May 21, 2002 - Gone Fishin'

Spring fever, that's the only excuse for this story, going fishin' on company time!

John Rankins puts a fresh worm on his hook, looks up and says, "don't that look good? If I was a fish, I'd bite that myself!" Worms, he says, worms are the best bait. Red wrigglers or night crawlers, it doesn't matter, as long as they came out of the ground. John digs his own. That kind of work is too important to leave to others. Every day that they can make it happen, John and his buddy Larry Singleton get out on the banks of the Mississippi River and do some serious fishing. Their favorite spot is down by LSU, but on this day they were just north of the new bridge, giving them a great view of what they are missing up there in the afternoon bumper-to-bumper. "I tell you what," says Larry, "I look up there and see 'em, and I bet they wish they could be doing what I'm doing." I guarantee you there are people in the capitol building, right across the river who wish they could be out there with Larry and John, true fishermen, not after supper but after the joy of the catch. As John put it, "it's that rush when you see that joker out there doing this number." He gestures with his hands, like a struggling fish. "that's all it takes." Larry puts it more simply. He's here for "the thrill, the fight, the challenge." and the joy of telling a visitor, "you should have been here yesterday!"