The Muse of Dr News
Did you know that The Institute of Incomplete Studies (IIS) has recently uncovered that seven out of ten people?
Last week I was musing on how small town old-timers were masters at slowing down time. One of my most favorite old-timers was my Grandfather, Bill Tuckwiller. Now Bill was not only an avid hunter and fly fisherman, he was a Jedi Master of both space and time. He was able to bend, shape and modify space and time to his liking, all without any fancy quantum physics trickery.
One fine masterful display was when we went fly fishing in Yugoslavia (now Slovenia.) I was just a young teenager, hungry for adventure, and Bill’s constant sidekick. So in the middle of summer, we flew to Ljubljana, drove into the Julian Alps and arrived at Lake Bled. And that’s where Bill revealed to me one of the most valuable lessons of my life: how to stop spinning around space and make time spin around you.
We got up before sunrise the next morning and embedded ourselves into a small nearby crick (stream in Croatian.) Now, being a young teenager, I was armed not only with waders and a good fly rod, but unbeknownst to my grandfather, a new Sony Walkman (iPod for you wipper-snippers.) I had purchased it during the Heathrow layover, along with a cassette tape of an unknown English band called Dire Straits.
After gearing up, Bill decided he was going to try the nearby pool, complete with a large overhanging rock. “Ok I’ll try down there.” I pointed gleefully. Or in teenage speak, just enough distance that he couldn’t see my earbuds.
I stuck the Walkman into my waders, ran the cord up the inside of my shirt and pressed play. “Money for Nuthin! Chicks for Free!” Trout fishing in Yugoslavia was the best!
BOOM! Mother Nature took over. That whale-sized rainbow trout struck my fly and took off downstream like a squealing pig coming to the understanding it was about to become bacon. Lawd, I had aholt’ of a C&O train hell-bound, late on the morning run. We toured high-speed through slippery rocks, across both sides of the banks, and directly into every thorny scrub from here to Timbuktu. That is until it all came to an abrupt halt.
The first thing I remember was just how ice-cold the water was whilst lying face down in it. Then the gates of Boreas opened and flooded my waders. Ohhhhkla-homa!
But no-sir, Mother Nature was not done with me. That Rainbow was still on the line with the reel screaming out an “I’m almost empty!” shriek.
Now Bill was the kind of gentleman who didn’t accept the “almost caught” part of a big fish story. There was a price to be paid, like getting your shirt tail cut off if you miss your first buck. And I wasn’t going to let this little pea-brained varmint steal my shirttail.
The battle raged for another 20 mins until I finally landed him. And as I was catching my breath, a white object, floating down the river caught my eye. It was my Dire Straights cassette.
I fished into my water-filled waders and sure enough, there was my new, now cracked and ruined Walkman. My adventure was doomed.
And just as I was about to break into a bluesy old-oh-woe-is-me tune, the sun shot a ray of light upon me as it peaked over the 12 thousand foot snow capped Julian Alps. Then a herd of wild goats grazing on the other side instructed me to keep the racket down. Mother Nature seeped deeply into my soul and I became calm.
When I finally arrived back at the pool, my grandfather was sitting on that big rock with nothing on but his undershorts. His wet clothes were spread out on the rock and he was reading a soggy book of Keats.
“What happened?” I asked. “We came to an understanding…” he said calmly, slightly pointing to the two very large trout in his creel. Then he drank in the midsummer morning countryside, took a deep breath of mountain fresh air, and returned to his book.
“Got extra room up there for my clothes too?” I said proudly as if I had just joined the masters club. “Sure.” He said without missing a beat. Then awashed in his typical dry humored wit, he shot back, “Oh, I picked up a real good book on a 16th Century musician in Heathrow. Sir Thomas Wyatt. It’s in the car and I don’t think it needs batteries.”
Kudos this week for “those who make small town Main Streets a little better” goes to Lance Syner. Lance has helped revive downtown Lewisburg with his ambitious Court and Stratton street renovations. If you see him around town, please thank him for his service. Heck go big and visit his new Briergarten for family oriented meals and drinks.
Until next week, I’d love hearing your Space-Time anecdotes and hints on good folks doing awesome things for our community. I can be reached at email@example.com.
Scot is the Publisher of the West Virginia Daily News, The Virginian Review, The Hinton News and The West Virginian. He’s a light-hearted merry trickster and has a Doctorate in Computer Systems and Software Engineering. And in those spaces between the ticking of a clock, he muses, meanders, tinkers, hammers and crafts a tall tale that can go on for days. And that’s all before breakfast.