One thing that I enjoy probably as much as anything else is fishing.  This week, the World Fishing Network decided that it wanted unique fishing stories.  I have a few, mostly concerning my time spent fishing with my father, but quite a few dealing with times fishing with my kids.  I have three boys and one girl.  The biggest fish ever caught by any of them was a large bass caught by my two year old, Rory.  His big brother Jeremy was excited to catch a fish and handed the rod and reel to Rory to see how fishing felt.  Rory took the reel and a big bass ate Jeremy’s smaller fish whole.   Rory caught such a big fish that we kept it in the freezer for years, planning on getting it taxidermied.  We never did get to that but we had the fish frozen for twenty years.  It was a high point in Rory’s childhood.
     Years later we sponsored a Peters’ Fishing Tournament, but by then most of the kids had moved onto skateboards and bicycles.  So that did not go too well.  But, we sponsored trophies and presented them to the winners.  Throughout our house are trophies with jumping fish on them.  They shine as brightly as our many baseball and soccer trophies, and excite some interest from guests to the house.
     Adam was also an avid fisherman, although he gave it up earlier than his siblings.  Chloe took to fishing in New Hampshire, catching a large bass when she was four.  So those might be the stories that I would write to the World Fishing Network.  However, there were others with my father.  He was an inveterate fisherman, a man so enthralled with catching the fish that he once spent two days at Twin Lakes in Iowa fishing for a large Northern Pike that he just knew was in the murky waters.  On the second afternoon, he netted a six pound Northern Pike, and at his funeral I recounted the story and said that it showed that he had perservered.   He was like that.  Later, in my tenth year, I went on a Canadian fishing trip with him and netted my own Northern Pike.  He was very pleased for me and that was nice.
     Other stories abound.  My wife is a good fisherman, who jiggles the bobber and always ends up with the most fish caught at an outing.  My brother once caught twenty-five fish in a single day.  The day after my father died, I was on a Yankee cruise and caught seven cod.  I had never caught a cod before in my life.  My friends attributed it to luck but I told them my father was in the sea, hooking the cod on my line.  No one else caught many fish that day.
     I was introduced to fly fishing by good friends who want to remain nameless.  Just say they are super guys whose friendship and Republican leanings I greatly value.  Anyway, I caught my first trout while fly fishing and it was with great excitement that I pulled it in.  It will remain one of my favorite times in my life.
     What, if anything, is going on politically?  The mid-term Convention is over, which is kind of a relief, and the next phase is the elections for local office.  I am fairly certain of my School Committee picks but a bit less sure of my Council picks.  George Anthes pointedly asked me the last time I visited the television station who I wanted to see go.  I stated that I would appreciate it if Rodney Elliot would “stand down.”  I do want to see him get his chance to be mayor but I am opposed to scare tactics being used for political gain and that is exactly what was used to tie up the Council’s time with the Library for all citizens but those with a sexual deviation record.
     What burns me about this is the fact that it is unenforceable.  When my children were children, we were responsible for their whereabouts while in the library.  They could not go to the restroom without their father or mother present and certainly not if there was a strange man in there.  Taking that responsibility out of their hands is paramount to neglect.  It is not the librarian’s duty to police the people who come in the library.  What has happened is that there is a sign-up sheet for sexual deviants, but, according to a library employee I asked, there is no further effort to determine if that normal looking man over there is a sexual predator.  No one approaches a person to ask if they are on the Police Department’s list.  It is just as dangerous to send your child unattended to the Men’s Room as it always was, and always will be.   It made for great press in the paper, and got Rodney quite a few votes, but it did not, in my opinion, protect a single child.
     Marty Lorrey’s attempt to get rid of panhandlers is a bit different.  These are people who openly approach a vehicle, usually, and ask for money.  They glare at you if you refuse.  Oftentimes they have something to say that is derogatory to the person who does not give them money.  There are, I believe, ordinances against that type of activity.  All Mr. Lorrey is looking for is a check by police to get rid of unnecessary harassment on street corners.  These are probably not dangerous criminals but they bother us, and after a hard day at work, their presence is not necessary on the streets.
     Other than that, the City Council race looks to be well planned and well fought.  I wish all 21 of the candidates their time in the spotlight so we can make valued and wise judgments on who is the best person for Lowell.  And, this time, get out and vote.  Do not leave it to the small number of us who always get out and vote.  Take the responsibility upon yourselves and overturn, if that is your desire, the government.  Lowell needs your voice.