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Our steps look like someone ate too many frank & beans. None of it’s my fault but that I did it. I’m completely innocent here but for a few troubling facts and reality. And you can’t avoid the crappy view if you intend to reach the lake from our place without taking a long hike to the Sherman steps. Thing is, in the end of it, there’s nothing good to say about this job’s outcome. The minute I started I knew it was coming out all wrong.

Getting to the bottom of this is the only end. Here’s the deal; I need a lawyer and so does Thompson seal PR, labeling people and promoting thingamajigs. Why? In the world I come from words have meaning and one of those words is,’Transparent.’  Transparent to me means something like, unlike a brick wall, and not now you see me, now you don’t. Transparent means the opposite of you can’t see thru it. Okay, to be clear, transparent means just that—it means see thru, a non-cloaking invisible coating of sorts you don’t see.  So what’s up with this product?

(Okay, I love the 200 font bold Caps  ‘Transparent’ signage in contrasting color verses the zero font white script Cedar wording and script lettering. Sure, there’s a bar graph below all that but I stopped reading at, ‘Transparent!)”

Imagine yourself in my world of rushing to three stores while on vaca to buy this product in order to get nine cans of it, enough to do the job. Then, hold a hand over your left eye, the one I don’t see well out of and grab yourself three cans of transparent waterproofing stain along with brushes, sprayers, masks and ice cream…of course. See? That’s why I wondered why this sealer looked a bit off as I poured it in my sprayer. “Who knows, products these days….”

It’s amazing how a six hour job can go down the toilet in one minute. I’d gotten the pressure right in the sprayer so my first blast covered the top two steps at once.  There’s just nothin’ like seeing dark brown paint come out of your clear coat sprayer. “What the heck?” is not at all what I said. “Well, it’s only the top two steps!” Nope, I never said that ,either! “I could leave just these two steps dark and get the clear(really transparent) stuff for the rest/”…..hmmmm….

The thing about having the top two steps a zillion times darker than the 26 others is if you miss the first two steps at night, you’re going all the way down.

So, I finished the top 28 steps in the not transparent ‘Transparent’ brown coat and then brushed them as I would the, ‘I really am transparent,’ stuff we always use. There’s a funny idea, right? It seems about the worst thing a person can do is try to brush this brown sealer unless, that is, you like the frank & bean look. (Trust me-this will never catch on)

(Click the pic for a much worse view.)

It’s sorta looks like someone on the dock below couldn’t get up the steps in time; they just got pooped out running up and it all went down hill from there.

Wrap those two problems up and the whole mess could be wiped cleaner than a roll of toilet paper—they are clean, right? Now, I’m wondering when that toilet paper study will come out stating that cave men were right to use their left hand or non-poisonous leaves. Forget this, the bright news is they call me glitter boy at work because I have used lots of glitter in displays over the years at our library(trust me-this is the only reason) and miraculously the Transparent really clear coat seemed to come out with glitter in it! So, yeah, I’ve never had glitter form in the clear coat after more than 30 years of doing this job!

Glitter everywhere.

I had to laugh; we have poop color or glitter coat? I’m stickin’ with the glitter and dumping the frank & bean steps next year…

Cheers from our steps, and don’t slip!

Franque23

 

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(Click the pic for larger view)

Have you ever noticed the Jimmy Durante* size nose on the front of your dog’s snout?

That dog nose has it all over your nose; a dog can smell perfume from two miles away!

But what has this to do with Lake Bonaparte dog days? Well, it’s true I’ve bragged plenty about the time three years ago when my dog, Shadow, leaped 28 feet off our dock for a ball!

This is the moment; a twenty-eight foot leap that we measured.

But I think this year Shadow took being a dog at the lake to a whole new level. Actually, it’s scary. I mean he turned my four grandsons into dogs with a simple flick of his tail.

I’ve got them just where I want them….Shadow.

The next thing I knew, the boys were crawling around inside and out as if they were dogs! They were rolling around on the lawn, on all fours, barking and pointing like a bird dog…(Shadow, as a  Catahoula Leopard dog, is 1/4 blue tick hound).

I’ll teach them my pointing tail trick...What happened to their tails, anyway?

I’m hoping they omitted the butt sniffing thingy dogs do—not sure, I mean these are boys!

Shadow is about 100% of the time guarding us, or is he keeping us in place?

Does Shadow imagine he’s going to church?!?!

