fifties, going to church was a much more sociable activity than it is today. Once the service was over the adults would linger outside the church, on the sidewalk just to chat and enjoy being together. The children, glad to be freed from the trial of sitting still would run around like uncaged monkeys playing tag and screaming until a parent shushed us.  One particular evening, the air had a chill to it and I stood Lucerne Parkshivering next to my dad. Without making a big  “to do” about it, he took off his suit jacket and put it around my shoulders. It covered my small body completely and smelled like my dad’s Vitalis hair oil and a faint scent of cigarrete smoke. I felt completely safe and warm covered by his jacket. That was my first picture of how much God loved me.

My dad and mom loved to fish and we drove to the east coast of Florida every Friday night to fish. In my childhood I can’t remember a time I didn’t have a fishing pole. I started with a cane pole in the local lakes. When I was considered big enough to have a real fishing rod and reel, it was a small Zebco. I remember my dad teaching me first how to bait my hook, release the line and how important it was to “hold your pole Loved catching the big ones.up” when you were reeling in a fish. Next he taught me how to tie a hook onto my line and change the weights. He wanted me to be self-sufficient but he was always there to help me out when I tangled my line or man the long dip net when I had a fish to big for me to reel up. This was my second picture of how God loved me. Like my dad, God would always be there to help me untangle my life and he would be my “dip net” when I called out to him.

Matthew 7:11 says-“ If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!”

 

My dad was a humble man and because of his humility, it took me many years to realize what a truly remarkable father he was.

Me and dad

Me and dad

T

 

Visits with Ivan & Dora Part 2

5 Jun

A Slice of Life

Bill Lites

Bill

1png My work during those years took me to the Southern California area frequently, and this was great for us, because Ivan and Dora would always invite us to come visit them in whatever location they happened to be that summer.  I would take DiVoran with me for a week of vacation before or after my business in California and we would spend our vacations relaxing with Ivan and Dora.  We made several summer visits to their home in Vista, one visit to the Salton Sea (226 ft. below sea level), two visits while they were staying at Smithy’s on Marrowstone Island and one visit to Sapinero in Colorado.

Sapinero is a small community located on U.S. Highway 50, along the shore of the 2Blue Mesa Reservoir in western Colorado.  Ivan had wanted to move to Montrose, Colorado but couldn’t talk Dora into a permanent move, so summers at Sapinero were the next best thing he could come up with.  The community is made up of mostly part-time summer folks with their motor homes and travel trailers, who like Ivan, like the lake fishing.

3In 1955 Sapinero became an example of those stories about a riverside community being moved to a new location when those in power decided they needed to dam up the Gunnison River to provide water for the surrounding area.  The original Sapinero community now resides under some 300 feet of water.  The reservoir was stocked with Kokanee Salmon and Tilapia, which at the time I had never heard of, but were fun to catch and wonderful eating.

In addition to the rustic “Village Store”, which included the “Ley-Z-B Restaurant”, 4there are several old “rustic cabins”, one of which we rented for our one and only stay at Sapinero.  The problem with the cabins was that they were very primitive, and provide only the basic needs, such as very cold water and one 60-watt light bulb.  The bed sagged so badly that DiVoran and

I tended to roll in toward each other in the middle, and there was a 2” gap under the door.

5The two-hole outhouse was 30 feet down the drive and very dark at night, which reminds me of a little “outhouse trivia” you may not know.  It’s said that the first outhouse designs used a crescent moon cut into the door to identify the “Ladies” and a star cut into the door to identify the “Men’s” privies.  Then after a while, the star was dropped and privies became unisex in nature, mainly because the women kept their privies cleaner than the men did.  Bet you had never heard that one before!  I hadn’t.

One night while we were fast asleep, dreaming of how nice it would be to be to be sleeping in our own bed at home, DiVoran suddenly jumped out of bed screaming and brushing wildly at her hair.  I was still half-asleep and couldn’t figure out what was going on.  Finally, she calmed down long enough to tell me that something had 7run through her hair, and about that time, we saw this field mouse scurry out through the gap under the door.  Then I had visions of what else could find its way through that gap into our cabin looking for a warm place to sleep.  Well, you better believe we didn’t waste any time blocking that gap with towels, but I’m not sure how much better that helped us sleep that night.

8 Ivan had built a wooden cover and porch structure over his travel trailer to help shade them from the sun and give them a place to relax in the evenings.  TV reception at Sapinero was almost non-existent, so most evenings a bunch of the folks and/or some of the local cronies would gather at the Ley-Z-B Restaurant for dinner and/or to spend the evening sharing some of the many stories for which traveling folks and old cronies are known to have an endless supply.

