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  • Andrew Scott Bassett

Updated: Sep 30, 2020



In my new novel, 'Fishing for Something', I have a scene that has to do with the preferences that fish have for one style of music over another. The scene is based on actual events that happened to my brother and I when we were vacationing on a houseboat on Lake Powell. In real life, my older brother and I were attempting to catch fish off of the side of the houseboat on a very hot summer day. We had been told by our elders that the lake was full of catfish just ready to give their lives for our evening supper. Several hours passed, and we had barely a bite on either of our lines and with the sun beating down, we were becoming more desperate by the minute. Glenn, my brother, thought that the fish didn't appreciate our choices in music. He had been playing 8-tracks. Yeah, I said 8-tracks, of his favorite 70's rock groups: Eagles, Steve Miller Band, Elton John, Wings, Alice Cooper, and many other tunes were bouncing across the waves of the lake that summer day. The whole time, we were bopping and rocking to the crocodile rock. We began to think that there were no fish in the lake. What to do, what to do? My brother and I wondered if we turned the tunes off, would they bite? Nearly an hour of silence later, and still no fish. Maybe the adults had lied to us, maybe there just weren't really any fish in this otherworldly lake. Then, one of us got the brilliant idea that maybe like our military father, the fish just simply didn't like rock and roll. Dear dad was a connoisseur of country from way back. Glenn and I began to look through the collection of tapes. Too many years have passed since that fateful day so I can't recall which one of us came across the music that would always haunt us from that day forward, as we entered our own version of the Twilight Zone.

Glenn put an 8-track on and then we both waited to see. Why we picked the greatest hits of Eddy Arnold, I'll never know. It could have been because of his soothing, mellow style of songs. It might have been the yodeling that frequented many of his classics. I'm not really sure to tell you the truth. All I can tell you is what I witnessed that day, so many years ago. In a matter of only a few minutes our poles started to bend and our fishing lines were attacked like an army was invading. Eddy Arnold seemed to have the ability to yodel fish right out of the water and into our boat. Of course, we challenged the authenticity of the strange happenings by turning Eddy off and throwing our rock and roll tapes back on. But guess what? Each time we did the fish stopped biting and the poles went back to being straight. We experimented over and over again. Eagles tape in and Eddy Arnold out, and nothing. Eagles tape out and Eddy Arnold tape back in, here come the fish. My brother and I half expected to see Rod Serling describing our events from a small raft at the side of our houseboat. The entire time we were on the houseboat that week it worked the same way. Neither Glenn or I have tried it since. My guess is we don't want to give up the magical memories of that week on Lake Powell by trying Eddy out on the open water and having the fish not storming our lines like all those years before. We caught lightening in the bottle that week, and rarely can you catch lightening twice. But I will say thanks Eddy, and I know many reading this or my book will question the truth of the story. It's kind of like saying you saw Bigfoot, only you for sure know if you did or not. I can't say I have listened to Eddy Arnold much since way back then. I can say I have listened to many of the old rock and rollers that were so miserable at helping us catch fish on Lake Powell. But even today, when I hear the name Eddy Arnold, I smile and recall a time with my brother when we both were fortunate enough to have entered, the Twilight Zone.





Here Are Some Of The Greatest Songs About Fishing, Not Necessarily Will They Help You Catch Fish, Like Eddy did, but you'll have a good time either way.

In No Particular Order:


"Bad Day Fishin"- Billy Currington Country


"Gone Fishin" - Louis Armstrong & Bing Crosby Pop


"Talkin Fishin Blues" - Woody Guthrie Folk


"I'm Going To Go Fishin" - Dr. John Blues & Pop


"I'm Going To Miss Her" - Brad Paisley Country


"With Every Wish" - Bruce Springsteen Rock


"The Fishin hole" - Andy Griffith Country


"John The Fisherman" - Primus Rock


"A Pirate Looks At Forty" - Jimmy Buffett










AND OF COURSE......




FUNNY MOMENTS IN THE WORLD OF FISHING


HE MISSED OUT ON THE BIG, BIG, ONE!



THIS GUY IS A DIE HARD FISHERMAN


FISHING WITH MY OLDER BROTHER, GLENN...INSIDE JOKE

TRUE LOVE



YOU'VE GOT TO GO TO WHERE THE FISH ARE








TILL WE MEET AGAIN, ALL MY BEST LIFE FISHERMAN






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  • Andrew Scott Bassett

Surrounded by fires from seemingly all directions, the idea of loss is a reality that is

all too real. The picture above is of a close friend's home after fires swept through our Northern California community. My brother, just a few days ago, had to rush home and start packing up his family's belongings and most important his personal items because another fire was so close, he could feel it's bite in the air. But the loss from fires and other natural disasters are just one kind of loss that we humans have to suffer through. Life fortunately, is made of much more, and how we rebound from misfortune and eventually overcome it is critical to our well-being and the quality of the rest of our lives.

