Fade to Gray: Fish, father, mentor, editor – New York News




Someone asked me recently how long I’ve been writing a newspaper column and the truth is I really don’t know. I gauge things based on the age of my children or movies I’ve seen. Example: if someone asked me what year “Rain Main” came out with Dustin Hoffman and Tom Cruise I would say, “Well let me think. I know I saw that a couple of years after I graduated college but before I had kids. College graduation was 1985 and my oldest was born in 1993 so Rain Man would probably be 1988 or 89.” Sure enough Raymond was watching Judge Wapner on the People’s Court in 1988. So it is when people ask me about writing this column, I tell them it was a couple of years after my father died but before my son was born in 1996, so my best guess would be around 22 years. As I sit here typing it occurs to me that I rarely ever write about how this column came to be.

Not long after I got out of college I got the itch to write something other than term papers. I loved fiction but there is little market for short stories in the Capital Region so I sought out interesting stuff from my own life to write about that others might get a chuckle out of. Then I remembered the time I saved a gold fish from my brother’s snapping turtle tank (he used them as feeder fish) and placed it in my bedroom aquarium. Well the fish turned out to be a baby carp and grew so big he started eating my little fish. I didn’t want to murder him, even though he had it coming, and couldn’t send him back to the hungry turtles so I took him to the pond that sits at the bottom of Campbell Avenue in Troy…

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