Every Saturday evening the Ley-Z-B Restaurant hosted a western style Bar-B-Q at the Village Store.  People of all ages came from all around the immediate area to 9enjoy the great food. We even saw some bikers stop in to try out the ribs.  Someone would usually bring a guitar or banjo and provide the music for the evening’s sing-a-long, and a great time was had by all.

These are just a few of the more memorable times we have spent with Ivan and Dora over the years.  They knew how to relax and have a good time where ever they were, and that made It  relaxing and fun for DiVoran and me to spend time with them.  What wonderful memories!  We would love to do any of those trips over again if it were only possible.

—–The End—–

Visits with Ivan & Dora Part 1

29 May

A Slice of Life

Bill Lites

1

Ivan,father of DiVoran Lites

DiVoran’s dad, Ivan, was an avid fisherman, one of those “Lives to Fish” kind of guys.  During his working years, he spent as much time as his job permitted, fishing within a driving radius of his home.  When he and his wife Dora lived in Livermore, California, it was the San Francisco Bay and the Sacramento River where he did most of his fishing.

At that time, DiVoran and I lived in Los Angeles where I was attending Northrop University, and we made several trips to Livermore so Ivan and Dora could see their grandkids.  Now I’m not really much a fisherman, but I have fond memories of fishing with Ivan on San Francisco Bay and the Sacramento River.  In fact, I caught the biggest fish of my life, a 75 lb. Sturgeon, and Ivan caught a 104 lb. Sturgeon during one of our trips up the Sacramento River.

2b

On another trip to Livermore to visit Ivan and Dora, Ivan took me fishing on San Francisco bay where together, we caught the most fish (110 total) I can remember.  Of course, of those 110 Striped Bass we caught, we had to release 109 because they measured from 12“ to 15” long, and the limit was 16”, which left us with only one keeper, but boy was that a fun morning!

3Ivan and Dora retired in Vista, California and one of the first trips we made to visit them  there involved Ivan taking me to run his lobster traps.   He had obtained a commercial Pacific Lobster License with the idea of making a fortune selling his catches to the local area  restaurants.

The only trouble with that plan was that poachers were raiding his traps and running off with most of his lobsters.  He had tried everything he could think of to deter the poachers, including enlisting the local sheriff, all to no avail.  The traps were some distance off shore, and no one was able to keep watch on the traps 24/7, and he never knew when the poachers would strike.  But, the lobsters we were able to catch on that trip were delicious!

Bill Lites

Bill Lites

Vista was hot in the summer compared to Livermore, so to beat the heat and be able to fulfill Ivan’s fishing desires, they would pick out a nice “cool” campground at a good fishing location, buy a used 30’ travel trailer and set it up there for the summer.  If the location turned out to meet all Ivan’s “Summer Getaway/Fishing Requirements”, then they would leave the trailer for  the next year.  If not, they would hook up the travel trailer to his truck and move it to another “Better” location the next year.5

There were the memorable summers Ivan and Dora spent in the Puget Sound area.   Dora’s brother Smithy ran a beautiful trailer park and campground on Marrowstone Island.   From Seattle, we had to take two ferryboats to get to the island and then drive several miles to get to Smithy’s Trailer Park, but it was well worth the time and effort.

6

Ivan and Dora  parked their travel trailer at Smithy’s for several  summers, and Ivan usually helped Smithy with the campground maintenance, while Dora and  Smithy’s wife Waunita took care of the family Avon business.  DiVoran and I would rent one of Smithy’s permanent travel trailers during our visits with them, which was just like camping in a State Park, which as it happened, was just a few miles north of Smithy’s at the Fort Flagler State Park. 7

A day of fishing for Ivan and me on Marrowstone island was; out early at low tide, to collect tube worms, then set off in Ivan’s boat in search of the best Flounder fishing hole.  By the time DiVoran and I visited  them at Smithy’s the first time, Ivan had scoped out the best places to find bait, and also the most likely places to find good size Flounder.  And boy was that fresh Flounder some good eatin’!

8b

8a The other neat thing we did with Ivan and Dora while visiting them at Smithy’s was to go digging for clams.  Ivan knew just were to go at low tide for the largest clams.  We would walk along looking for the “waterspout” from the clam, then run over and dig it up.  It was amazing how deep we had to dig sometimes to get to the clam, and how long their siphon (leg, as Ivan called it) was that they used to spurt the water.  If you like clams, it would be hard to find better eating than those Puget Sound clams.

Ivan and DiVoran

Ivan and DiVoran

—–To Be Continued—–

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