Before I go much further, I think it is only fair to say that I do have some experience with the subject matter. I'm not one of those people preaching from the top of a mountain with no real

dealings with what they speak. I find it ironic for example, when celebrities, living behind huge gated walls with armed bodyguards at their beck and call, demand strict gun-control measures for everyone else. Regardless of where you stand on gun-control, any side that appears hypocritical, doesn't help their case or sway people toward their point of view. In just the last few years I have dealt with the death of my first grandson as well as the passing of my beloved mother who basically raised me on her own.

Losses of this scale, usually leave people searching for answers for a way to make sense of such tragedies. When answers don't come easily, or at all, we blame others. It's what humans do. It's like we think of the world like a math problem to be solved. There must be an answer we tell ourselves. With no answer forthcoming, we blame doctors, we blame police, we blame pharmaceutical companies, we blame other family members. and of course we blame God. He's everyone's favorite whipping boy when things go terribly wrong. Sometimes, we even blame the people we are the closest to. When those urges come to castigate others, we usually start to point the finger at ourselves and what we could have done differently or better. We still convince ourselves to blame because there has to be an answer to the problem of loss. Usually, there is no known reason, and no satisfying answer to find. No, terrible loss often comes without reason or cause. Why the fire destroyed my friend's house and not the neighbors', why our preemie baby died while the one in the crib next to him lived, why the seemingly healthy thirty-two year old guy with two young sons went to sleep one night and didn't wake up the next morning, are all questions with no comforting answers. There's no answer for any of these losses and I had to live through all these situations and pleaded for answers. But the first important step in overcoming great pain and loss is to realize there doesn't need to be an answer. We all need to realize that life is made up of both great and wonderful moments, and then times that rip your heart out and test your mettle.


Life is a yin-yang proposition. The yin and yang concept of opposite or contrary forces actually working in a complementary way is pretty much standard stuff for our Western culture as well. I bet you've heard of heaven and hell, God and the devil, love and hate, life and death, up and down, peace and war, and on and on it goes. Life consists of these contrary forces that need each other to really work. Even living in peace would have little meaning if no one knew the terrible pain and suffering associated with fighting a war.

Rejoice in the good things of life. Treasure what you have and who you care about. Loss and terrible pain is going to come to us in this life. It does to us all. Some fortunate souls have a lot less than others, but no matter who you are and no matter what your status is, you can't avoid it. Be thankful for all the good things. Do not take them for granted. Company makes it easier to gain from loss.

The biggest yin-yang in life is gain and loss. You work hard and gain a new job title and better salary. Your company downsizes and you lose your job. Your girlfriend dumps you and breaks your heart and then you meet someone new, fall in love get married and gain a new family. Your home burns to the ground and you lose everything, then you get enough money and buy a new home, a better home. Live life to it's fullest. Enjoy every moment that comes your way. Gain the satisfaction of not missing out on anything. When loss comes for you and me, it will be less devastating, less debilitating. When we rejoice and are thankful for the people we have, and appreciate them, we gain a better perspective on how to deal with the loss that eventually comes. Finally, when the biggest loss comes, our own life bends to the rules of mortality. If those around us know that we lived to our fullest, and loved as much as we could, and others felt our love and saw our joy, their loss from our passing will be easier to deal with and they may even learn some life lessons from it. Without loss, no one can really appreciate the good things they have from this life.

True Love Lives On Even After Death


Here's an inspiring and uplifting story I picked up on the other day that I wanted to share with everything crazy going on in the world today.

Love doesn't have to last a lifetime the story begins with, but sometimes it does. What makes a lifetime relationship work, commitment, loyalty and effort and I will throw in patience and forgiveness. If you're one of the lucky ones whose heart feels like it can't beat without the person you love in your life, here are a few stories for you that will make anyone believe that when you love with your soul somehow your body knows it.


#1. A man was obsessed with his love for his wife. In their early years, he would sing to her and let her know every chance he got how much he loved her. He never left her side even after her soul left her body. She had a brain tumor. As she was leaving this world, her husband told her that, "You won't be alone. I'm coming with you."

Something inside him died when she passed. He waited and finished what he needed to in order to be next to his love. He applied to buy the land next to her plot to be buried in. He waited anxiously for the land deal to be approved, while visiting his beloved wife's grave each day. Finally, the land was his and only three days later, he collapsed and passed away. He fulfilled his promise to his wife, she wouldn't be alone, he was coming with her as he told her he would.


#2. A man grieving the demise of his wife, looking back at his life with her says, "The definition of love is elusive, which is why we write about it endlessly. Even Shakespeare couldn't touch it... Romeo and Juliet didn't know if they liked the same books or movies. It was just physical. After 62 years, it becomes something completely different entirely." Then, remembering how every aspect of their lives was linked, he expresses, "My wife used to say, we are one. Now that she is gone I realize how right she was."

Maybe then love is a routine that you don't mind following.


