The internet informed me:  Four years since I stopped at Ted’s.   Notes from this recollection:

The day I met him:  So, I leave the Pub. Driving home, kind of have my mind on a couple of things to do when I get home. A guy is at his curb. He has a hold of his garbage can but not really moving. No one is behind me so I stopped. I asked “Everything all right?” The guy lets the can drop back to the ground and says “Things used to be easier.” So, he holds on to the side of the can and I roll it up to his house. “How old are you, if you don’t mine me asking?” Man “96.” Ninety six? “I would like to pick your brain sometime. He laughed. I asked if he needed me to lift anything else for him. Yeah. Salt in his water softener. Done. Monday is trash day here. He said “I don’t like to ask for help.” I said, “Me either.” I told him “I live 200 yards that way. Mondays, I’ll bring your can up and back.” He looked at me and he said “Your parents must be pleased.” I shrugged. I said “If they were driving by, you would be talking to them instead.” He laughed. We talked for a couple of minutes. He said, “Do you mind if I pay you something?” I said “Yes. I do.” He laughed again. I said “I’m going to stop back by to see you.” I left and when I was driving home it dawned on me: He might not have that many people to talk to.

We got really close. Basically, I was the only one. He just didn’t have a closeness with his family. I took him a bottle of liquor every week. We’d do a shot. It was a year and a half of good times. Seemed like longer but it wasn’t.

He made it to 99. I was the only non-family person allowed in to see him when he was dying. He was so happy to be dying. He’d had enough.

His family, in my opinion, just didn’t know how to connect with him. I had no problem. Of course, he and I were just a unique match. I took over stuff there. I did stuff without him asking. Didn’t even tell him. He’d see this stuff done and he would bring it up “Of course, I know that was you. You one else would lift a finger for me.” I encouraged him to keep those doors open. Holiday and whatnot. He would tell me “Probably not much is going to change.” All that liquor I bought for him, he left that to me. I got it and I got it to his great grandson, in college. The deal was, he wasn’t to get into trouble because I’d given him $2000 in liquor. I kept two bottles. Drank them when I took shots every time I thought of Ted. Didn’t take long for those bottles to be empty. I’m happy for him. Dying is what he wanted.

I had a great time with the guy. He enjoyed having me around. But not too much. I’d go by a maximum of twice a week. I think he appreciated that about me. He knew that I knew: He enjoyed being alone. That was just the way he was.

Ted was a good part of my life.  Yeah, I was helping him, a little.   But it was more about being around him than it was helping him.   I tapped that resource.    I got that 99 years of experience.  

The Lightning, round 2:  Boston.  Not off to a good start.  3 to 2 loss in game 1.   Bounce back:  Series tied 1 to 1.   Game 3, pivotal.   Dominance:  7 to 1 win.      A whipping.   Game 4:  Postponed.  Why?  Because a guy got shot seven times.    Why does hockey have to follow the other sports now?   NBA, whatever.    Make the fans suffer and take away their enjoyment, I don’t follow.   I’ll get back to this one.   I’m depressed I have to deal with it at all.   I just don’t understand why things are done the way they are now.   Update:   Win the series in five games.    Beat them up good a couple of those games.   On to the next round.  The Islanders?    Conference finals.     Win that, play for the championship.   Looks like Vegas or Dallas.     Philly and NYI are going seven games.   The winner there:   Conference Championship opponent.  

At the bar:  Paulette is back.    She went to New York.  She got quarantined a week on that end and a week on this side.    I asked her if it was worth it.   She got to see her daughter so to her, it was worth it.   Been in there a lot.    Buster Brown’s.   The local joint, still shut down.    The virus thing is unreal.   Last Blog:   Kay Andrews.   My mother’s best friend.    She died.     She was aged.    But, first “really” close case resulting in a fatality.  

“Hoemade”, is it a type?   Turns out not.  

Not sure I understand or agree with stuff.    It seems like there could be other ways.   People wearing masks, why can’t “a bar” be open??  Why, tell me, is that any different than a restaurant?   It just doesn’t add up.  

I got yelled at for posting jokes about Joe Biden.   Well, too bad.   He’s a target.  As much as Trump gets berated, I can shoot at Biden all I want.   The difference between Biden and Trump:   I like Trump.    I’m on 20 years of hating Biden.   Who has been voting for him???   Seriously.   The moral high ground.   It’s rare but sometimes I have trouble seeing it.   I deferred to Charlie on one.    Making fun of Joe Biden.    I think that’s wide open.   Charlie decided I crossed a line.   I deleted it.  

Why should Trump remain president?   Do you really want Biden as the president?   That alone is enough for my vote.    No way I could ever vote for Biden.    You want me to feel bad that I like Trump?   Sorry:  Not going to happen.    I like America.   I like the system (mostly).    I like what this guy has done.  And what he will continue to do.   I’ve never seen anything like it.    All these people:  They just dislike “him”.    They don’t acknowledge anything that he has done.   Fascinating.    Just fascinating.   I don’t vote on party lines.    I vote for who I think is the “best person.”   God forbid and something happens, Trump dies.   Pence may be even better than Trump.  But, alas, “the other side” hates him too.   And why?  If they knew him in person, they’re friends and he’s the greatest guy ever.    Politics.     Ultimately, I don’t care.   Others, go to bed and wake up thinking about it.    I wasn’t thinking about it until I started typing this.   Whatever.  I do scratch my head watching some people talk about it.   Both sides.    The passion is inspiring (?).    Well, good for them that they care enough.   But to make it your life??

