Lighter Side

What is life if there is not laughter? Welcome to the lighter side of flyfishing! We welcome your stories here!
April 29th, 2002

Hoe Hum

Ed Zern

By Ed Zern

My friends Marvin and Grace Marie Chase recently bought a farm near the Esopus Creek, and last summer I dropped in to find them busy with the thousand-and-one chores that people who buy farms find themselves busy with. But Marvin knocked off whitewashing the manure pile, or whatever it was he was doing, and conducted me around the place, showing me the various points of interest. These included an acre of eating corn which he was endeavoring to keep free of weeds - and he showed me the hoe with which he chopped the offensive flora. It looked more like a child's toy than a regular hoe, and woefully inadequate to cope with a field of weed-infested corn.

"That's an awfully small hoe, isn't it?" I said. "Why don't you get a full-sized one?"

Marvin eyes me indignantly. "Of course it's a small hoe!" he said. "Any nincompoop can chop weeds with a full-sized hoe. But with this hoe, it takes skill, strategy and weedcraft - and the weeds have a fighting chance! Furthermore, just feel this -" and he handed me the skimpy instrument. "Feel that balance! Not too much whip, either - and plenty of backbone in that handle, and the action's sort of semiparabolic. It's exactly the kind of hoe that Payne or Jim Lindsay or Garrison would make if they made hoes!"

And so, when I had admitted that it was indeed a beautifully balanced stick, light in hand and ideally suited to precision hoeing - in short, calculated to make weed control a thoroughly sporting proposition - we continued our tour of the Chase acres.

Having worked on a farm in my youth, I spied several other items that aroused my curiosity. But I kept my big mouth shut. ~ Ed Zern

Credits: From How To Catch Fishermen published by Appleton Century Crofts.

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