Who’s the real captain of this boat?

I’ve got them reading…..

Okay, timeout for a hug…..

Wait, Isaiah’s got it! Time to hug AND read!!! Shadow, the Great.

It can be tiring training four boys to be dogs.

 

Okay, this is my, ‘They are really screwed up,’ tail…..Shadow.

There’s this magic allure that emanates from dogs even when they’re drooling for your hot dog. Shadow is our dog, but sometimes I really have to wonder. Heck, he’s got me scratching his belly night and day and holding doors open for him whenever he wants. I panic if his water bowl gets low and I’ve about sold my soul for all natural dog treats and food.

You are now under my power…like forever, dude. Shadow

I only carry your socks in my mouth because you think it’s cute.

Guess how many times I’ve absolutely decided that this time, THIS TIME, I was going to drive away on an errand without him and then changed my mind?

Nope, your guess was waaay off…Start thinking about the figures in America’s National debt and you’re getting close.

Orange you gonna take me? Dude, I’m going with you, now get the keys…

Sure, I sleep in some days…when Shadow lets me. Who can sleep with a cold nose on your cheek? Unfortunately, I thought it was funny the first time I didn’t budge from bed once awake and Shadow hiked up on the bed to trample my face. Now, I’ve got two choices in the morning—either I lie comatose in bed without opening an eye, keeping my breathing pattern sleep-like while daring not wiggling a toe the slightest bit OR I get face-dog-paw trampled until I get up.

I’m not gonna admit to being in the rain while walking Shadow or waiting for him to come back home. I know that person looked a lot like me, your honor, but it’s a case of mistaken dog food, no, I mean identity.(Am I low on dog food?)

I do think dogs love to stick their heads out a moving car window for the rush or air, but they also are taking in an entire universe of smells as we speed along.  The book, Nubs,** is one of many amazing true stories about dogs who traveled unreal distances to reunite with their loved people—dogs have a uncanny sense about direction and life in general.

Of course, there’s more…..

“Interactions between people and dogs can be beneficial for both species. Increases in β-endorphin (beta-endorphin), oxytocin and dopamine—neurochemicals associated with positive feelings and bonding—have been observed in both dogs and people after enjoyable interactions like petting,”https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/is-the-gaze-from-those-big-puppy-eyes-the-look-of-your-doggie-s-love/

Maybe one more doggie fact for those lake lovers who follow their dogs around…

“Accordingly, behavioral studies of dog cognition have revealed similarities of dog behavioral traits to humans. Dogs have been found to engage in gaze following similarly to human babies , exhibit selective imitation  similarly to human infants, (Dogs)….observe photos of faces roughly similarly to human adults and to link photos of objects to objects themselves .

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3641087/

This last finding in bold is why we have Shadow’s picture on a magnet on the refrigerator at his eye level…I thought this picture made him happy when I first put it up and now I know it does.

There’s no place like the lake for Bonaparte dogs, so I guess ‘us people’ followed?

Cheers

Franque23

*Jimmy Durante

*

How do you like me, now?

Bonus picture of us building the dock about 10 years ago…Sherman cool dock in background

**https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/6557929-nubs


It’s impossible to miss the beauty. It was more than the three day drive up to the lake that split my head open as I looked at the lake during our first moment getting there. The colors of the lake displayed a vibrancy seldom seen in any urban center or sprawl. The  sky paled above the lake’s deepest blue waters; the green landscape never appeared so inviting. The warming earth beneath my felt felt like home.

Every day, no, every hour up at the lake shakes out a different tone as the breeze rustles the trees. Each day features an ongoing exchange of wind and water that forces waves near and far to rise and fall or, at other times, and mostly at morning or night, flattens the lake’s surface to the look of a mirror. This is when reflections take the lake’s tapestry over and commands attention to every watery detail so neatly bound to the look of the shore.

Image may contain: cloud, sky, outdoor, water and nature

Thanks to Susan  for this picture…

A crane lazily cuts across the sky; a school of nipping brown trout dot our bay’s surface water as a darkened circle that moves left to right. A hawk whistles from above and turns my head up where I see the white wispy clouds streaming from the west are gaining size. The shoreline cedars blast scent and contrast to the whitest black and grey birch. The humming bird wings by to dot the, “Oh My!”

