On the Point

On the Point
God's Country and a Waterman's Backyard

Sunday, October 19, 2008

To all the nurses he's loved before.....

Captain Reese landed in the hospital on many occasions over the years. He always managed to flurt and tease his way into the good (or very bad) graces of the nurses . It was common to see him eating ice-cream that he had charmed off his nurse long after dinner hours.
Phots from www.Narpac.org

No matter what the ailment, Reese would find a way to make a joke. He was rarely appropriate, but usually very funny. He would get out of the hospital very quickly based on the mischief he was able to create on the unit.

After the accident in June, Reese wasn't able to be up to his old tricks but the nurses and doctors at the Critical Care Unit did everything they could to help him get better and keep him comfortable.

So to all of you at PG Critical Care Unit, especially Betty, you are SO lucky my father couldn't give you a hard time while he was with you. He would have dished it out if he could have taken it.
PG Critical Care gave Reese and his family exemplary care, honor, and respect.

Thank you.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Sunrise on Herring Creek

The morning of Captain Reese's funeral, I got up at dawn and went fishing for perch in back of the house. I chanced to wake a great blue heron napping on a fallen limb that caught my wayward cast. What a squawker! He gave me a hard time from the moment he woke up until he lit on the shore across the creek. Squawk, squawk..."Why are you bothering me? Why don't you leave me alone? Can't a bird get a little shut-eye around here?"

I thought about waking Captain Reese from his afternoon naps and the protests sounded much the same to me. I didn't catch any fish that morning, but I may have caught a bit of my father still complaining about losing sleep!

Photo taken at Morro Strand, CA by Mike Baird at http://picasaweb.google.com/mikebaird/2006_06_17_Morro_Strand#4941801453773717522

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Santa Reese

I will always remember the fun times with the family, especially at Chritmas time. Reese always enjoyed the family as he dressed up as Santa Claus! He probably scared the kids. His natural white beard added that extra touch. His face would be warm for winter fishing. Then he would shave it in the Spring.

illustration by Ted Walke taken from http://www.fish.state.pa.us/anglerboater/1998/novdec98/badsanta.html.

Reese kept the Christmas spirit all year round. When he was younger, he used 'spirits' to keep the spirit. When he got sober, he kept his love of family, children, and gift-giving. He liked to open all his presents and let the paper fly everywhere. Finally, someone would pick it up and put it in the fireplace but not before the floor was completely covered.

He could always laugh like Santa Claus!

illustration by Ted Walke taken from http://www.fish.state.pa.us/anglerboater/1998/novdec98/badsanta.html.

Flappin' your Fish

Image from http://www.capelinks.com/cape-cod/photos/detail/31/

Reese liked to fish the rockpile with his family. I would park my boat as close to Reese's as I could, thinking he knew just where the fish were. But if I got to his spot earlier than he did, he would still catch more fish than anyone else there.

And he put the newly caught fish in a wash tub on top of the engine box. They made a loud flapping noise to rub it in that he was doing better than I was....

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Starting a Volunteer Fire Department

One of the Many Stories about Capt. Reese and the growth of our Fire Department:

In 1951, a bunch of young guys were sitting around playing cards and thinking about how long they could drink beer before their wives came looking for them. Captain Reese was one of the boys. Someone came up with a great idea--Why don't we start a fire department?

It turned out they were right....alot of new houses were coming and they were going to need a fire truck. There wasn't any money so they hit the bricks to raise funds to buy a truck and build a station. They started with a pumper named Betsy, and now they have three pumpers and three ambulances. These guys served a higher cause in the community even if it started with some cards and beer.

They also started an annual carnival to raise money for the building and needed equipment. Captain Reese became the Pizza Man for many years. He also set off fireworks on the hillside every year while he left his family in charge of making pizzas. Most of us don't eat pizza anymore, but we made a lot of money for the 2nd District Fire Department.

When Captain Reese took his last call in July 2008, the Second District Fire Department paid him the high honor of bringing truck and ladder in full dress. As you can see above, they sent him off to a place where we hope it won't ever be hot enough to need the truck.

Thanks to all his friends from the Hook and Ladder!

A Potomac Life

For Capt. Reese

by SAM

Land life wears you down.
The River washes you clean.

Your mother a teacher,
father a farmer,
sister a nurse,
brother, but a boy.
You, an entertainer.
At four you ruled the cornfields,
until you fell in love with the snap of stalks
from running a hoe horizontal down a row,
the crack of premonition, headlong and headstrong.
Your quick denials, as muddy
as your bare foot prints over yesterday’s rain.
Your pop picked you up like a sack of flour,
fit tiny feet exactly into an earthen puzzle.
The whippin’ was for the lyin’
and the lyin’ was to cover the fun.

You ran with lightening bugs,
swam in elwives and sea nettles,
dug bushels of Irish potatoes,
before you were five.
Carried water and later hay.
Learned to slaughter those you fed.

You found the water
long before the land could no longer carry you,
before the waves in the fields
came back empty.
Land life wears you down.
The River laps at your soul
and washes you clean.

When pigs and cows sunk their hooves,
Meat was the strength of muscles for work.
But fish was freedom, caught--
On the verge of adventure-
Cumberland to the Atlantic
Not much catch and release back then.
Bones, skin and all went on the table
And a blessing for the Irish luck of the boat.

God is doing the fishing now
And you are blessed to be caught.
Land life wears you down.
You said, “One night on the Potomac
Is worth a thousand in the city.”
This river knows your name.
The River watches, washes us clean,
our insides pretty, and not the same.