Only one Man has the standing to wear gold and silver stars on his hat this year, or does he? Was Allen’s performance last year ever properly adjudicated? Will Allen and Patrick be able to make it this year? Will any of the boats (except the ever-reliable Aquapimp) work? Attend this year’s thrilling episode of Man Weekend to find out!
Vermont Free Fishing Day is Saturday, June 8 this year so a license isn’t required to participate in the greatest of the Man Weekend activities. Those of you with greater ambition can apply here.
The Belmont Stakes is also Saturday, June 8. The race will be screened at the Edgewood cottage at 6:30pm. Betting pool tickets will be $2.
Some years ago Ty showed up very late for Man Weekend. His excuse was that there was a wedding he absolutely positively couldn’t get out of (not his) and that he left his car’s engine running and was heading to Highgate at 90MPH as the final “I do” was still echoing in the church. We other Men had considerable time to discuss the matter and decided to present Ty with a special attendance pin, one that had been cut in half. The quote of the weekend was, “Ty! What part of Man Weekend don’t you understand?”
So all together now! “Allen! What part of Man Weekend don’t you understand?”
You’d better guard your hat lest you find an important bit of your Man pin cut off.
Allen’s faux pas was more than compensated for by Adam’s courageous act of volunteering to fill the void left by Patrick. Talk about a hard act to follow. Adam did it perfectly by adhering to the traditional menu: sausage, roast beast, and shrimp (for Ty) and by getting the ingredients from authentic sources. The Italian sausage, for example, came with a large imposing guy in an ill-fitting suit with suspicious bulges in the jacket. It was sausage that could not be refused.
The enforcer wasn’t necessary, the sausage was excellent! As was the roast beast which had the usual melt-in-your-mouth quality. Man Weekend has always been very fortunate in that respect.
Adam says the supplies came to $25 each. He takes PayPal at: agoldman at prancing-horse dot com.
Scott supplemented the provisions by keeping, cleaning, and cooking a number of perch and other panfish. No one at the Tobey cottage benefited from this bounty. Scott and Gilbert took the pan to Edgewood and a few minutes later it was all gone.
The Ty-tanic celebrated its 100th year by demanding the usual amount of fuss and bother before it would start its engine. The battery discharged over the Winter so Ty borrowed the HAM’s battery. The HAM isn’t going anywhere until a disintegrated trailer tire is replaced. The AquaPimp ran perfectly as usual.
The weather was excellent and the lake was on the low side. This meant there was space down at the dock to pull up the AquaPimp. The dock and platform were put in early, probably because of the wedding that took place on the lower road Saturday.
John Dill, a college friend of Richard’s, who lives outside of Albany, came up for Thursday night, the most time he could negotiate from his family. John McCall came up Friday evening. Maybe they’ll both be able to stay longer next year.
Unusually, Glenn caught the biggest fish this year, a bowfin out of Rock River. If anyone has pictures they want to share then e-mail them and I’ll post them here.
Here’s a Man Weekend 2012 fish story for you:
“John McCall hadn’t seen the new dock yet. For the last few years John had been coming to Camp Randolph before and after the camping season but never during it. The dock was put up early this year so John and I went down to take a look. Saturday was Free Fishing Day so I bought my fishing pole and tackle box. Traditionally the fishing off the dock is supposed to be good.
“The dock was up but it seemed smaller than I remembered. It was also very wobbly in one section. We went to the end and I attached a lure to my fishing pole. Something nibbled on the first cast! The water was full of minnows but I didn’t see anything when I reeled the lure in. A few casts later I saw a medium-small pike follow the lure in, and saw a pike every few casts after that. No bites however.
“I gave the fishing pole to John who had similar luck. When it was my turn again I cast over by the Rock Dock and promptly got the lure stuck on something. I tried the angle trick and went back to the cement. During one pull my knot came undone or the line broke. One lure down.
“I tied on another leader, attached another lure, and gave the fishing pole to John. At one point he cast straight out into the lake, we were both watching and agree where the cast went, but then the lure got caught over by the Rock Dock again! It was pretty weird. I took the fishing pole and tried the angle trick again to no avail. If the water had been lower I’d have gone around the willow tree and on to the Rock Dock but I wasn’t in a mood to get wet. I debated leaving the pole there until someone with a boat came by but I didn’t want to have fishing line floating around in the water. I could imagine it fouling up someone’s propeller and/or the fishing pole being pulled into the lake.
“I finally decided to go back to the end of the dock and cut the line. At the end of the dock I gave the line another nothing-to-lose pull and the lure came free! As I was reeling it in I turned to John and joked, “Won’t you be pissed if I catch the pike?” and WHAM! the pike hit! I played with it a bit to tire it out as I reeled it in. It wasn’t real big but it wasn’t small either.
“I handed the fishing pole to John and knelt down to get the fish. I was pulling it up by the leader when the pike wiggled and fell back into the water, along with the lure. All the pulling must have weakened the clasp on the leader and the fish’s action finally broke it.
“So sometime someone’s going to catch a pike and get a barely used number 3 copper Mepps in the deal. I hope they appreciate it.”
