When I was a kid, we got one channel on the TV in the living room. Our house was positioned in the bottom of a valley in the mountains, blocking the other signals. The antenna on the pole diligently …
When I was a kid, we got one channel on the TV in the living room. Our house was positioned in the bottom of a valley in the mountains, blocking the other signals. The antenna on the pole diligently pulled in channel 44 (WVIA).
The public broadcast station in the ‘80s played a variety of amazing and iconic TV shows, of course. There was plenty of Bob Ross, and “Little House.” The Waltons were there all the time too.
During the day, children’s programming reigned supreme: “3-2-1 Contact,” “Reading Rainbow” and, of course, “Sesame Street.”
Big Bird and Oscar and the letter Muppets were a crucial part of an ‘80s childhood. The Count always made me laugh; however, in all the episodes of the Muppets that I watched, one particular scene still pops into my head today. (“Rubber Ducky” comes in second.)
“Here, fishy, fishy!”
Bert and Ernie go fishing. They’re sitting there in the boat, a pole in Burt’s hand. Ernie catches fish, sans pole, by yelling “Here, fishy, fishy, fishy,” and fish come flying to his boat. Bert is perplexed, but then gives it a try. He gets a bit of coaching from Ernie, and then his rendition is good, but not great. To his chagrin, he only catches a shark.
Armed with the great knowledge that Ernie had bestowed upon me, I began saying it each time I went fishing.
My father and grandfather would laugh, until they didn’t. Of course, the laughter may have turned into snickers and slight confusion each time I pulled in a fish.
The tradition continued through my childhood. Even my mother would use it when she went fishing with my father, much to his chagrin.
It got to the point where if one of us said the magic words, everyone else would be assured they wouldn’t be the ones catching the fish.
When I got older and had my own daughters to take fishing, I bestowed the magic words upon them. Teaching them much the way Ernie tried to teach Bert.
I assume I was a much better teacher than Ernie was, because the magic passed along, and both girls were bestowed with the gift of “Here, fishy, fishy.”
I’ve said the phrase fishing everything from bluegills and catfish in the lake behind the office, to 10 miles offshore in the Atlantic. I may have even amused neighboring fishermen in Pulaski, standing in the Salmon River at 6 a.m. on mornings while snow flurries softly pelted my face.
The magic seemed to work each and every place I went. Pulling in a striper here, a sea bass there. Causing smiles for me, and head shakes from much more serious fishermen.
Perhaps the next time you’re out with a pole in hand, you could take a moment and listen to Ernie.
“And so you have to call real loud so they can hear you through the water, you know?”
Here, fishy, fishy, fishy, fishy, fishy!”
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