When I was a kid, my grandfather had a boat. Not a big car, mind you (okay, he had one of those, too) but a motor boat. When my sibs were younger, they used to water ski and fish. By the time I was old enough to go on these outings, we mainly just went fishing.
Then he got older, the boating got more expensive, and he sold the boat. Once or twice we went fishing off of a dock, but it wasn't quite the same (I caught an eel, eww).
This weekend my sister and her husband chartered a fishing boat. Three of us, and the captain, set out at 6:45 AM. We were essentially alone on the bay. After trying a few different fishing holes, the captain told us we would try another place. We zipped along right to my grandfather's favorite fishing hole.
I closed my eyes, and I was a kid again. The sound of the engine, the sound of the water swishing past, the smell of the salt air, the wind on my face. If I opened my eyes, I knew I'd see my grandfather at the wheel, his fishing cap on, and I'd be 11 years old again.
It had been at least 15 years since I'd been out on the bay. Time has stood still, because it was exactly the same. I've gazed at it for many an hour in the intervening time, but always from the shore, usually as a pitstop on a long bike ride.
So we were back. At one point, while fishing along one corner of the bay, we turned on the radio. Mom had me call dad to find out what radio station they had been listening to that week (okay, with the advent of cell phones, some things have changed out on that bay...). We tuned to the Golden Oldies station, and listened to a Frank Sinatra song.
This was ironic, you see, because my grandfather couldn't stand Frank. Why not? My grandfather was a professional musician for his entire career. That was his work, and that was his passion. If you listen to old recordings of him, you might think you were listening to Frank. He had theories that Frank put him out of business... So, you couldn't talk about or listen to Sinatra around him.
After the Frank song ended, the announcer came on and said, "You're listening to the sounds of Sinatra.." The entire program was Sinatra. We snickered a bit, and cast our lines back in. Towards the end of the program, I stood on the bow, casting into the current, the warm sun on my face as Frank crooned "The Summer Wind".
Such moments are nothing short of magical. Somewhere, I'm sure, my grandfather had to smile.