Aptly put, Lake Bonaparte is an onslaught of beauty to behold for the jumping young, strapping aged or the resting old. The lake is always game for the viewing. The sun-twinkled waters or rain laden storms that move across the lake spark the imagination and ignite an internal yearning to be closer to the nature of our life. The peace of the place seems all so easy to attain but so far away, and all at once. Do a cannon ball on that thought. I don’t care who you are—a cannon ball into the lake will do you good; it’ll put a smile upon your face.

We’re facing the sunset…taken her down. a nightly ritual.

This shot seemed to burn the camera lens!

Sometimes, I just have to laugh. How could I be so lucky to be at Lake Bonaparte? How could all of us who abide by these shores be so fortunate? Life is a weave and there’s a spin to it, a stitch of fate that sets us where we are. I’m so glad this thread is part of my life. For almost seventy years now via my parent’s or my own footfalls I’ve made it here.  There’s so much to be thankful for, right? There’s so much to take in.

This has to be one of my favorite shots of Bonaparte…and I don’t remember if I clipped this off another’s posting or not? Forget.

I love the light in the clouds above.

From a few years back….

There are endless postcards of Lake Bonaparte to send, right? And all of them are kept safe inside—there’s a comfort to this, trust me.

cheers

Franque23


(As always, click the pic for a larger view…)

If it weren’t for the traffic on Rt 3 the place would be paradise—it got so bad this year I think I saw several cars pass by on a single ten mile drive to town! And, I guess I should mention the loon racket at night, especially between 10ish and midnight; will they ever shut up! Then there’s the morning crows and chickadees, the afternoon blue jays, red wing black birds, those dang soaring eagles, cooing cranes, whistling hawks and late afternoon quackin’ ducks to spoil any days nap. When will a guy ever get some sleep!

Even the view can keep a guy up!

There’s a weird speed to time at the lake no one has yet to understand. It’s like a horror show. You’d call time fast to pass at the lake but, then again, it never lets go. Nope, the memories, smiles, talks and moments fly by like the wind but sit like a immovable block in your soul as well. You can think what you like, but I’m saying there’s no surgery that can take this massive thing out once it has seeped inside you. There’s a devious kinda magic to those waters and reflective sky at Bonaparte that mirrors deep by day and night in the Mind’s eye—it’s sorta like a strangle hold on your senses you can’t sue and win.

Lake friends last forever as well. Who has time for that?

The whole experience is torturous.

You catch a good fish a few years back and spend the next 7 trying to do it again….oh brother, what a bother…

It’s been a while for me, being so busy with raising a family for oh so long, since I’ve had real time to make new friends or see old ones while up at the lake. This year was different. I got to know Kim and Steve and their ten inch high killer dog, Lola. I’ve never been afraid of dogs, but now that’s over. I’ve struggled with our fireplace pull rods for over twenty years which is why having some strange guy named, Bill-the-Beatrus I think, fix the rods with a minutes’ thought and about ten minutes time is problematic. My sense of self worth is gone forever, it’s over, doctor, and those psychiatric bills won’t be cheap.

Time spent with Toni, the two Michelle’s, Forbes, Randy, Laura, Vicki and the Sherman’s is always fun, but who let them out of the loony bin? To boot, now there’s no cop on the lake. And now, with our Grandson making friends with our neighbors son pretty much any sense of normalcy that never existed here is entirely gone. Why keep dreaming about it?

It’s also possible to take really bad shots up at the lake..(does anyone have a flashlight)

Hear’s one of my thumb I took this year at the lake….perfect shot!

It’s great to see Bill again; meeting anyone my ancient age or older has a special zing to it. There’s like this on-going contest between the lake petrified folks to see who falls in the lake first and doesn’t get out. I can tell Bill is watching me closely as I age and our fifty-foot bluff gets closer to the house. Some may not know it, but Grady-of -the-lake(now deceased) had nine lives and he spent one of them running towards this very same bluff. There was no blue moon the night before or heralding of angels in the morning of the afternoon when Grady, Dave Morgan and I sat on our porch before this steep drop off. All of a sudden, Grady gets up and starts running full speed toward the bluff as though he might do a high dive into the lake! Only a lunging hand to his ankles stopped his forward movement and saved a grave digger the effort. Mind you, this run of Grady’s had nothing to do with beer(s), but rather the magical pull of our evil lake was at fault.

