The Signal Tribune newspaper

Thoughts from the Publisher | Oct. 12, 2018

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Most of our readers know that I grew up in Signal Hill/Long Beach. 30 years ago, I bought my childhood home from Mom. I so enjoy living there, as it is a constant reminder of my elementary, junior high-school and senior high-school days.

These days, keeping in touch with friends from my youth has been easy. Many times, I just enter one of my old buddy’s names into Facebook and that person’s account pops up instantly. If we decide to friend each other, the conversation can begin.

I recently ran across a posting from former Long Beachean Gary Lewis, who, come to find out, currently lives in Arizona. His posting brought a smile to my face and tickled my heart. I reached out to him, and he agreed to let me use that particular posting for my column this week.

Let me know what you think of his musings at [email protected] I am hoping he will favor us with more of his writings.

The Great Snipe Hunt by Gary Lewis
I was 15 years old and ran around with several friends that were older and had cars. To say that I was naïve would be a serious understatement. Mostly we would cruise around in the evenings looking for things to do. One night, someone suggested we go “snipe hunting.” Well, of course, I had never heard of this, so it was quickly decided that I would be designated as the “catcher.” My friends said that we would need some supplies; a large bag or sack and a bright flashlight. It was decided that a prime snipe location was in a large brushy field out behind Marine stadium. (Yes, at one time, such a field did exist. This was 1957.) We drove out to the field, and they dropped me at one end with the instructions to get down low, holding the open bag in front of me with one hand, and holding the flashlight behind the bag so that the snipe would be drawn to the light. The rest of the group would go down to the other end of the field and began making noise and thrashing the brush to scare the snipe toward me and into the bag. The group drove away, and soon they began making a racket about 200 yards away and, of course, I was ready with my bag and flashlight. This went on for several minutes until the sounds began to fade and finally stop altogether. I assumed they were simply changing positions to better scare the snipe. After about three to four minutes of silence, I started calling to them, but got no reply. Still, it took another five minutes or so to realize I had been had. I started walking to the other end of the field and, there they all were, laughing so hard that their sides hurt. After that, I became a firm skeptic. It took several years for me to finally believe that “grunion” are real and really do beach themselves en masse to mate when the moon and tides are just perfect. That seemed less believable than a snipe hunt. There was no way I was taking a sack and a flashlight to the beach in the middle of the night. I was not falling for that again.

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Thoughts from the Publisher | Oct. 12, 2018