There are very few fishermen who have not sat on the porch, chewed the fat by the counter, told a bold face fishing lie as to where they were, what they caught , and how many. Welcome to Whalebone Tackle! I cannot tell you how many times we all talk about retiring. Maybe the clients were tough, the opinions rough, or the day not what we wanted it to be. Darn if he didn’t beat Will and me to retirement!
This is where I rigged up, ordered, had a custom rod made, had my rods repaired, had my reels repaired or thrown across the counter as junk. Take your pick. “Do you need something or do you need to just go???” and since we were all friends, it was the start of a conversation.
It was an era of cut off shorts, ragged jeans, everyone broke, flannel shirts, and young children in tow.Like many kids, Charles grew up going in and out, having a free pop(because Bill was the best), and telling Billy about the drum that drug him across the bow on his duff because he was so light at the time! We later all morphed into parents, grandparents, owners, workers, and fishermen hailing from many ports. Billy was a constant…A little W.C. Fields and a little Jerry Garcia all rolled into one.
The surf teams that that rolled into town yearly made their stop for mullet there as did the locals. If you needed the jigs, Billy had em’ with the fresh bait to boot. He was on top of the game, the info, the how and where and the scales stood on stand by. If you were some of those teams and couldn’t be here today, know it was standing room only as we put our boots to the ground and showed up in force. Many a beer was raised to cheer on a person who stood as a bit of a driftwood compass in our day to day.
I wanted my speech to be here as to reach those who could not come but know a good time was had by all! The stories were ongoing as I left. I wanted to thank Billy for the times he put our bill on hold when we didn’t have the money.I wanted to thank him for the times he said “just try this, if it doesn’t work, just bring it back.” When we did, we made sure to do our business there as that is what small businesses try to do for one another.
There is a new owner coming into his spot who is already remodeling. The place will be undergoing a few changes but for now, we “cheers” our very own Jerry Garcia.
See you nearshore as I know you already got that boat!
Viv & Will