May 28, 2010

87 Years Ago

Here's a picture my dad gave me today. It shows him in 1923 with a muskellunge he caught in the short channel between Lake Michigan and Portage Lake in Onekema, MI: a young Nick Adams. (Ernest Hemingway and my father were born in Oak Park, IL about 18 years apart. Like many Oak Park families before air conditioning, in their times the Hemingways and Sailers spent much of the summer in Michigan; the prevailing wind blows across the lake from Illinois to Michigan, being cooled as it goes, so the west coast of Michigan used to be a major summer resort for Chicagoans.)

A muskellunge is the largest fish of the pike family. Wikipedia informs us: 
The name comes from the Ojibwa word maashkinoozhe, meaning "ugly pike."

Update: two readers suggest, from the coloration, that it's a Northern pike.

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

24 comments:

asdfasdfadsf said...

Did he eat it? Looks like it could have eaten him.

Shoo Thaboy said...

Oak Park eh? Your ancestors must have been some wealthy individuals.

Steve Sailer said...

My grandfather happened to hear about the new x-ray machine from its inventor Roentgen, so he later got into that business and sold a lot of x-ray machines around the world after the Great War.

robert61 said...

My grandparents also spent summers in that area, a bit further north near Traverse City. They still had the house when I was a kid in the 60s and 70s. It was a good place to hunt, fish and live the outdoor life. Back when your dad was a boy, it would have been a great place. By the 70s, a lot of the streams in my grandparents' area were overfished, and when oil was discovered, it became a little less bucolic.

chicagopeasant said...

most of the north side Chicago people spent summer days at North ave beach or one of the many small lakes north/northwest of Chicago. Of course the local pools and open fire hydrants helped to cool us down.

Ray Sawhill said...

Fun pic. I wonder if there are still a decent number of muskies to be fished in the area.

The Leilenau peninsula on the west side of Michigan (up near Traverse City) is amazingly pretty. Green, rural, rambling, a little cooler than many midwestern spots ... It struck my wife and me when we visited it as resembling Cape Cod or Martha's Vineyard. It's still a place where people with money from St. Louis go north to enjoy summer homes.

It's also (and the crowd here will make of this what they will, god knows) one of the whitest places we've ever visited in the States. We were there for about ten days and I don't think we saw more than a couple of non-white faces during the entire stretch.

Anonymous said...

Sailer you're adopted though right?

Finn said...

Maashkinoozhe, meaning "ugly pike."

As in, "That Kagan sure is one maashkinoozhe."

Wait, I didn't mean "pike".

Anonymous said...

cute kid.

Cordelia said...

I love the knickerbockers! :-D Cute kid - big fish! :-)

Anonymous said...

No wonder we get so many Chicago pieces out of you.

Are you at all interested in the [decades-old] work on the Dunham/Obama Chicago connections?

The kind of stuff* that Steve Diamond and Glenn Beck have been working on?

I do recall that you wrote a little about the Payne/Dunham Chicago connections**.

Also, do you follow Second City Cop? The level of cynicism [and raw, brutal honesty] at that site is simply stunning.



* Stanley Armour Dunham -> Frank Marshall Davis -> Vernon Jarrett -> Valerie Bowman Jarrett -> Barbara Bowman -> Thomas Ayers -> William Ayers -> Bernardine "Dohrn" Ohrnstein -> Newton Minow -> Martha Minow -> Nell Minow -> Goldman Sachs -> Timothy Geithner -> Peter Geithner -> Stanley Ann Dunham...



**Which begs the question of whether the Paynes were in on this decades-long Chicago Communist conspiracy, or whether it was strictly the Dunhams.

The Paynes really intrigue me - I wish I knew more about them.

HVAC Man said...

I'm sure you guys know about that small amount of time our eyes take to adjust to ambient lighting.

Anonymous said...

Gorgeous fish.

Ask your Dad what it tasted like.

[And if it were a female, then it might have had caviar in it...]

Catch-and-release is the worst thing which ever happened to the sport of fishing.

Once you let the eco-pagans take hold of your pasttime, it's ruined.

[Two weekends ago, I was at an eco-pagan outfitters, on a mountain stream, listening to the artifically-inseminated-lesbian proprietrix droning on and on and on about the wonders of catch-and-release, and it was all I could do not to interrupt her, and blurt out, "Honey, I'm Scots-Irish, and we practice this thing called catch-and-EAT!"]

rockingham said...

Why did boys wear knickers? To save on using 12 inches more of trouser material? Very nice photo. Today that boy would be pasty and chubby and probably indoors with a video game.

blue said...

I like your posts about your father. They are always interesting.

Anonymous said...

i always wondered if a high speed ferry service from michgan to chicago would up prices and growth on western side.

I hate the midwest.

josh said...

You're lucky to have such a pic(s). Oak Park is a beautiful place,to,live there in the old days mustve been pretty awesome. Once you go west of Austin,uhm,it gets a little dicey.

jody said...

"air conditioning"

thanks willis carrier, for inventing modern air conditioning.

oh wait, has that been changed in modern american history books? or perhaps not covered at all, more likely. too white, too WASP, too good, too important, too relevant to everybody's daily life. just another of a hundred different expressions of WASP culture which every other culture has adopted. there's just way too many of these kinds of things for them to retain any kind of identity or association with WASPs. world changing culture from WASPs is "boring" and "not important".

more "diverse" personalities are probably more along the lines of what american history texts are looking for these days.

green mamba said...

Muskies assumed an almost mythical status in my youth due to their huge size.

My Chicago family used to vacation in northern Wisconsin because he had relatives there.

Dennis Dale said...

The name comes from the Ojibwa word maashkinoozhe, meaning "ugly pike."

How about that! The native Americans' social construct "ugliness" just so happens to match our own! What are the chances?

Anonymous said...

"Catch-and-release is the worst thing which ever happened to the sport of fishing.

Once you let the eco-pagans take hold of your pasttime, it's ruined.

[Two weekends ago, I was at an eco-pagan outfitters, on a mountain stream, listening to the artifically-inseminated-lesbian proprietrix droning on and on and on about the wonders of catch-and-release, and it was all I could do not to interrupt her, and blurt out, "Honey, I'm Scots-Irish, and we practice this thing called catch-and-EAT!"]"



The catch and release fishing ethic has nothing to do with your sexual orientation or your politics. Its a simple matter of mathematics that there are now many more people and far fewer fish than there were 87 years ago. If sport fishermen in today's environment want a chance to catch the kind of trophy's our fathers or grandfathers knew, we have got to throw most of them back and be very selective in how many we kill. If your main priority is to EAT, I would suggest a farmed catfish or a pacific salmon raised in Chile rather a wild muskie.

Anonymous said...

I think that's a northern pike, not a muskie. Northerns have light markings on a dark background, like this fish; muskies typically have the reverse pattern (dark on light). Still, it's a helluva fish, either way.

Steve Sailer said...

Thanks.

Alticor said...

Boys wore knickers because long pants were considered a sign of male dominance. Dad "wore the pants", women wore skirts or dresses, and Junior wore knickers.

FWIW, my mother, like Hillary Clinton, never wore a dress if she could at all avoid it. Dad was kind of henpecked, too. Not a coincidence I would say.