Two dates take precedence over all others for many Wisconsinites. When the calendars are put in place each January, these dates are circled. No weddings, no anniversary celebrations, no birthday parties, even funerals are avoided on these special, historic dates that have been so very important for so very long in our state.
What are the dates? The opening day of deer season in November and the first day of fishing season in May. All else, no matter how important it may seem, is put aside as hunters and anglers return to what their fathers, grandfathers and great-grandfathers did on these dates.
Much to the surprise and sometimes even astonishment of my non-outdoor sports relatives and friends, these dates are carefully marked and saved on my usually cluttered calendar.
On Saturday, my brother Don, an equally strong advocate of protecting these dates, and I hitched my old Sears 12-foot aluminum boat to his truck and we launched the fishing season at the Wild Rose Millpond. Alas, not one trout did we hook in two hours. And that with fresh minnows purchased not two hours earlier from Lauritizen's on Main Street.
We loaded the boat back on my primitive trailer and we drove a a few miles to Little Silver Lake where a stiff eastern wind and the threat of rain boded ill for our effort. In spite of the negative odds, we managed to pull in a fine meal of bluegills. It was a good opening day of the 2012 fishing season.
THE OLD TIMER SAYS: Fishing is always good. Catching often less so.
May 7, 7:00 p.m. Cultural Center, Cedarburg, Ozaukee County Historical Society. Barns of Wisconsin.
May 19, 1-4:00 p.m. Old World Wisconsin. Eagle, Book signing. Garden Wisdom, Barns of Wisconsin, Horse Drawn Days.
May 20, 9:15 a.m. Midvale Community Lutheran Church, Madison. Adult Education Hour. Madison, Garden Wisdom.
May 20, 7:00 p.m. Lebanon Historical Society, Lebanon, WI. Barns of Wisconsin.
May 24-31. Avon, Colorado. Writing and researching.