Bernie loves to fish and has since he first moved from upstate NY to FL in 6th grade. All of our children have grown up with the swimming beach and the fishing beach, although technically you can do either at either, but each is best for its own designation, and they are not far from each other. Most every Father's Day involved a trip first to the fishing beach where Bernie usually caught snook (an extremely delicious white meat fish that you can only keep in certain sizes in certain months). One year he caught 48 fish in one day. One year he caught a snook that hung to his knees if holding the head up to his head - that one he had to send back to its friends in the Gulf waters. We usually finished off the day with a swim at the swimming beach and a fish fry at home. When we first moved back to FL from Missouri in 1984, Chris and Mike were small, and Brian came along the next year. Bernie and I had a deal that if he caught the fish, I would clean and cook them, but that ended the day I gave him a cast net for his birthday. He caught 18 large mullet (which are delicious smoked or fried) in one throw, and I just looked at him and said, "Deal's off! That's too many to clean at once." So ever since, he catches and cleans, and I cook. The boys all caught fish too and learned to throw the net for bait so we didn't always spend the money for fresh shrimp (a snook's favorite dinner). About age 13, Chris even had a picture in FL Sportsman Magazine holding a large snook that he caught, with a big silver (braces were shiny then) grin. Michael, Chris, and Brian have all learned to fish, captain boats, and water ski while growing up. When Lily came along in 1994, she accompanied us to both beaches and loved going, whether it be sitting in her infant seat on the table at Cafe on the Beach rocking to the music, or as she grew, learning to swim with all of us pushing her back and forth between us (and at YMCA swimming lessons), then rocket rides off Bernie's shoulders as he had propelled the boys into the water when they were smaller. One Saturday night after the boys had all moved away stays in my memory when Lily was a teen and usually would have been at a friend's house - she wanted to go to the swimming beach with Bernie and I and we were delighted. After the sun went down, we all walked out on the Pier that used to be there, and Bernie said why don't we stay and fish a little? 2nd marriage wedding wears for mature brides over 50
(Well, a 'little' means at least 45 minutes - I have timed it through the years). We looked at Lily as we figured she would nix that thought in favor of eating dinner sooner, but surprisingly she agreed as long as her dad had packed "Navy Red" - she had named her fishing pole that Bernie had given her. He said, "of course", so we stayed. It was one of those gently breezy, balmy, summer nights with the water lapping on the pier posts, which about lulled me to sleep as I sat on a towel listening to Bernie and Lily laughing and fishing and talking about the stars. I remember thinking then, this is a night I won't forget.