As Camp Randolph’s Director of Things Requiring Physical Labor, one of Uncle Arthur’s pre-season tasks this year was to take apart the old trash bins in back by the compost pile. The residue provided a convenient source of fuel for this year’s Man Fire. Additional fuel was obtained from a nearby free pile. Chris assumed the role of pyroMANiac and kept the fire well fed at the risk of his hands and eyebrows. As the following picture shows, we managed to burn more of the Ridge this year than ever! Arthur says the coals were still hot after three days.
Consider the following facts:
- Man Weekend 2011 was the BEST MOST AWESOME MAN WEEKEND EVER!
- Glenn wasn’t there.
I let the reader form his own conclusion.
Glenn’s absence means that Allen is the last of the Founding Men to attend all Man Weekends. He was very modest about it and generously promised next year to print up and provide a free tee-shirt to all other men with perfect attendance.
It was cloudy and rainy Thursday. Ty, Adam, and John all reported a massive thunderstorm on the Adirondack Northway. Highgate Springs got a classic 30 minute cloudburst Thursday evening, soaking the contents of porches and revealing a whole new set of roof leaks in the Tobey cottage.
Adam arrived in his latest vehicle, a used police car. Most of the police equipment had been removed but there were still three antennas and the strobe lights still work if you connect some wires in the glove compartment. Adam says that it’s really annoying because, although the car is unmarked, on the Interstate all the other traffic slows down to the speed limit when he comes into view.
In addition to the usual suspects (except for Charles who had a family medical emergency) Man Weekend was graced (so to speak) with the presence of Jimmy Atwater who finally got his Man Weekend hat with three stars, two of which were earned in the pre-hat era.
The lake was still high, higher than anyone had ever seen it before. The dock stairs were gone and a few tons of driftwood and logs clogged up the Shipyard Bay boat put-in ramp, which itself was badly beat up. The weather Friday morning was sunny but the lake was rough. There was a continuous parade of people going out to Shipyard to see if the blockage had been removed. Finally Richard put on some shorts (!) and was able to to toss, heave, and push away the driftwood. (An area resident promised to spread the word crediting “summer people” for the work.) The Aquapimp showed up just as Richard was finishing and Gilbert and Scott got out on the water. They were later spied in the general area of the creek going “offroad,” boating between trees that are normally in ground three feet above the water level.
The Ty-tanic’s engine wouldn’t start. Ty had to replace some electrical components but later Ty, Adam, Allen, and Patrick went out. There weren’t enough guys willing to brave the waves to warrant putting out the HAM.
This year the big dinner was Friday with clams, shrimp, and steak. Scott had some kind of personal bug repeller device that seemed (at least to me) to work for the entire group.
Saturday many of the Men went for an unnecessary breakfast at Joey’s Junction Bakery in Highgate Center. Joey’s is doing the cooking for the Clubhouse this summer. The Bakery food is rich and the portions are massive. If the Clubhouse meals are going to be like that then campers this summer are going to go home happy and waddling. Joey’s gives out two dollar bills for change and some of the Men were able to make good use of them later. (No, no strippers were involved.)
The weather Saturday was opposite of Friday. The sky was cloudy but the lake was calm. Both boats went out again and the Aquapimp stayed out during a period of rain. Of course Scott caught the biggest fish, he probably caught the biggest ten fish. He has pictures of two different huge pike, one six pounds, and a three pound smallmouth bass that jumped clear out of the water during the fight to bring it in. Scott released the big fish but kept a mess of perch that he cleaned up and cooked for Saturday dinner hor d’oeuvres. Delicious!
Saturday evening Man Weekend celebrated its first horse race. The Edgewood TV was tuned to the Belmont Stakes, twelve men put two dollars each in a pot and received a random ticket in exchange, and there was a lot of squinting to try to identify one’s horse as they appeared on the track and the tiny TV screen. The excitement was electric and in the end Scott’s 1 in 24 odds horse won. Camp Randolph gambling odds suck, his payoff was only 1 in 12.
The Saturday dinner was more clams and shrimp, and hot sausage patties. The sausage was even hotter than last years’. Patrick and Allen outdid themselves again. This brings up a massive horrifying problem. PATRICK MAY NOT BE ABLE TO ATTEND MAN WEEKEND NEXT YEAR! What do we do? Maybe we should hold Man Weekend XIV in Rochester. Do you think Patrick’s wife will mind if we rent the house next door to theirs for a weekend?
Uncle Arthur scavenged Highgate Springs for Stuff To Burn. He borrowed a truck to gather dry driftwood from Shipyard and constructed a massive fire. A chair, a rotten barrel, a broken table, and an old stump were soon added. John McCall tossed on the magnesium plate he brought last year but unfortunately (or maybe fortunately) it didn’t catch fire. Uncle Arthur may find another interesting globule in the ashes, but made of magnesium instead of aluminum this time. Adam scared the hell out of the fire watchers by driving up onto the ridge in his cop car with all the lights flashing.
Attention please, the New York Museum of Modern Art would like to talk to the Man who created the chair sculpture Sunday morning. Their phone number is 212-708-9400.