It was an early Friday evening and my parents and I were heading toward Georgetown, Ind., to spend the weekend with my Grandpa and Grandma Snoke. Actually, I would end up spending an entire week with my grandparents since spring break had just begun. A few years ago my dad had purchased an aluminum canoe and it was attached to the roof of the car; it too would be spending a week on the Wabash River. As was the usual, ever since I had proven my skills as a canoeist, my dad would drop me off at the river’s edge just as soon as we had turned onto River Road. With nothing but two paddles and a life jacket, which I used as a seat cushion, I headed down Cedar Rapids. It was only about six or seven miles as the river flowed, from Georgetown, so it wouldn’t be that long before I docked the canoe along the river’s edge. I could always count on Grandpa greeting me as I stepped onto dry land.
He either called me R. L. or something that sounded like mosquito (I guess I was a pest at times). It would never be too late in the evening to do a little fishing, even if the sun had nearly gone to bed for the night. I can remember just as plain as day, seeing the glow of the Coleman lantern as it illuminated Dad and Grandpa as they patiently waited for something in the dark and murky waters of the Wabash to tug on their line. There were literally monster-sized fish that cruised along the bottom of the river, and they were more prone to make their move in the darkness of night. It appeared to me that the bugs were the only thing biting that night, as those two mighty anglers continuously swatted anything with wings that came near them. When it was getting dark, our family usually dispensed with using night crawlers (worms) and would make up a batch of dough that consisted of only two ingredients: a secret breakfast cereal and water. Due to the possibility of legal ramifications, I can only tell you that it was the “Breakfast of Champions” and many famous athletes have been pictured on its box.