Eight years after moving next door to Albert and Lori Gabelein, we’re participating in another fishing derby. What a tradition! Albert and Lori have been hosting this event for 27 years. It’s supported by the Rod and Gun Club, which buys the many bikes that are given away as prizes.
I asked Albert if there was something he wanted to say about this great event, something important that needed to be in the story. And he said, “Just, that it’s a chance for kids to catch their first fish.”
That sums it up perfectly. Simple and important. Because, and I don’t know why this is, but when a child pulls that first fish out of the water, the look on his or her face is always so special. A look of unbridled joy and great accomplishment. The size of the fish doesn’t matter in the least. I have an old photo of my son Mason, who is now 30, when he was about five, holding a line with a dangling fish. The picture captures his rapturous joy, marveling at that fish, which had to be almost three full inches from head to tail.