Away from our old house where we lived nextdoor to Blair from The Facts of Life.
Nice lady, nice family. Other than spending her childhood in our television once a week, she’s totally normal. A model neighbor.
It was impossible to walk by her house and not get the Facts of Life theme song stuck in your head.
I love our new house. Particularly the backyard that butts up against our pond which we share with our new neighbors. I can honestly say that I haven’t been this excited about anything since the last time I was this excited.
Every morning I look out the back window to see the ducks, geese, turtles, and whatever shit my neighbors’ kids have chucked into the pond.
Yesterday I pulled out 3 tennis balls, 2 fake pumpkins, and half of a dresser drawer.
Not the fishing I had in mind.
I grumble along the water’s edge cleaning it all up thinking “Blair would never do this.”
But if there’s anything she taught me it’s:
You take the good
You take the bad
You take them both and there you have
The facts of life.
I spent most of my childhood summers camping with my family on the Rappahanock river. My great aunt Mee Mee bought a boat when my great uncle Earl died and she loved to take us out fishing. We’d be up at dawn and come back in time to cook whatever we were lucky enough to catch.
There was a lot of quiet out there on the water. But MeeMee and my Dad would interrupt it by trying to make each other laugh.
I wish I could go back and smack the headphones off of my younger self on those days I brought my Walkman along; choosing to listen to Skid Row instead their stories.
But I do remember her telling us how uncle Earl never caught a fish. He caught all sorts of cartoonish stuff: a boot, a cooler, an old rusty fishing pole. But no fish.
This one time though…his line took off like a firework. He shot up grunting and beaming about the river monster he was reeling in. His rod bent like a paper clip and the reel whirred until he finally wrestled it to the surface…
Sweating and panting he came to face to face with his catch:
a one-eyed, dead fish, in a pork and beans can.
It counts, as far as I’m concerned.
(But it gets an asterisk.)
This is Pretty Cool:
3. Skid Row’s singer Sebastian Bach played Gil on the TV show Gilmore Girls which featured music by Sam Phillips. My favorite Sam Phillips song is Reflecting Light.
4. Here’s 3 great songs loosely about fishing:
- Greg Brown – If I Had Known
- Nitty Gritty Dirt Band – Fishing in the Dark
- John Prine – Fish and Whistle
5. Tom Waits’ song about his neighbor – What’s He Building?
Say “hi” when you get a sec,