Saturday, January 29, 2005
SETTING THE RECORD STRAIGHT (or how the great white bear got his name)
I was given this nickname about 25 yrs. ago on a fly in fishing trip in northwest Ontario. Originally 8 of us were slated to go on this trip, but by the time our departure date rolled around, our group was down to 4. It is about a 22 hour trip to Red Lake, Ontario from South Bend. Rather than take two vehicles and force people to drive 11 hour shifts, we decided that we would take my buddies pick up w/cap. Two guys would ride up front, and two in back with the gear. Being raised well, my friend Maurie and I deferred to the older gentlemen in the party, giving them first shot at the air conditioned cab. Those in the cab would each drive about 5 1/2 hours, then we would switch and Mo and I would do the night driving.
When we left South Bend at 9:30 that August morning, the temperature was already 94 degrees. By the time we reached Chicago, the thermometer was hitting 98. When we hit Madison about 2;00, it was 104. Mo and I spent the better part of 12 hours in 100 degree heat cooped up in the back of the truck with the gear. It was close to 10 and the Minn/Wisc state line before we got to take advantage of the air conditioning.
By the time we arrived in Red Lake, loaded our gear on the plane and took off, we had been in the same smelly sweaty clothes for 30 hours (we later burned the shirts for fear they'd attract bears or wolves)! The plane landed at Little Vermilion Lake. We quickly unloaded the gear, and before the plane had even gotten back up off the water, I had stripped and was running screaming down the pier towards the water. As I launched myself and was flying through the air, I heard Chet yell "oh my god, it's a great white bear! The name stuck, and I have been known as the Great White Bear ever since.
THATS my story, and I'm stickin to it!
What if they'd tagged you with "Little Willie"? ;)
i think we should hear chet's version of just how you earned that nickname... or then again, maybe we dont really want to know??? ;)