Saturday, April 10, 2010

Another Easter Memory

I’ve been in North Carolina since Monday and haven’t had internet access. I'll be back around on Tuesday and try to catch up on everyone's writings. Here is something I wrote right before Easter, a memory of my childhood. This memory was probably from 1964 or 65. The photo on the left was taken on Easter Sunday 1972 (my father was in a rebellion stage, driving a yellow car). Although the oldest, at this point in my life I was shorter than both my brother and sister.

As a child, there was always a small gift in our Easter basket. Mom had prepared our baskets with eggs that we’d dyed, along with a variety of candy. My favorite was the malt balls covered with chocolate and hard candy. Mom handled the candy and decorating, but I’m pretty sure my dad picked out the small gift, because it was almost always some sort of fishing gear. Over the years, there were packets of plastic worms and a variety of lures, but the one that I will always remember was a yellow jitterbug. I think this was the first year of the tradition, the Easter after my brother and I had received a Zepco fishing rod. I was either in the first or second grade. My jitterbug was bright yellow and my brother’s was black. They were both larger lures, maybe 3 1/2 inches long; my dad had a large ambition when it came to fishing.

Interestingly, I remember what happened to those two lures. My brother’s ended up on a powerline over my Uncle Frank’s pond and for years you could see it dangling there, beside other lures and tackle that hung along the lines, looking like a trotline for a flying fish. He got tired of me joking about his failure to catch flying-fish. I had my jitterbug longer; in fact, I never lost it. It was still in a freshwater tackle box, its paint having flaked a bit over the decades, when that tackle box was stolen from my car when we lived in Utah. There is no telling what happened to that lure, but I hope it’s still catching fish.

A jitterbug is an ideal lure to catch bass in the evening, as the fish move close into the shore to feed and often come up to the surface to feast on bugs. The lure stays on the top of the water and it waddles back and forth, much like giant water bug. The fish hears and feels its movement across the surface and are drawn in for a strike.

As I was recalling this tradition from my childhood, the giving of fishing lures, it dawned on me that a lure was an appropriate Easter gift. My favorite post-resurrection story of Jesus is him on the beach, roasting fish for the disciples who’d spent the evening on the water. A number of the disciples were fisherman and Jesus tells them that they’re to continue to fish, only for people. They’re to continue to cast out the nets, metaphorically.

Update: my memory may not be completely correct. I told this story to my brother and he said he thinks he still has his jitterbug, so maybe it was another lure that went over the lines at my uncle’s pond.


  1. Our memories have a way of shifting, don't they? My children tell me that my memory of some event is faulty - usually a minor point - but disconcerting nonetheless. Enjoy your stay in NC and if you come through here, give me a call.

  2. Another nice story. I hope you're preserving these in a more permanent form for your descendants.


  3. What a nice tradition, Sage. We don't have it here but I've learned at my German class that the Easter hare leaves little presents for the kids, together with chocolate eggs hidden in the gardens and the houses.

    Btw, the pic is very lovely. Your father's "rebellion stage" made me smile. In Europe we call it "midlife crisis" and they buy themselves huge motorbikes. ;))
    The good thing is it passes.


    Hope you had an awesome Easter! He is RISEN!

    Glad to have you back!!


    PS: I graduated High School in '72! :-)

  5. I love the expression on your face! And are those fists clenched? Hope you are having a wonderful time in NC. Be sure and tell us about it when you get home.

  6. Get some fishing time in while you're on vacation Sage.

  7. You have such a great memory! I always loved Easter when I was a kid. LOVED my Easter baskets. ...which I continued to receive well into my teen years. :)

  8. Kenju, I didn't make it to Raleigh and after telling this story to my brother, he went home and found his jitterbug, so my memory wasn't as good as I thought.

    Randall, I have off and on kept a file--i want to do a book of a lot of the personal memories from my kids

    Leni, a yellow car was so out of the ordinary for my rather conservative father!

    John, metal cleats, I never owned any... quite playing ball before I got to where you were allowed to use them! I graduated in 75.

    Jen, they might have been clinched fist--none of us liked the Easter picture taking ritual which was normally in front of azaleas or other flowers--I thought this photo odd, being in front of my dad's car.

    Walking Guy, didn't get to do any fishing... we tried to go out but this time of the year you have to be out 15 or so miles as the big fish are way out and it was rough, we got into the ocean but turned around at the sea bouy.

    Septhanie, my memory wasn't as good as I thought (see my comment to Kenju). That bunny needs to get over to C-town and drop you off a basket today.

  9. This reminded me of an Easter picture of myself, probably around 4 at the time, in a suit. You can tell I had been crying. I'm guessing I wasn't happy about putting on the suit.

    Also, later in life, I was well-known for losing lures on a little dam by an old grist mill where we fished a lot in high school.

  10. Your story reminds me of a scouting trip I took years ago. I was standing too close to another scout while fishing, and when he cast his rod out, his fly snagged in my jacket sleeve. Thankfully, it didn't snag my face.

  11. I remember a fair number of dangling lures myself. Mostly mine.

  12. Sage,

    I Lost about 10-15 jigs, fishing around brush piles. Going again tomorrow. Of all the times I've been fishing---Millions-lol, I have NEVER had to have a hook removed except once. It flipped up and went INSIDE my nose and I had to push it out the tip of my nose and cut the barb off myself. My wife at the time- AN ER Nurse- could not do it!

    Do you have any idea how hard it is to stand in front of a mirror and inject your own self with Novocaine in the nose!!! We were to far out to go to an ER! Glad I always took medical supplies.

    I actually made her take a picture of me with the hook in so people would believe it!

    But this past week, after 30 years of fishing with this buddy- He slapped me smack in the face with a Rubber Worm! Thank Goodness, the hook was buried in the worm!

    I'll be extra careful tomorrow after all these posts! I'm hooked!


  13. Great story and connection to Easter. I have similar stories about fishing lures... and still have them fortunately. Funny how we can remember when and where we've used them to catch fish. I love using a jitterbug, river runt or a hula popper in the evenings... the mysteries of fishing among the weeds on a quiet pond or lake at dusk... I'm starting to get the itch again :)

  14. I have a few of my grandfathers lures somewhere- some must be over 80 years old.. Might be worth something..

  15. I've never heard of a jitterbug that wasn't a dance before?