Thursday, September 9, 2010
Swimming Hole Story
But this summer's quintessential Maine experience happened at the local swimming hole,
at the dam of a long-gone mill in Bristol [below].
But suddenly, the kid had a net full of baitfish. He grabbed one and hooked it on his fishing pole, and then gave another to his younger brother, whose pole consisted of a stick with a string tied to the end. The two of them stood in the shallows. Again, we smiled, charmed by the folksiness of it all. I thought to myself, in 30 years this guy will be the same beefy body type, driving a beat-up pickup truck down to the same swim hole....
He removed the fish from the hook. He kissed it squarely on the mouth. He held it aloft to throw it back in the water. And he WINGED it right at his little brother's head.
And the little brother didn't flinch, or whine, he just let the fish pummel off his skull and back into the pond.
And I realized -- as I was reminded when I finally read Olive Kittredge this summer -- that my fleeting feeling of urban superiority to this "quaint" setting needed a good smack on the head with a live bass.