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Tuesday, July 11, 2006

"I wouldn't give you two cents for all your fancy rules if, behind them, they didn't have a little bit of plain, ordinary, everyday kindness and a little looking out for the other fella, too." ~
Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, 1939.

Tom, good friend to my son and one of my all-time favorite people, agreed to write a blog entry for me. He is a fabulous story teller and definitely has a future in writing should the fishing thing not work out.
Thanks, Tom.

Heidi’s mom thought I should write something for the blog, so I’ll give it my best attempt. My name is Tom, and I hold the esteemed position of being one of Eileen’s many friends. He was kind enough to invite me on his birthday extravaganza, which was in a previous post. So, I thought I would return the favor and invite him and Andy to my own birthday party, on Little Gasparilla Island near Boca Grande.

We all left for the island at about 12:30, and stopped to pick up additional rations and a video game system or two before hitting the road. Unfortunately, my little brother also brought a cooler full of watermelon which he promptly ate, resulting in about eight pit stops before we reached the island. When we unloaded our gear onto the ferry (piloted interchangeably by twin brothers Billy and Bob), We faced the daunting task of loading a pair of double sea kayaks into a small pontoon boat. This was accomplished with much heaving, grunting, and unsolicited advice.

When we arrived(finally) at the island, we discovered that the locks to the condominium had been changed in our absence, and someone had neglected to give us the proper keys. So, Andy, Eileen and I retreated to the island’s clubhouse, which had air conditioning, until my dad produced a pocketknife and proceeded to break and enter through a window. At last, it was time for unpacking and dinner.

After a dinner of blue cheese burgers, I opened a birthday present consisting of a gaff, innumerable fishing lures, and a Night Bobby, al neatly packed in a bucket.
Night fishing soon commenced, just in time for the fish to stop biting. An old salt at the dock told us that the fish would be dormant until past midnight, so we gave up.

The next day was fairly uniform, including fishing, eating, fishing, and a kayak ride. Andy caught the only fish, which was promptly subdued and eaten.

We went night fishing again, this time trying Eileen’s Night Bobby without success.

The next day was time for the departure of Andy, so, leaving Eileen to brave the dangers of my family, my father and I deposited Andy at a 7-11 where his dad was waiting. The rest of the day was occupied primarily by video games.

About this time, warnings of a tropical storm in the Gulf were brought to our attention. After a night of fishing in wind and rain, attempting to be humorous and whistling the theme to “The Perfect Storm”, we decided that we didn’t hate ourselves enough to stay any longer, so, with four-foot waves sloshing into our underwear the next morning, and under cover of torrential rain, we departed on the ferry and made for home, after a massive dinner at the family-sized Italian restaurant, Buca di Beppo.

All in all, it was a marvelous trip, filled with many interesting sights. The only misfortune was that I did not catch a sizeable crab.

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