In Hemingway's Meadow
Edited by Joe Healy
This is a book that's been on my Amazon wishlist for quite some time. I'm not sure why I didn't buy it earlier, but I'm glad I finally got around to it. The book is a collection of Award-Winning Fly-Fishing stories that offer a wide range of settings and characters.
The first story to really grab my attention was For Keeps by Gary Whitehead. The story is of Larold and his brother Rich fishing on the Battenkill. Though, to say this is a fishing story (like so many throughout this book) is to miss the point. This is about life's regrets and trying to make peace with the past through fishing. Childhood mistakes had come to haunt their relationship and the passing of their father left them estranged in ways hard to describe. Rich had a mental disability and growing up Larold made some mistakes that he was having trouble forgiving himself for. Thoughts of their father's treatment of Rich while growing up also clouds the time on the water, though they seem to find closure by the time you get to the end. Edith's Rule by Seth Norman is essentially about the same thing, but of course, the answers are as varied as the characters. This story is about an older fisherman that has become somewhat of a fishing hermit. The widower spends time on the water thinking of his loss and reflecting on what he calls Edith's rule. The idea that certain items just belong to certain people, what to whom only she seems to know. It all comes around and by the end of the story Edith's rule helps the old boy make connections with the people around him and, potentially, find some healing.
I loved the majority of the stories in the book, and only liked the other, so it was no surprise when I stayed up way too late and finished the book long before I was ready to be done. It's a good read and I whole-heartedly suggest you read it.
"I'm no philosopher. Not even a therapist. So, can somebody explain to me how 15 years of friendship comes down to two guys up to their knees in maybe the most beautiful river in the world with nothing but clear, empty water connecting them in any real way?
I didn't think so.
I said, "Dave, sometimes you just lose them.""
Pg. 116 Opening Day by Richard Chiappone