I’m telling ya, there’s more than the best pure air up at Bonaparte—it’s full of friendship forged through good time and bad. There’s nothing like building a dock, camp or boat house and have the ice take it out the next winter; there’s nothing like the bond of spending money like a drankin’ sailor on lake side repairs. There’s a saying; only buy a boat if you can afford to buy ten—maybe the Bonaparte camps are the same way.

But who cares when you’re young, free and without a care like about none of us.

Still, those losses and efforts all make for great stories shared between a laughing, here’s-to-the-lake crowd. (Beers help, too)The night sky is more than pay back for any expense. But, daytime swimming, soaking in the sun—did I fall asleep that long?—fishin’, kayaking, bird watching, boating, tubin’ ( I did see a skier), and even some sail boating also take the day to flight. The air is incredibly invigorating at the lake. Breathing there is sorta like breathing in an oxygen tent where ever you go. So, the loony’s on the loose, the evil lake stare, the crazy birds, the alluring sunsets, the mesmerizing night stars and stormy five-foot high waves that tear docks and boats apart are all worth it. Why do I think this? Well, I’m nuts like the rest of you.

Cheers from the archives of franque23 Lake Bonaparte insanity logs.

Franque23

 


(clicking pics gives larger view)

The day had no way of knowing, it started off so differently. I still sat at the breakfast table when our four grandchildren, without any prompting, opted to chill and read in the morning light.

.

After working in a library for the past twenty five years-just wow.

But I had a plan.

There’s nothing like a fishin’ trip to spark up day! We’d gathered with high spirits along with some pensive moments: what would happen; how would do; would we come home fishermen or boaters?

We headed down the steps on our way to the boat. (How about those fingers!)

We set course for  Mud Lake with broad smiling faces, multiple rods, bunches of hooks, buckets of smelly worms on board and soda’s in hand. Plus, we had Shadow who knows at five that boat rides rock up and down and all around.

We had attitude, baby.

Guard Shadow had our side covered…

What would happen? Would we have any luck? And, would Shadow dive in after the loons, ducks, beavers and or fish? No one knew?

Bingo!!! Fish up!Actually, more than 60 fish up. My right arm hurt at night from de-worming, and de-fish hooking for those a bit off on that. Hats keep most hooks out of heads, but fingers are hook magnets.

Okay, I’m not sure, but I think this is a ritual we will keep up after any successful fishing thingy.

Time to leave Mud Lake meant our sounder took position to safely lead our way.

We headed home a happy lot. We’d have fish for lunch and a bunch more books were waiting to be read. And, there was also yoga time.

But maybe showing off our catch to our new neighbor friends was the best of it all!

Then again, we’re all neighbors at the Lake! Thanks for enjoying  a dream come true: fishin’ time with the kids and doggie…Ya gotta love it!

Cheers from the lake with more to come!

Franque23

 


A day like any other.

Anyone might agree, it’s a dull day. The rain came early and it seems to have no intention of leaving. Hedging all bets, the weather men say there’s a good 100% Chance of rain…not sure, but does this mean it may not rain at all? Nah, they got it right today. Rain drips from every flower petal, the deck railings and the roofs tops. You gotta know the earth is loving the drenching. And I’m not sure why birds would enter the bird bath in the rain but they do, maybe some sort of double your pleasure.

Have you ever noticed how we all love to see light? Holiday lights come to mind, and the lights of a huge city as seen from a distance remain fascinating to behold.

Dale and me are caught in a glass reflection as we look over the lights of Nagasaki.(Thanks to our daughter’s sharp eye.)

There are so many moments when the vision of light moves us—  disco lights, fired up logs on a dark night…

We keep the fireplace going most nights up at the lake.

There are fireflies to chase and flashlights to make faces over. Have you ever watched the snow as it drifts through a street light’s glow? There is the first morning’s light…

And the silent last glimpse of the sun as it goes down.

We gathered to say goodbye to David Morgan in passing as the sun slipped down.

Our lives are about light.

The rain means we won’t see the sky here as we seek it, so full of light, but only as it is—a mass of low hung grey to darker clouds, twisted as multicolored taffy that appears as fluff balls that float above. Yes, when we seek the sky we seek the light.

Lake Bonaparte East Shore cloud says hello.

Lake Bonaparte dazzles sunlight in so many ways.

We want to see that burning globe above us turning on the earth’s light switch so shadows abound as birds sing and butterflies flutter in the wind.

