Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Fun Series #4 - Two Shots, No Gun


An Army Ranger or Marine Recon sniper can hit a target with a rifle and scope from up to a mile or more away. Let's see them do it it with a rock or a fishing lure! The two greatest shots I ever personally witnessed were made by "the two idiots" - Nick and, proudly I say, me.
Nick's was a valiant effort, mine was pure skill.
In the 1960's and early 1970's next to Sportsman's Bowling Alley sat Sportsman's Field. Here medium and fast pitch softball leagues played. People who worked nights played mornings and day workers played under the lights. As kids we spent hours here watching ball games. It was free and they had a great snack bar.
The quickest way home, since we walked, was along the railroad tracks. Coming out of Sportsman's you would go under the overpass and take the path up the hill to the tracks that go behind the bowling alley. If you looked back you could see the Englebert Furniture Store neon sign glowing in the night sky.
We were a football field or more away when Nick picked up a rock and told me he was going to hit the sign. Nick was a really good baseball player but I said, "No way."
He crow hopped a couple of steps like a major league outfielder would and let the rock fly.
Next thing we know the sign is exploding in red and green flashes and sparks and we hear the cars beneath slamming on their brakes.
We did what all kids would do - we ran screaming with laughter. It counted, he did call it!
But I called mine too.
As an adult Nick kept a boat on the Mohawk River not too far from his home in Clifton Park. At this point in time he had a big Bass Boat. I would drive up Sunday mornings and we'd fish and smoke a cigar. The point for us was to relax. By this time we had known each other 40+ years so alot of our conversations were about our children or just stupid stuff. We had enjoyed each other's company so it was always a great day. But on this particular day Nick had invited one of his neighbors to join us. I'll just call him the Sergeant Major.
Sgt. was one of these guys that knows everything about everything and feels the undying obligation to share this ability with all he meets. Of course this included me. According to him I wasn't a very good fisherman. As he lectured me, Nick would shake his head or roll his eyes.
One of our favorite fishing spots is the rock cliffs behind the GE Research and Development Center. Being a "secure" area, the fencing is conspicuously marked with signage telling all to stay away.
There was one small triangular metal "Keep Out" sign right in the middle of this stretch of fence up about 50 feet above the water line and approximately 30 -40 yards away.
I called the shot or in this case the cast. Nick said, "No way!."
The Sgt. Major just kept talking.
Now let me set the stage - in a boat, on a river, 6 foot Ugly Stick rod, 10 ld. monofiliment line, Sonar double hooked lure, on a Mitchell 300 reel, wind from the west at 8 mph, and the Sgt. Major jawing in my ear.
I took a long draw on my Ashton Pyramid cigar clinched between my teeth and as I exhaled the smoke I cast the lure and I nailed the bastard dead center! You could hear the "Kalunk" of metal hitting metal.
The Sgt. Major was unimpressed.

1 comment:

Nick Marino said...

The statute of limitations has expired, so I will lay claim to the sign. We ran along the tracks all the way down Altamont Ave. and walked home from there.
As far as Sargent Major is concerned, he never flinched when Glenn hit the sign. I laughted until my face hurt. But.....this was one day only for Glenn....I have it all the time,'cause the Sargent Major lives NEXT DOOR TO ME!