Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Things We Decided at the Meeting

Next to nothing!

We did agree we will meet at the house at 7:30 am on Friday the 29th. We'll take Rob's Suburban and Roy's father's van and Kirk will drive separately.

The goal is to arrive in Chicago about 4:00 Friday afternoon, except for Kirly who should get there around noon to ice down the beer.

It was also decided, over ready-rolls somewhere on the First Base concourse, that when you're not wearing knee-high Wellingtons the best waterproof boots on the river and on the gravel bar are upland pheasant-hunting boots, Red Wings and Redhead ranchers.

One of the indirect benefits of having a club full of hunters and fishermen.

The direct benefits: elk, squirrel, dove, venison and trout.

Sport was not a main purpose of this trip, but if, during most of your life, your given reason for going out of doors has been to hunt and to fish, then even after you know that the real reason is different, a faint compulsion toward those things remains like a consciousness of sin. I thought of the sour old Midwestern-Scowegian outsider, Veblen, and what he said about it. Despite his hydrochloric wit, to me he is abstract and not very quotable, and all I could remember was a phrase: "the risk of disrepute and consequent lesion to one's self-respect." It was what he said happened to the member of the leisure class who sallied afield for purposes other than slaughter.

Even Saint Henry Thoreau, who implied that blood sports were for juveniles, not men, had impulses to gobble woodchucks raw. Eating does get into it. Leave sports and ethics out of consideration and you still like meat in your belly. . . .

Goodbye to a River, pp. 53-54.


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