Always, it’s the light; the light in the sky, or as it reflects on the sea foam or clouds above.

Thing is, today, this wet, drizzly moment, brings other thoughts to mind. Who doesn’t sleep in better on a rainy morning not meant for having to go to work?  And, maybe, a rainy day is good for offering a glimpse of a new prospective, a new way to count those clock hours often so busily rushed by task and obligation during a day like any other.

An early morning mist hugged Lake Bonaparte as the morning sun touched several tree tops.

I’m thinking about the sky; the one we long to see and the one we often don’t.

The beautiful daylight with it’s streaking wisps of clouds, meandering white billowed clouds or crisp clear blue without a cloud in sight hides so much in plain view. It’s odd to think, but the daytime that lights our way is also a veil. That sparkling luster above reflects our hopes when we look to it but that light is the bottom of the truth above. The truth lies in the stars above our daylight sky, in the darker canopy that lingers beyond what our eyes can ever see.

Looking up to Lake Bonaparte’s night sky.

This is Mud Lake, Bonaparte. And, it’s time to hurry home.

The universe’s light is shielded from our view by the daylight. Those bazillion stars shine overhead whether it be day or night but that vision is often swept past our sleeping heads as we dream of better days. We nestle to sleep beneath the ever present reality of our place in the universe, beneath the map stars create that speaks to our existence.

Both taken from Bull Rush bay, Lake Bonaparte. Credit I believe goes to, Ross Franquemont, our retired U-2 pilot in our family. Check out another of his….from the U-2.

So we hurry in the daylight and sleep at night. Oddly, it’s the night time stars that show a greater light. If we could just wake up each day and take a moment to understand how small and yet interrelated our place is in the universe. There’s the thought that people should take time to envision what they hope for the day before it kicks off in order to have some sense of control over their day’s purpose. Perhaps, if each of us were to think of ourselves as no better than the ants that march by but also no less than the stars over head we’d come to an understanding that might yeild a peace to our lives and the world. I’m not sure.

I’m not sure why we love to see the light that shields the panoramic spectacle of our universe from our eyes. What if we saw both during every waking hour?

From Bull Rush bay, Bonaparte sundown.

So, as the rain falls and thunder rumbles, I’ve dreamed of the starlight, of cooler nights warmed by the light of a campfire. I’ve thought about us, and how we all wish life was better but none of us seem to see a way to make it happen. There’s so much to see each day. Maybe, if there was less to see. Maybe, if we at least saw the stars every night things might get straight. Call me a dreamer, but I’ll wish upon a star any time—they’re always there.

It’s just a day like any other? I don’t think so, not ever.

Franque23

 


Here’s the deal—no fish is going to an Ivy League school. It doesn’t matter how many fins they have, their underbelly colors don’t count and the tail size has no Equal Opportunity standing.

But, do fish think?

oh my gosh–I’m on a stringer–now what?

Of course not! Fish swim around dropping eggs like flies and eat each other when possible. The don’t really go to school, and how many very tiny books has anyone every found on the bottom of the Ocean, or any lake? I have yet to read any book written by a fish (though I’ve wondered) and they’re all nudist no matter the water temperature which is a bit off.

Still, this odd worm of a thought keeps luring me into its weedy lair, and it’s so bad I hate to ask. Fishermen/women, secure the oars.

Here it is on a swivel hook: why, or better yet, how can lures that once worked so well in the past not work to catch fish worth a flip ten years later? No, listen, this is important. Let’s examine the flat fish lure , all the rage in the 1960’s and thru the 70’s. It was a great, effective lure for catching Northern’s trolling or flipping the shore line for bass.  Now? It’s as if every fish alive has been through the drill and knows to never eat a flatfish lure? Why? How can this Be?  Is it a matter of fashion? But then this would indicate fish have a sense fashion? “Oh my God! I’d never be caught dead biting that lure!” The fish said.

See? What’s the deal? Do fish have amber-alert type memos that last beyond lifetimes? Fish ten generations removed from the flatfish lure eating frenzy still know today not to strike those lures. Let’s face it, it’s been 50 years since Mankind knew cigarettes cause cancer and we still smoke them! Or, how about those hamburgers I still buy from time-to-time in fast-food places? Those are good for me, right?

Yep, whatever the reason, fish seem to communicate important life lessons through generations better than humans. That’s odd; this is what I’m saying.

Okay, forget all the writing, just answer me this: why do fishing lures become less effective over time?

