Wednesday, August 30, 2006
 

The Day The Ash Fell


Since Bailey started this here blog thing, a few local folks have asked me why I'm participatin'. "We thought you didn't like havin' new folks come to town." they says. Well, in case there's any of you out there wonderin' the same thing, let me answer. [Bailey here--Wilbur insisted I drop his g's, said "participating" made him sound too "high falutin'." ]

I'm doin' this to help my friend Bailey. The more people that read this, the more tourists we get in Kanner Lake. And the more tourists Kanner Lake gets, the more coffee Bailey sells. And the more coffee Bailey sells, the more likely it is she'll kick a freebie my way.

I may be a crotchety old coot, but I ain't stupid. I know a thing or two about tourists. If you've been readin' this blog, you know I know a thing or two about fishin' these parts. I'm not one to brag, but all you've read is true. Sure, local folks would hire me as a guide once in a blue moon, but a fishing guide makes his bread and butter on tourists. And when they stop comin' to a place, well, it ain't pretty. That's what happened back in 1980.

In case you don't remember, '80 was the year Mt. St. Helen's blew her top over in Washington. I'll never forget that day. I was out fishing one of the streams that dumps into the north side of Kanner Lake proper. The sun was shinin' just as pretty as you please, and the trout had my rod dancin'. Then the sky just sorta got dark, covered with a cloud like I never seen. At first I thought it was snowin'. When I realized it was ash, I knew what happened right away. I didn't smell any smoke, and that mountain had been in the news a lot lately.

I rushed home, knowing Trudy would be upset. Well, I knew the fish wouldn't be much in the mood to take a fly neither, the way the river muddied up with ash. Stop smilin' over there, Carla. I'm tellin' ya, I went home to comfort my wife.

Anyway, we turned on the national news just in time to hear a reporter--might have been that Tom Brokaw fella--announce that ash was fallin' on the Washington-Montana border. Carla, stop your yammerin'. He said it as sure as I'm sittin' here.

The ash fell in May. It went on to be the worst summer tourist season this town's ever seen. And while most folks say the ash was to blame, I'm blamin' Brokaw.

For those of you readin' this that don't know your geography, get a map. See, there's this little thing between Washington and Montana. It's about fifty miles wide. We call it the "Idaho Panhandle," and we Kanner Lake folks LIVE here. Come see for yourself. And if you don't have a map, I can show you my scar. Now that I think about it, it sort of looks like the Panhandle.


-- Wilbur

Posted by ~ Bailey Truitt @ 7:00 AM
Comments:
Wilbur,

You are a hoot!! I know why Bailey has you on her blog. . .people will want to come to Kanner Lake just to hire you as their fishing guide! I'm certainly thinking about it. I think you and my husband would get along just great.
Posted by Blogger margie : 8:20 AM
 
Boy, do I remember the day the ash fell. We lived in Washington at the time. What a mess. I thought Armageddon was upon us.
Posted by Anonymous fred wiley : 8:37 AM
 
Poor Brokaw. He was just reading a prompt, you know. It's the fault of the news writer. They are under a lot of pressure to write fast.
Posted by Anonymous elizabeth monty : 8:39 AM
 
Wilbur, you sound like my kind of curmudgeon. I remember that day myself. I was at a dog show not that far from the volcano. It was quite a blast... err, sorry for the bad pun.

Hey, how's the trout fishing these days?
Posted by Blogger The Curmudgeon's Rant : 12:29 PM
 
I can't imagine being close to something like that. Here in CT we don't have tornados, earth quakes, mud slides, volcanoes, sink holes... just the occasional hurricane or nor-easter'. I'd love to go tour around out west someday. The furthest I've been in your direction is Indiana. I am going to a writers' conference in TX next month though, so I'm getting closer!
Posted by Blogger Janet Rubin : 3:18 PM
 
Mount St. Helen's. She was good for years of news stories. None of us will ever forget that! Just remember, Wilbur, us news folks are people too. Gotta forgive our mistakes!
Jared
Posted by Anonymous Anonymous : 3:20 PM
 
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