#3. A couple in their 90's were happily married for many many years. They were completely in love with each other in a way most of us can only wish for. The couple had to deal with the terrible news of the wife beginning to suffer from Alzheimer's disease. Shortly came the time when the disease became worse and the wife was hospitalized. The husband then broke his hip and became bed-ridden himself. He made sure to be placed In the same room next to her. if one of them didn't want to eat the other would refuse to eat. If one didn't want to drink water the other would refuse water. They were mimicking each other's behaviors, it's called 'twinning'. It's when two minds are perfectly in tune with each other. Eventually, they both passed away within minutes of each other. In their final minutes, they were together. They were one.





Have an inspired week and look for the good, in these times not always easy, but more than worth the trouble!

All My Best!

Andrew Scott Bassett






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  • Andrew Scott Bassett

Updated: Aug 17, 2020





I wrote my first novel, 'Fishing for Something' as a way to come to grips with my father's abandonment of our family. I was two days away from turning twelve years old when he left with a "here's twenty dollars for you and I'll see you in a couple of weeks when we will all move back to the east coast." I never saw him again. My mother was understandably devastated by the turn of events. I suppose that my older sister and brother were as well. But for me, I had mixed emotions at the time. Part of me I have to admit, was glad he was gone. A military man my dad, he wasn't particularly the warmest of people and spent little time trying to connect or understand me. Years later as a grown man with my own failures to live with and try to overcome, I wonder how much his presence or lack of it has affected me, for good or bad.


A lot of boys are growing up without dads these days, It's almost become an accepted normal way of life in much of our culture. And I got to say I know from firsthand experience how strong and determined moms can be about raising successful sons basically on their own. But this blog isn't about that topic, that's for another day, no this is my musings about how much of an effect the father who wasn't really there has on his sons. For me it is odd that as much as I hated him at times for what he did, and was determined to be nothing like him, I find myself following in his footsteps in numerous ways. From child raising to relationships with my significant others, to my work ethic and world view, I see more of him in me than I care to own up to. I guess it's all a nature vs. nurture kind of thing. He wasn't my 'father' in the real sense of the word, that long, so some of my actions have to be genetic right? I spent a lifetime with my mom and only nearly twelve years with him, but...sometimes in the things I do or the words I say, it seems like the opposite is true. I guess it's like people who are abused as children and statistics say more often than not they grow up to be abusers themselves when you might think the opposite would be true. Maybe I just emulating him as a man because it's the best model I had to go by. I wish I had answers and I am fishing for them here, but really I've just got more questions than anything. I would love to hear from readers of this blog who have dealt with this conundrum themselves. It might be the wife or girlfriend who sees the man she loves angry for behaving to his loved ones as his father acted to him. It might be the mom who sees her son making the same mistakes his father did before him and once again can't seem to stop him from himself. You might be the son, like me, who wants to learn from the past and keep the 'good things' your dad gave you but forget the rest, either way I would love to hear back from any or all.


My book deals with forgiveness and moving on with life, pain and all. I got to enjoy through the story a better ending than I ever had, and that was therapeutic in some way for me. For all my fishing buddies out there I look forward to reading your stories and your endings, or maybe just beginnings.


Hey my first list, this is cool, I don't know why but I always liked lists. Top ten this or that, always loved that sort of thing, remember David Letterman's old top ten lists, hilarious.

So here we go, seven things that sons miss out on if dad's not around.

#7. Lessons in how men deal with conflict and differences with women, family members, co-workers and other men. Sorry ladies but men and women are different and communication issues are a big part of that. I was raised by a strong mother and have been married for a long time, so I know what I speak of.

#6. Sharing dads common interests, in fact men often follow after pursuits and activities very different from their fathers, almost as if to prove a point to themselves. My dad was a mechanic, since he left I have never wanted much of anything to do with an automobile.

#5. Missing out on roughhousing with dear old dad can make it harder for men to know how to control their physical limits and contain getting too angry when pushed in a physical manner.

#4. Not experiencing generally considered male bonding activities. Remember when in the old days on the weekend most every guy on the street would wander over to the neighbor's garage to see what project he was up to. The men would usually share a beer, some off-color jokes and stories of their glory days. I remember those days well, they ended when my dad left and never really came back. It may not have been perfect but it was a very male rite of passage.

#3. The 'Big Talk', you know the one about sex and relationships. My dad left us before I got that one, so right now I apologize to every female I've known in my life, I was winging pretty much

everything!

#2. Getting that dad pat on the back when you do things right or have achievements in your life. I know that part of me has been striving for that subconsciously my whole life.

#1. How to be both a leader in the home and a partner with your mate. We need to see our male elders model leadership in the home so we can be better leaders and also learn to partner with our mates and learn how to lead together. This can be with raising children, finances, spiritual matters and just how a man deals with life.


To a good day fishing for answers,

Andrew


P.S.

I'm sure not all my blogs will be such heavy topics, some will, but I plan on having some fun with these too. Thanks for sharing this with me, sharing is caring after all.


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