In the meantime, check out this great link of many, many interesting facts…they’ll hook ya.

https://www.thoughtco.com/hilarious-historical-facts-4154997?utm_campaign=wilat&utm_medium=email&utm_source=cn_nl&utm_content=12721193&utm_term=

Cheers…. have fun this wkend

Franque23

I let the big ones go. So, is this how it happens? “Tellin’ ya, I was abducted by a weird bald guy and put on a string , then let go…I got caught on a white plastic worm: don’t go there.”


About that Morgan-Franquemont conflict: The Royals verses the pirates.

It’s a miracle any Morgan Pirates survive, with Joe Morgan driving off of bridges as a kid, with ladies running a muck who need,’How to wear hat lessons,'(This photo blocked by the Who knows Who) and Dave Morgan, now gone, bless his soul, who once fell into the brink at age three without a care in the world or knowledge of how to float. Ripley’s Believe It or Not has maybe called me twice about this family,* but I’ve taken the high, Royal Road and decided to write this glob only.

To begin, it’s obvious the Noble Franquemont line is ready to take control.

It’s a Royal bunch…those who will lead us are pictured above and below.

We can rest assured of our humble Leadership.

And here is pictured the foundation of our Royal belief…our backyard entrance to our home’s Nobel courtyard in Germany-*(Thanks to my wife for this wonderful shot.)

Should you dare step inside the courtyard of our ancestral home, you would see this.

And here are some of our joined generation that solidified the Franquemont (okay, Morgamont) victory at Lake Bonaparte.

But, truthfully, most Morgan pirates need to be in jail. NO, really, I think I could sell them time shares in prison!

It’s not because of their politics, their thievery, their gluttonous drankin’ and absolute aversion for just about anything normal, no,,,these are their very best parts. The worst of the lot lie in the shadows of innocent looks, half bent smiles and spineless attacks when the Royal Franquemont Guard is sleeping, or talking , or eating, or just fartin’ around paying no attention to the Pirates.

Do you see how young the pirates begin to sneak their way into our unsuspecting hearts!

And Pirates the Morgan’s be, every lad and lass of them, the worst sort. Call the cops! No, wait, he’s one of them no good, double fistin’ potato chip eating lot.

The fellow on the right is by marriage one of them, and he’ll arrest anyone of us on the spot—the cop that he is. The middle man, Nick Morgan, be just that, a go between who claims the Morgan name but not the politics. And on the left, a Royal, Craig the Car-is locked,(Carlock) member who listens to all sides.

Well, at least the Morgan’s will have trouble posting bail….oh wait, one of them was or still is a fierce bail’s man guys?

The Morgan man at Dakota’s back was once a bailsmen. Ben the Morgan is now an insurance guy. Ha! He wants to insure your life.

The Crime as witnessed this past July on the 24ish upon the dock of Innocence….

It was a clear day, the waters calm, as I stood unsuspecting on our new dock, recovering from three cracked/bruised ribs, a torn right leg and fatigue it’d cost me to build it**.  Mike the Smile, Pirate Murphy, as he’s called, came kayaking up to me all, well, smiles. Aye, if I hadn’t been in such a pleasant ruling mood I might have notice his smile seemed a bit skewed. Sure enough , our pleasant conversation was soon followed by Nick the Wicked and his protege, Blake, known as Blinko the Pirate, who laid my smiles to waist. I always take the high, Royal road so I never suspected foul play as Blinko raced up the stairs while Mike the Smile Murphy and I shared conversation. Moments later, Nick and Blinko hauled ass off in their kayak with my beers and soda’s in hand!!! Yellin’ all the while! This will forever be known as the Slithering Smile theft of 2018.

I’ll have em’ walkin’ the steps to the lake when I catch up to them.

(Our half way dock steps.)

They took my very best beer—not to be replaced throughout the reunion—and some super soda I’d never miss. It was a horrible sight, and then Mike, the bad smilin’ Murphy, slid like a snake away in his kayak to follow the pirates.

This is typical stuff from the Morgan Pirates; I have to cheer, Nick Morgan, however, who is smart to realize in his own words, “Trump is a con, a cheat and lizard eating suck head with no brains…”***So there is hope for the genes. Anyway, with our Franquemont Royal empathy I will spare the Morgan lot this time.

For now, let them eat ice cream!

(BTW-this is one shot of the new dock.)

