As outdoor enthusiasts, paddlers always dream of the perfect job which would let them paddle and enjoy the waterways of New Brunswick all season long, from ice-out to first snowfall. The dream job, where you could paddle down waterways no one else has seen, and fish for big fish in waters where the less fortunate masses can not penetrate.
Well, I did anyway. But my dreams became real ... not for me, but for my uncle Bob.
You see, he was a glad-hander for JD Irving. A PR man. I don't mean that in a mean way. He was good at his job.
He would walk around town all day, shaking hands with clients of JD Irving, talking shop with "guvmint" regulatory folks, and making everybody happy around him. Mostly, he told fishing stories, what it was like back in the day, and how it would be with him in days to come.
You see, his most inportant job was escorting influential clients of all the Irving companies into the exclusive fishing lodges hidden away deep in the woods, alongside bounteous salmon pools. Yes, there was also the not-so-odd sea trout, landed by a 'sport,' as they were called back in the day, a fish purty enuff to make any visiting angler proud.
Of course, my uncle could fish any time he wanted, alongside his sports, to show them how it was done. I'm told that bless his heart, he did release some nice salmon back to the stream in his day. He didn't keep them all.
He has visited fabled fishing spots only told about in tall tales to his incredulous nephew. I can only dream of the superb fishing he enjoyed way back when.
On the other hand, his life wasn't without its occupational hazards. He tells me that he wished he remembered more of it than he does now. He was such a good host back then that he always made sure none of his guests went without a drink. Of course, he joined them. He didn't want to see them drink alone.
Hey, I remember it all. Don't you?
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