I think they still call it buck fever

Published 12:00 am Thursday, December 14, 2006

I was a young man once, although I can barely remember it, and when I returned to Michigan from Europe I laid out every cent I had for a Winchester Proof 12 gauge shotgun that I still have today. That barrel still shines like new. Pheasants were the big game then, or a clumsy duck or goose. My daughters still remember spitting out lead shot. This was just after the war, money was tight, but shells were cheaper than meat, and Uncle Sam had taught me how to shoot. Currently our shrubs and plants are kept pruned by deer, but I can’t bring myself to kill one, nor could I back then.

I remember one particular incident; we were on a deer drive – we didn’t use dogs in Michigan – we did the walking. I’d no sooner entered the woods and there was the big buck they were after, 20 feet away. I had also learned how to walk quietly in a forest.

He was majestic, a huge rack, black chest like Bambi’s father. I had time to take off my sunglasses for a better look, cursing because I had no camera. I fired a shot in the air; he took off and escaped all of us. If I had been the Suffolk man that came upon that 25-point specimen recently, that buck would have lived to grow more glorious antlers next year.

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As for killing bears in the Dismal Swamp, there’s no way. My older brother shot one years ago. It was charging up the hill directly at him, probably trying to get away from other hunters. That hide was espaliered on the Lions Clubhouse wall and elicited many gasps and &uot;Wows&uot; Are there bears in the Dismal and if so how many people have they mauled? We have far more dangerous dogs in the city and we do nothing about that until it’s too late. Why pick on the teddy bears that look only for food and a mate? To prove manliness I’d head for Florida and challenge an alligator.

Who do you suppose

picked up the tab?

Council and Legislators got together to discus their priorities for spending tax dollars. I imagine several bucks went for dinner and drinks. Randy Forbes must have been out of town, or he doesn’t feel a free dinner is necessary; they could have met in his office and sucked lemon drops. The Hilton Garden Inn, what’s wrong with Hardy’s? I go there often for a protein fix and to say hello to Rosie and the veteran gang that sits by the front door. Some of the friendliest &uot;boys&uot; in town gather dust there and I often run into a fellow World War II veteran. A few of us are still around and like to reminisce.

If Roger Ebert can critique movies, I can critique eateries

Holland Produce, back of the courthouse, is the best place to satisfy my lust for meatloaf, mashed potatoes, gravy, and a free piece of homemade cake. When I crave fish I head for Long John Silver, it’s cooked just like back in England at the first pub stop, great after a day of practicing war in the Moors. The Globe, one of many chummy pubs offering draft beer, not that warm English beer is anything special, served deep-fried filets of &uot;who cares&uot; fish. Golden brown with malt vinegar does it for me. I’d never heard of Tuna except in cans and Shark was something to avoid. Another great place for fish is the twice annual Chuckatuck Fry where you better come early if you want to sit down. Oysters are most plentiful at the Chuckatuck Ruritan Club but, sadly, only once a year.

Seniors go back to high school just to horse around

Hats off to Suffolk Recreation Department and the Suffolk Center for Cultural Arts for the bright new Senior Center. They love it.