Musings while Inspecting a Bomber Close Up

Beginning Watercolor Sketch or a Vintage Bass Plug

Beginning Watercolor Sketch or a Vintage Bass Plug

In my recent watercolor Odyssey, I have wandered from the macrocosms of landscapes and cityscapes to the microcosms of still life objects, and now this single three-inch wooden plug of a vintage Bomber, popular in my youth for reconnaissance missions involving largemouth black bass.

A new friend recently lent me an old metal tackle box overflowing with the vintage lures that instantly translated me to my childhood world of fishing in mid-America.  It has been many decades since I recalled the names of our most popular lures–the Lazy Ike, the Lucky 13, the Hula Popper, the Jitter-Bug, the deep-diving Rappala, the hump-backed Rebel.  All of those memories flooded back to me in a torrent.  As though it were yesterday, I closed my eyes and recalled that hot and muggy summer evening at a neighborhood lake, where at age ten, I felt the jolt of a four-lb. largemouth bass slamming into my wooden plug with its three double hooks.  Five minutes of an eternity later, I was looking down upon my own landed lunker, in disbelief, watching him twisting in the weeds.

As I began sketching this last night, my eyes moved all over the body of this lure.  Every crack, every stain records a piece of its unique history of fishing holes, tackle boxes, garages, station wagons, tents, picnic tables, conversations and laughter.  It may have been dropped thoughtlessly to lie on the bottom of a john boat, its treble hooks snarled in a net, listening to the voices and laughter of celebration over landing a six-lb. bass, as cameras were being drawn from the knapsacks.

So many stories, ideas and images packed into a three-inch wooden plug.

So much lingers upon

a red-and-white plug,

bathed in white light,

beside the green box.

(O.K.–I am cheating off of William Carlos Williams and his The Red Wheelbarrow).

Thanks anyway for reading.

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