• Dale Bowman

Memory sticks & trolls: Ramble with the Lady

When I moved to Chicago, 30 years ago to the week, one of the things I brought with me were old fishing rods, including an old Zebco 202 spincast reel. As a fishing tool, it was a piece of crap, but it came with many youthful memories.

My other rods were pieces of crap, too. One of the best things that ever happened to me, in terms of fishing, was when they were all stolen from the back of my truck in Uptown. I was trying to impress a young woman I was fond of and stopped by the Green Mill, this was shortly after the rennovations started to restore it to being a top jazz club maybe 25 years ago or so, to show off by introducing her to the owner.

Memories, how they stick. (That's a random Green Mill YouTube video, not one from my memories.)

All my rods were stolen while we were inside listening to jazz. The reason I say that was a good thing is that it forced me to buy better fishing eqiupment.

That old Zebco 202 and old stiff rod did have one use. Back then, those little individual watercrafts were just becoming popular. The guys who ran around jumping waves off Montrose harbor were such assholes that they would be so close to shore that they would hit and cut through fishing lines of guys fishing on shore.

Well, I kept a two-ounce sinker on the old Zebco and I could sling it a good long way if one of the assholes in a personal watercraft came to close. Quite the ping sound if you hit it right.

Probably wasn't the smartest thing I ever did and now I cannot do it any more with my work position. Good way to get arrested or shot. Neither good options.

In terms of memories, when I moved to Chicago, the Cubs were in first place, if you need a time frame. Within a week, all five starting pitchers were injured (no doubt related to the run in 1984) and they quickly went from first to last. There's your Cub memory stick.

That's trolling for Cubs reaction.

Trolls. I do not understand people who do it with seriousness.

It is one thing to do it as poking fun, having fun with or at lifelong Cubs fans. It's another to do it seriously.

I found my life is too busy to engage with trolls. And I have found there is no value in it unless I think I can get a column out of it.

Well, I had somebody come trolling for me over the weekend out of the blue. I was stunned, but it bothered me because it was somebody I actually had to respond to.

This morning I decided to stretch out an extended ramble with Lady, our family's mutt, again to help shake the troll reaction worming into my skull. It worked. Well, at least I got a Ramble out of it.


The past week or so spring just exploded.

By the foxhole on the southwest corner of north old clay pit, there were these blue flowers blooming again. I think they are some sort of phlox, but my wife is not sure.

All I truly know is that the flowers truly brightened the morning.

Again, I found no morels, even though I have been regularly checking my secondary and third spots for morels. But all in all, I have no complaints about our morel finds this spring. It has been good.


The geese really intrigue me with how the families blend. I am tempted to extrapolate some meaning out to humanity, but that might be a reach.

There were at least three families blended on the north pit and at least three on the south pit (left). All guarded by half a dozen or so adults who were taking no crap from Lady and myself.

A small bird sat a branch by the south pit. I think it was a swallow, but what kind I do not know. And I could not get a good photo to check it out.

All kinds of things have sprouted or been born.


The honeysuckle all around the south pit has really popped out in the past couple days.

When I downloaded the photo to the right, I noticed that it is almost to the day that I took photos of honeysuckle last year.

The wild world has its natural rhythms.

At the bur oaks a block from home, Lady began stalking a rabbit that froze in trying to hide in the yard across the street.

Lively morning, kind that make me glad to be alive.

Four squirrels, including one black one, ran around the neighbor's yard across the street. Lady considered crossing the street.

A lone mourning dove whistle-fluttered off our front porch.


7 views0 comments