The decree has been decried? It reads like this: “I don’t know, something will happen in two years at our next reunion…dead fish in the frig…something.” This man in a new Franquemont helmet guarantees it!

Meanwhile, I’ll be checking passports when getting aboard from now on.

But there is one more thing. Through tough negotiations, tireless days and nights on scotch and beer, we have decided to claim the Morgamont dock, ( a half-way dock located between the bluff and lake as pictured four shots above), as a safe heaven from any intentional farting, photo bombing or fire burning, stuff like that. It’s sorta like during World War 11 when countries agreed to not bomb special places like France’s, Versailles, as they bombed and killed 60 million people else where.

We will, instead, follow this new helmet wearing man to the,’New,’ Marina and camp ground…

It’s all good.

Franque23

Calling me the absolute, forever King will do for now.

  • Not true….believe it or not.
  • **Our ancestral home in Germany.
  • ***See previous glob—Bonaparte Dockin’
  • ****This may not be an exact quote….

 

 

 

 

 


Thirteen years ago I built a dock with cousins. This year’s dock is my last, uno over, no mas, caputio, last forever to build. Promise—

building the dock 13 years ago.

The reunion of our families happened again this year, and in a big way. First, though, there was lots for me to get ready for the crowd. Me? I hoped to fish, fish, fish during the eight days lead time I had until the reunion start day plus some other stuff done—like covering our aging dock in plywood sheets to steal one more year out of the structure—

I arrived to an empty camp…

And thought about the picture I’d had taken of me while holding a shot of my dad sitting before a fireplace when he was in college some zillion, light-years ago.

I thought about the fishing I’d get done before the gang arrived…

This shot is from 2012. Not a bad night in Mud Lake.

2008

hmmm forget date,,thought it was on picture.

I’ve caught a number of good fish over time but the monsters usually come years apart. This year was different.

It took Thursday evening and most of Friday for me to ready camp before I could venture out across the Lake and ‘test’ the waters at about 6 P.M.

Boom, as pictured in the previous glob, the big ones hit.

I stepped off the boat and about promptly fell thru the dock to my hip/.

My right leg was bruised from calf to upper thigh, and those marks would take twenty days to almost vanish—It seemed after inspection that topping the dock for the reunion was a no go, and I’d have to replace the entire dock before 49 people including 21 children showed up in a week’s time.

The official estimate to replace the dock was 7 thousand, so I bought 2 grand worth of lumber and rallied with friends, Randy, Brain and Tony to get her done. I spent two days ripping up old dock boards and hauling the wood laden with nails away for safe keeping to a burn pile. Then, Randy showed me a better way to remove the boards-rather than plying them up one by one, he cut the heck out of them first so the small boards could be sledge hammered up and off.

Three days later we had about 2/3 of the lumber in place for use to build the new dock and tools in hand.  Dock work is tough in and out of the water work, and dangerous. Tony took a broken piling steel cable into his leg, but he’d just gotten a tetanus shot so he carried on. My leg hurt but so does life. It was the third day as I walked on an old beam we’d all used as we moved docking boards when it gave out under me. I fell like a stone and hit a piling timber with my ribs. My guess was I’d fractured a rib or three….but what can you do with that? Nothing. I steadied to realize I could breathe, move with pain but not danger. The job went on, but from that moment on I couldn’t use my left side for strength, and resembled a snail on dry land while working, especially when hauling my butt in or out of the water.

The job took 135 man hours, (65 of mine)and some long days-Randy worked one 13 hour one day by my side. We  sorta finished—all but for one hundred top deck screws I did later—exactly one half day before my grand children arrived and one and 1/2 days before 49 relatives came.

We had the most glorious week for the reunion…and all the while I remained thankful the weather had held for us dock workers the previous week. Up there at Bonaparte, bad weather can stop everything for a day or two if it decides to.

It came time for everyone to leave and I dropped my grand kids and wife off at Utica for the train with another day and one half left to fish–at last…..Ha;hahahaha…. not.

For some reason I thought my dock injuries were done?!!? Yeah, so my last night there I hit Mud lake only to have the sky dump rain on my head as I raced back to the dock. Once there, I notice an umbrella had been turned over all the while of the reunion. If only I’d realized the one dock board with nails I hadn’t removed was secretly hidden beneath that umbrella’s fallen top. I lifted that umbrella top to right the stand, the board slipped off the upright and landed a 16 penny old, rusty nail into the top of my ankle.