The political ads don’t work on me. I will vote for the guy with wealthy friends. I want someone who is surrounded by wealthy people to be in charge. Win, win.   I simply don’t want to have anything to do with it.   One guy, I made a statement.    He came back with “Yeah, well we disagree.  Trump is a train wreck.”   After all this.   You can’t say “He’s the president and I don’t like it but he is doing the job.”    I even liked Jimmy Carter.    Bill Clinton and I didn’t get along.    The Bush family, I was close with HW.   And Barb.    I met W when I was in baseball and he was in baseball (and his father told him to look me up).    Great family, great people, great presidents.    They hated them too.    Why?  Because of their politics.   What if they had the experiences I had with them??   It’s a sad world. 

But, whatever.   Keep it away from me.   I’d rather light my arm on fire than talk politics with you.    But, I can’t make fun of Joe Biden?   It is my right as an American.    It’s getting to the point where I’m not going to talk about it.   Not going to pay any attention to it.   Ultimately, what does it matter?    I see the passion so many people have about it.    And why?   

Why are the people in Oregon so angry?  Wisconsin.   “Civil unrest”.    I don’t get it.   Don’t people have anything to do?  

White people and black people, coming together and loving the United States.    Oh, the fear that would put into the left.  

August is wearing out.    Peak hurricane time is nearing.    Two storms:  Missing.    Will there be one that hits??    Maybe.   Maybe not.    We will get some rain but neither storm is going to pass by here.    Almost September:  Peak time is here.    What will develop in the next ten days to two weeks? 

The fishing should be good.   It is the best I have ever seen it mid-summer.    We haven’t had a bad trip in a month.   That one caused me to change locations and that worked out really good for me.   Added to another trip:  John Robinson and his wife.   I played baseball with him in high school.   Makes Donald’s trip cheaper.    I expect good action.  

August 28:  Good action. Turned into great action. Bill from Tennessee, a long history of fishing. Caught fish early. Got to this one spot and he caught fish every cast for two straight hours. Nice fish. He caught four mangrove snapper. A grouper. Trout were all 14 to 20 inches. One after another.

Breaking pattern:  Bridge jigging.   Harder work.    Four good hookups.  Breakoffs.   Just never connected on the pompano good.   Caught a dozen pinfish.    Some pufferfish.    A catfish.    The opportunity was there, the results were not great.    Andrew had a guy hand him three snapper on the paddle in so he had fish for dinner thanks to the shrimp chuckers.   

Back to the regular location for three more trips.  Then:  Will the phone ring again?  It is so good, people should want to go.   

DJ caught 70 fish like it was nothing. With the ones I got, we were over 100 fish yesterday. Today, Frank. Frank, brand new to it. Brought his own boat and equipment. He did his research. Today: Perhaps the best fishing I have ever seen. I caught five species on five casts. Frank, lingering behind fighting with stabilizers that didn’t work very well, finally caught up. Kumpa also showed up. They started catching them. Stayed steady until close to 11. I’m finished now for 12 days. A vacation planned for Tuesday. Some projects to work on when I get back. It was a great stretch. Three clients bought books. Sold a fishing rod and pompano teasers yesterday. Frank is coming by to get the last rod, and lures.

Again:  Peak time for hurricane development.   Early September is it.   Will it be a quiet year??  The Neil Blog:  Thinking out loud, writing.    The best course I ever took?  Typing.   August is over.   They say Sept. 10 is the peak day.    We are in that zone.    Watching the TV:    Waves coming off Africa.  Some develop.  Then it is a matter of what path it takes.    Cold fronts in the Midwest, blocking.   It might make peak time be mostly quiet.  

Well, it comes back to it:  Who cares what I think?    The answer is, a certain number of regular readers.     Positive feedback.    I don’t do it for any reason.    It was just something new to do and enough people liked it.  

The NBA:  Not playing games because of a shooting.    Easy one.    Just shut down the NBA entirely.    Who cares?   They think what they think matters more than what the rest of the world thinks?    Come on.   The NBA and the NFL, teetering on the edge.   They make these stands now.   Racial inequality.    Really, are they the people to be listening to?    I know some people that are worth listening to on these kinds of topics.   These aren’t them.  

How about a protest against the people who put policemen in bad situations?    If you’re not breaking the law, things work better.    Just how did you get into that situation??   Realities in life:   Why were the police after you to begin with?   These days, make a martyr out of them.     Some really substandard people, martyred.    Not good.  

Jim Diprimo:  A dose of logic: Those who have most consistently undermined the police and other elements of law enforcement are among those most shocked by the escalation of crime and violence.

That, politics:  It’s all getting to the point where it’s time to turn my back and walk away.     There are just better ways to spend my life.   

If I see it for myself:  I know what’s what.  Who is lying?    But in the world:   A lot harder to identify the truth.    I do pretty well but it’s hard.    The whole story:   We don’t necessarily get it.   We get what they want us to get and that’s about it.    That is not good.   It’s not good at all.  It is not the way things should be.  

The future.   Always interesting.  Mom is 86.   Doing pretty well now after and adjustment period.    Four more trips and then the schedule goes light again.  September is always slow. 

Parties.  University of Arizona alumni.  The umpires.  Still on hold.    But, hopefully getting closer.  

Book 5:  Doesn’t print until life changes.     Meeting with an agent, this one will publish professionally with their promotion.     An American:  The Neil Taylor Story.   It’s an eye opener to 98% of the population.     It has legs.    You will see.   It has been edited by three people, four if you count me.    It has been tight under wraps otherwise.   Only three other people have seen it.    The secrecy:   It goes back 15 years now.   If you were significant, you’re probably in the book.  

Neil Taylor

Full time kayak fishing guide, Neil was an advocate for conservation since before the time he started guiding.Outdoor writer, speaker and radio show host, Neil connected closely with Captain Mel Berman and did many positives with Mel to promote ethical angling. After Mel passed away, Neil managed www.capmel.com and eventually became that web site’s owner.
Neil Taylor

Latest posts by Neil Taylor (see all)