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Last week my friend Jerry Stine passed away after a hard-fought battle. But, if you want details, look elsewhere! I prefer to remember some of the good times and stories I heard... Well, not all the stories!
Jerry a.k.a. Scoutmaster, "Stinky" and Sir, was a good-time kind of guy. Jokes, pranks, parties and the outdoors all defined my friend.
"Scoutmaster" came from his tenure as a leader of young impressionable Boy Scouts. He led us through various skills and values that still apply. We camped... and learned to appreciate the "modern" convenience's the late 1950s and early 1960s had to offer.
Jerry's "soothing nature" was manifest in his advice when asked about wild animals at the Sulphur Springs campground: "Don't worry, they won't eat much." Years later I realized that was one way to keep some "over-adventurous" kids from wandering too far from camp!
"Stinky" was bestowed on Jerry sometime before I ever met him and I never had the courage to ask him how he got it! We also never called him Stinky... to his face.
And, as for "Sir", if you have to ask then you didn't know Jerry.
The "outdoorsman" part of Jerry kept us as friends for 50-some years. When he's cut my hair... Yes, at one time I had hair... I'd ask how his cabin in Raywick was coming along. Don't know if it was ever finished, just know it was around a 10-year project the last I heard!
Bird hunting and trap shooting were high on his list of things to do. And, like a lot of us he had a garage full of toys. Once, while at his house, he was looking to sell some of his "extra" stuff ie. a couple of reloaders and several hundred boxes of reloads. Needed to make room for some more stuff.
"Dr. Dove" loved to shoot birds but would often wander off to any nearby pond just to "check it out".
Jerry liked to fish! And it seems that as he got older, and "sorts" retired, he fished even more. Sometimes he'd stop me just to show off some fish he'd caught... and I was usually impressed and jealous.
After a couple of years of "What ya catch'em on?" I was finally enlightened. Jerry dearly loved to fish... a Rebel crankbait! Sorta fat bodied and sorta green. This bait is so old school, they quit making them. Most anglers would've just cussed and gone on. Not Jerry! He may have made some choice comments to express his displeasure when production stopped... but he didn't give up!
Jerry called the Rebel lure company and they made some more. I don't know how many he had to order to get his special run, but think it was in the hundreds!
Rebel crankbaits and a Mepps spinner took up 90 percent of his bait inventory. When I'd ask about other baits he's simply tell me, "I'm catchin'em on these. Why do I need anything else?"
He fell in a frozen pond when he was a kid, camped out and helped youngsters when a middle aged kid and loved hunting, shooting and fishing as an old kid!
The man had fun for most of his 78 years. Just hope somebody can say the same for us when it's our time!
This is what I'll always remember about my friend!