I volunteered yesterday for the New Jersey Division of Fish & Wildlife 2012 Wild Expo Outdoor at Colliers Mills Wildlife Management Area, Jackson Township, Ocean County.
A large event and full of information sources, I had leapt at the opportunity to help with fishing, and loved helping kids--some who had never fished before, some as young as two--catch bullheads, largemouths, pumpkinseeds, and I saw one yellow perch caught. That the action happened in and from a tank made no essential difference: these kids fished and they knew it. And the bites were as stubborn as anywhere else, but fish came over the sides.
Chalk one up for the mystery of my "Healing the Children" T-shirt, featured on one of my surf fishing posts this spring available in the blog archive. I may explain this some day.
I signed on for Division email information about two years ago and so I got the general call for volunteers this way. Personally, I was just slightly apprehensive before arriving, although once I stepped into action, I knew I was ready as I had thought I was. In my youth, I had committed myself absolutely to the ideal of laizze faire capitalism: it seemed to me that the demise of my creative potential was the fault of statism and all its influence. But I was no cop out and struggled on. And to the contrary of any demise, I produced enormously; the problem was that no one else perceived this, and I blamed the market slack on what intervenes in markets: statism. So in my 20's, I would not have come anywhere near an event sponsored by the state.
I've never compromised on principles. I've simply accepted the situation of modern society as it is, and from "the island," as if Long Beach Island were a paradisiacal safe haven for a writer earning his living by commercial shellfishing--and cross out the as if, it was--I have come to "the mainland." We clammers drew this distinction between the formal, welfare statist economy, and the work we took directly from metaphysically given reality, from nature, from resource.
I want to politely criticize one Expo venue concerning saving Barnegat Bay. The information I took in at glance was nothing new, and the set up reminded me very directly of The Lawrence Ecology Club, the organization I founded when I was ten years old for neighborhood peers. We cleaned up a Green Acres woods and Shabakunk Creek, discussed issues very intelligently, and raised and donated money to John's Hopkins University whistling (now called tundra) swan research. We were a good group. But we could not have cleaned up Barnegat Bay. I just want to say that hard, direct law needs to be enacted, and with these rational measures, the Bay will return. If the political will did not exist, nothing would happen, but it does exist dormantly.
I was interested in Harmonix Rods (and reels). The blue, holographic paint design caught my eye as it should have, and the specs show that these are quality, sturdy, IM6 graphite sticks for freshwater and stripers in the brine. No short changing is involved: the blank goes all the way to the handle butt as a rod should always be constructed. I know, I used to make custom rods in my teens. Thus, the rod is sensitive and strong. And the guides are not placed sparingly as cheap rods skimp on the ribs of the rod's backbone to save pennies. I spoke to the company's founder, Diane Johnson; she operates near Lake Hopatcong. I have to say that for the price, this a good buy for a special, custom outfit, including reel if you want it. At the end of our conversation, I recognized why these rods had seemed familiar, and related the anecdote. About a year ago, Joe Landolfi and I were speaking to Laurie Murphy at Dows Boat Rentals when Joe drew me aside to show me a set of really cool rods produced locally. Yup, Diane concurred that her rods are available.