Think Mash (tv show) when I pulled that nail out of my ankle…I ran up 48 steps to wash out the wound and get a towel to soak up the blood… ten minutes of pressure and a first aid kit later I raced to local medical center room but it was closed. I headed back to the lake and noticed the sky had cleared and hobbled down to go fish again…(clearly, I’m a fisherman with a huge problem, doctor.) In truth, the real pain didn’t set in for about two hours. Once I returned to camp, I realized I was in the worst pain I’d ever felt. A relative got me to Carthage hospital for x-rays, antibiotics, and pain killers.

I was resting in bed by four A.M. wondering what I might have caught this year if fate didn’t hate me.

So now,,,almost a week later, I’m home, working, recovering as the swelling and pain are subsiding. Dang it, if I’d only gotten to fish more.

Here’s to docks everywhere–they are a pain in the butt to build. Dock nails can go to hell and if you catch a big fish this year at Bonaparte that was the one I would’ve had if only…..Nah, actually, it’s all good. I loved building the dock with the guys; I’ll fish next year and not fall thru it!

Franque23

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Lake Bonaparte has a knack for drifting the sand while holding the heart.

This shot is of my first night out this year, just before my plans came crashing down along with my dock. But please, don’t ask me about the dock we HAD to re-build before this year’s reunion. Heck, the next glob is about that. For now, it’s all about my first night out fishin’ and me coming back all grins.

What you see here is a 5 pound bass, a 4.5 pounder, and two smaller varieties though one may be that huge sunfish I caught to kick off the night. I had the larger ones measured and weighed by a fellow who was also fishing in Mud Lake at the time with two lovely women. Some guys have the best luck! Thing is, it’s been near about ten years since I caught a monster bass, and these two came within 30 minutes of one another. All top lure, split Rapala’s.

I think they both went 18 inches, but the main thing is I’m as convinced now as I was then that this year is the year of the lunkers…Good luck fishing. One man in our reunion group caught about a four pounder off the dock, and another slightly smaller right in his boat house. But, perhaps the strangest catch was Dakota’s reel in of a good size bass that wasn’t connected to his line or lure at all, but to a line the fish had broken previously that got tangle in Dakota’s lure on the retrieve!!!!

I couldn’t wait to get out to fish again, but I about never did for the next of all the twenty day’s I had left to fish up there. There’s good reason—that’s the secret in the next glob.

It was a reunion year, and the Franquemont-Morgan gang had a freakin’ blast.

This is the cook-off contest and the five judges were clearly paid-off not to pick my stuffed mushrooms but some other foreign dish cooked by Nick with a name no one could pronounce.

But, before I sob in my gravy, someone asked me how big fish used to be in Lake Bonaparte, and although I’ve no idea , there’s this picture of a kid bringing in his catch to Priest’s so long ago. As a kid, I heard plenty of stories(all true no doubt:-0) of Northern’s pushing six feet long coming out of the lake. I’d give about anything to have those pictures that lined the eatery and penny candy store at Priest’s….One huge, gigantic fish after another,,,the types we don’t see at all anymore. (Thank you  Jesus since I skinny dip, or now, chunky-dunk)

This is an old photo of a typical catch long ago at Lake Bonaparte

We did a zillion things as a family this year, pirate hunt, pan fish, dance, bowl, Ice cream sundae day, games, dock-out, and rock out with painting them.

But, the Ice cream boat!!! Oh my…

We mobbed the boat every chance we got..the reasonable prices hit the mark and the selection drooled the mouths.

The two families slid in every direction and never met a face they didn’t love.

In fact, the Morgan—Franquemont families have decided to name our 1/2 way dock down to the Lake….Morgamont. Now, if you see the sign you’ll understand.

Of course, some couldn’t make it this year, and other’s never will as they’ve gone to the other side or maybe flipped the Venetian blind between us.

I’ll forever miss my cousin Rob Morgan

And so many others who did or didn’t know the lake.

The waters run swift in season in a State Park,  just east of Harrisville (Glenwood Falls)

But when the 21  children of our reunion handed me a petition to return our reunion to a two year cycle instead of the four we were on, I knew what had always been true:

Nothing runs as deep as the bonding waters of Lake Bonaparte—that’s the truth, and the soul knows.

Have a great August and Fall at The Lake….

Franque23

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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