Dave Richards for April 10th…………….
--I want to open this week with a big hat tip to Woonsocket’s Parks and Recreation Director, Liz Kerrigan.
As I wrote last week, this past Sunday was the day of the Children’s Egg Hunt in Woonsocket. This event depends almost entirely upon donations and volunteers. Well, something went wrong with some of the volunteers Sunday, and we were missing a number of them. Liz accepted the reality of the situation with grace and poise and somehow made it all work out. Hundreds of kids and their parents or guardians still had a wonderful time. What a professional!
--This coming Saturday is the first day of trout fishing season in Rhode Island. On this day each year the Woonsocket Elks organize the annual Children’s Fishing Derby at the pond at Cass Park. Over the past week the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management has transplanted hundreds of young trout from the hatcheries to Cass Pond. These little critters are swimming around out there just waiting for the youngsters on Saturday morning.
It’s a great day of fun family memories every year. In fact, I show up each year and snap pictures all around the pond and then post them on the radio station’s website in such a way that the moms and dads can download a full size copy of their pictures to have for free.
The stories these youngsters have to tell each year. The excitement of getting their first ‘bite’ and the triumph when they land their first fish. And, of course, all those who fish have a story about the “one that got away”.
Some years it is wet, cold, and uncomfortable. This year the forecast is for moderate weather. In my experience, even on those years when it has snowed on the morning of the Fishing Derby there have been many families waiting to drop their lines at the official starting time of 6am. But when the weather has been mild, like this year is expected to be, anglers will be lining up well before 5am, for sure. That’s just a little friendly advice for those who haven’t been there before.
You need to register and get an angler’s number to fish during the Derby. You can register the morning of the Derby at Cass Pond with the Elks, or you can pre-register at Pete’s Bait and Tackle Shop, 341 Burnside Avenue, Woonsocket.
The Fishing Derby is dedicated each year to the memory of the late Ernest Carignan, who lead the Elks in the Fishing Derby effort for many years before his passing, and is open to all Woonsocket children aged 12 and under. A parent or guardian must be present and responsible for each angler. Prizes will be awarded throughout the Derby, and trophies will be awarded for the biggest single fish and heaviest string of fish for both boys and girls, with the awards ceremonies broadcast on local radio.
You may wonder why I have spent so much time writing about a children’s fishing derby in an opinion column. The reason is the point I wanted to make about memories. I recently celebrated a birthday and this occasion is often one in which a man takes stock and examines how he has spent the gift of time thus far. I noted that I have spent much of my lifetime looking forward, so busy running toward tomorrow that I often forgot to savor the day I was presently living. I can’t do anything about how I have spent my life so far, but I can resolve to slow down a bit now. And just like the man who learns to chew their food more slowly and carefully, I am enjoying the experience more.
Please remember to slow down, folks. Give this advice to the young people you know. Take time to make good memories. When we pass from this earth, memories are what we all become.
--That’s what I think. What do you think? Comments to: firstname.lastname@example.org or postal mail to Dave Richards, WOON Radio, 985 Park Avenue, Woonsocket, RI 02895-6332.
Thanks for reading.