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Bald Guy's first Fishing School in the summer of 2010.I’m the Bald Guy. Typically, when someone asks me how many kids I have, I respond, “Only six.” Of course, my pretty bride of 45 years joins me on our path. All six kids are grown and married, and spread out among Texas, California, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Washington. There are 14 grandkids counting the twins that are due in August 2019. The twins are already very much loved and special members of our growing family.

Fishing School 2010 

One thing that makes me happy is how close the six kids and their spouses remain. The grandkids, with the exception of the unborn twins, all know one another and get along famously when they are together.

The Bald Guy’s Fishing School started out much smaller in 2010. Our whole group got together in Wisconsin and stayed in one house on a lake. If you want to have some fun, try fishing with five grandkids at the same time on a dock!

Luckily, I was only in charge of fishing, cleaning fish, and cooking fish. I did not have to organize meals to feed everyone. The fish we caught couldn’t come close to feeding everyone three times a day. We certainly had a wonderful time, and everyone was anxious to have another Bald Guy’s Fishing School.

The fishing school is not the only time our whole group gets together in one place. We have all been together at a few Thanksgivings and some weddings. However, we did not have matching T-shirts for those occasions.

Fishing School 2013 

The next Bald Guy’s Fishing School was 2013, again in one house on a lake in Wisconsin. The group was bigger. Everyone pitched in ahead of time from designing the T-shirts to planning meals. Try fishing with seven grandkids at the same time on a dock!

Luckily, I had some help from one of my daughters and her boyfriend (now my son-in-law).  As the group grew, things became a little more complicated to organize, but even more fun. I sure cleaned a lot of fish and the youngest grandkids were right at my side to watch and “help.” Some of the kids and their spouses recommended we have a Bald Guy’s Fishing School every year. I have to admit I was thinking, “Wait a minute, this is a big production!”

We all got together in 2014 and 2015, but not for another Bald Guy’s Fishing School.

Fishing School 2016 

In 2016, the group is even bigger and the Bald Guy’s Fishing School was in session. One house on a lake in Wisconsin, but farther north. That place sure was busy while we were there with boats, fishing, skiing, tubing, meals… and more meals. I’ll admit the fishing was not as good as I would have wished, but we did have one good fish fry. The oldest grandkids can really pack away a lot of fish when the Bald Guy prepares the meal!

It’s pretty funny that our youngest daughter and her boyfriend attended the 2016 fishing school and the boyfriend is now another great son-in-law.

Fishing School 2018

Next came Bald Guy’s Fishing School 2018. This time in the Seattle area and double duty with the wedding of our youngest daughter. It was not easy finding a house to rent that would fit the entire group, but it happened. The three youngest grandkids were the two flower girls and the “Ring Bear.”  That was a fun wedding, and you should see my grandkids dance!

The fishing school was great, but not enough fish to be caught. Three of the T-shirts said STAFF on the back of the shirt. One of my sons-in-law gained status of STAFF during fishing school, and he will be recognized as such at the next school.

There is no doubt that getting our whole group together costs some money. There are lots of us pitching in with the organization, planning, execution, and expense. It is all worth the fun and staying close as a family.

Family: call them, skype them, e-mail them, fish with them, gather with them. It’s easy; it’s family. God bless your family!

+JMJ+

© Original article written by Jerry "Baldy" Bluett and published in The Messenger magazine from the Missionaries of the Holy Family, Saint Louis, Missouri. All rights reserved. 2019.

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