Ramble with Storm: Prohibition, temperance, zealotry & CPR

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Mulling things on my morning ramble with Storm, our family’s mixed Lab.

On Sunday, our pastor used Prohibition as an example of good intentions gone wrong.

That floored me. He is a veteran Methodist minister. And the Temperance Movement (in caps) was born of Methodist ladies in particular.

His point was that the attempt to root out the social evils associated with alcohol ended up bringing organized crime into power and leading to much corruption in government.

No, that thought on the Temperance Movement did not come out of the blue.

It came out of the dark.

Completely dark, thickened by a faint fog, was we set out. Didn’t expect much in terms of wildlife and there wasn’t.

But the darkness and lack of wildlife allowed my mind free range.

Our town, some years ago, put in a no burn-rule. Which I kind of favor. In the fall, the town workers come around and gather the leaves swept to the edge of the street.

Which means this time of year there are big piles of leaves in the places where rain water goes. We have the potential for somewhere up to 2 inches of rain over the next couple days.

If you know anything about water, it goes where it wants to go, eventually. And with it go the leaves, clogging the grates and creating massive street flooding.

I noticed the street workers were already in the town work garage, so I suspect they are trying to get ahead of the rain and those problems.

I heard one sandpiper far off at the north end of the north old clay pit and a few Canada geese honking faintly at the lake to the west. That was actually more signs of wildlife than I expected.

My wife and I go around and load our wheelbarrow with lots of leaves this time of year, then mulch her flower beds and my garden.

Unintended consequences and zealotry always take me to catch-and-release with regards to fishing. Or CPR (catch-photo-release).

Despite the dark, i counted 25 hedge apples down on the back side of south pit. A rabbit, unseen, rustled through the brush and leaves off the old rail, now a trail above the south pit. The dark morning was dominated by the sound of the dryers at the grain elevator on the edge of town.

In general, I support catch-and-release, but it is not the end all and be all. But yet a zealotry almost as insanely intense as that which sprouted around the wild little old Methodist ladies of the Temperance Movement has grown around CPR.

One of the unintended consequences, I think, not sure how you prove it, is the loss of kids interest in fishing.

Those of us of a certain age have intense memories of bringing home all kinds of goofy little fish to show our buddies, our families and sometimes to force our poor mothers to fry up.

That puts fishing into the memory banks forever. I think we are missing those moments with the zealous push of catch-and-release on kids and family fishing in particular.

Darkness is the friend of rabbits. Back in town, one rabbit bolted across the alley from the bus barn to the patch of evergreens. Storm only watched it go. Another one sat perfectly still in the yard on the corner. Storm did notice it, but didn’t chase. Darkness had only eased by a degree or two. Change sometimes comes in increments.

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