Milestones

Milestones

I don't have a sister, but if I did, I'd want one just like Susan Williams Beckhorn, whose big brother is FR&R Conservation edit

I don't have a sister, but if I did, I'd want one just like Susan Williams Beckhorn, whose big brother is FR&R Conservation editor Ted Williams. In celebration of Ted's 60th birthday this past summer, Susan surprised him with a self-published book of his fishing adventures as told by about 50 survivors of those often harrowing exploits. The 80-page soft-cover collection is fittingly titled: Fishing With Ted: Volume One, By Those Who Have Done So and Lived to Tell About It.

Almost all of the stories revolve around a handful of recurring themes that are best expressed by the titles of some of the tales from which they emerge: "Mr.Terrible," by Amos Eno; "Bloody Gloves and Cracked Ribs," by Williams, David and Randall Thomas; "A Little Like Captain Ahab Out There," by George French; "It's Only a Game, Ted (This Guy is Kind of Intense)," by Ben Stout; "Caution: Uncle Ted is a Maniac," by Mark Williams; and "Boston Whalers Can't Sink--Can They?" by Jamie Troup. Ted's parents open the book with the disclosure that "By the time he was two, it was quite clear that Teddy's sole purpose in life was to risk his in pursuit of fish." Wally and Mary Lou Williams go on to relate how, at the end of toddler Ted's first full day on the water, "We found him asleep on the floor with a dead flatfish clutched in each chubby little fist."

Ted, who lives in Massachusetts and spends a lot of time on Long Island Sound, recently e-mailed me the following: "I felt like 60 for the first time after I made it to Montauk in a 30-knot east wind on Wednesday with busted trim tabs. [Fishing guide David] Blinken wined and dined me, however, and I felt like 30 again Thursday am."

Ted has been with FR&R since 1988--almost a third of his long(ish) life, and longer than anyone else currently working with the magazine. In all that time, he has only gotten more passionate about fishing and protecting the environment, and for that I salute him. Happy belated birthday, Ted; keep giving them hell. And, by the time you read this, another of FR&R's editors-at-large will be on the brink of 60: John Gierach, whose birthday takes place in November.

A week or so ago John told me, "I will actually turn the big 60 on November 24--but what's a couple of months at this late date? Especially when some mornings I feel 30 and others 120." I'm 51 myself, and I'm just beginning to understand what he's talking about…

In any case, yet another important FR&R milestone is the 20th anniversary of the publication of Trout Bum, the book that inspired a generation of anglers and made John Gierach as close to a household name as any fly fisherman is likely to get.

In this issue, Seth Norman writes about Pruett Publishing Company's 20th Anniversary Edition of Trout Bum in his Books column. And in our upcoming March issue, we'll be celebrating two decades of Trout Bum in our own special way, so be sure to pick up a copy--of the book in case you haven't read it, as well as the March 2007 FR&R.

Congratulations, John, on both birthdays.