There is no secret to success except hard work and getting something indefinable which we call ‘the breaks’. ~Countee Cullen
Thanks to everyone for making this event happen, especially Cindy and Dave Planinsek! I know it’s a lot of work, but one worth it. Like everyone else, my family looks forward to the Fishing Derby every year!
This past weekend was the twenty-sixth Annual Louis Planinsek Fishing Derby. As always it was great time, and we were blessed with perfect weather! No rain, no snow, simply a lot of sun, blue skies, white fluffy clouds, good conversation and the fish were biting, giving the kids and adults another memorable experience.
Similar to last year, Kyle didn’t want to camp out from Friday night to Saturday. I offered with all sincerity, but he had no desire to rough it. Instead, we stopped up at the pavilion Friday night to hang out, eat, socialize, eat and eat. That’s one constant that I participated in on Friday and continued throughout the day on Saturday, eating! Friday night, Kyle basically disappeared, for he was running around playing with all the kids. I love seeing him have good old-fashioned fun of playing tag, exploring and climbing on the swing set and slides. I too enjoyed myself, catching up with those I run into maybe once a year, and touching base with others I see more frequently.
The next morning, as tradition dictates, breakfast was served at 7:00 am, or there about. Unlike years past, Kyle didn’t want to get up early, my little man must have been running hard and needed his beauty rest. Once he cracked his eyelids enough to let the light in, we packed the car with his fishing gear, and he was ready to join the festivities.
After the announcements were made, rules outlined, prayer said and the bugle called, all fishing lines were cast. Who started off the leader board? You guessed it, Kyle! I was thrilled for him! In all the years we’ve been coming, he’s never once made the leader board, let alone be the first kid to catch a fish. He was so excited, he was jumping around more than the trout in the net. I know he was even happier his Gigi and Pappy (and possibly me) was there to witness his victory, and yet disappointed his Aunt Nikki was on the road, not there yet. His trout measured nineteen and a quarter inches. That’s a big fish!
Did he take home the trophy for the largest trout? Nope. He was twice kicked out of the top spot with Jacob Singer taking home the gold with a twenty-three and a quarter inch trout. Congrats buddy! Was Kyle upset? No, he really wasn’t. In years past I could’ve seen him devastated over the loss, but he’s maturing and was truly happy for Jacob. Now that’s sportsmanship and that made me proud. However, that wasn’t the proudest moment of the day. It was what happened before the fishing derby that touched me.
As tradition dictates, about a week or so before the fishing derby, everyone, mostly the Planinsek family, gets together to clean up the pavilion, split firewood, lay gravel or mulch or whatever is needed and stock the pond with fish. Believe it or not, it might seem like a laborious day, but it’s a fun one with everyone working together. I wasn’t able to help this year, but Kyle did, all day! So back to my initial thought. What made me so proud of Kyle? His work ethic!
Between Friday night and all day Saturday during the derby, at least a dozen people independently came up to me with complete sincerity, and informed me of how hard Kyle worked that Saturday, in preparation for the Fishing Derby. It wasn’t simply a blanketed statement either. I was told when one task was completed, Kyle would ask what else needed done. According to eye witness accounts, he worked really hard and afterwords played hard with the kids. Now that made me very proud! I guess Kyle is a true Piper, even though he hides it when asked to do work around the house! I’ll take it though, Kyle being well-behaved and hard working with others, yep those are qualities worth mentioning. That’s my not-so-little man of thirteen years. And you know what? He never said anything, but I know he too was proud of his efforts he put into the Fishing Derby and the bond that was forged from such hard work. I wish more kids would have such opportunities to feel a sense of accomplishment and teamwork with such a great family.
A special thanks to my cousin Casey Olczak and Boo Planinsek. They offered to clean Kyle’s trout for him. I was going to, but they were on a roll, so who am I to stop them? They also gave us a few extra unclaimed fish for Sunday breakfast.
See you next year!
On a side note, Kyle made it very clear this year that he doesn’t like his picture being taken. Can you tell, I cared? (sarcasm) However, Kyle barely got his fish out of the pond before he was reaching for his phone to get a picture of his trout! I guess, we are a lot alike, whether he’ll admit it or not.