By Harvey Tobkes

Once, and only once, my dad took me fishing off lower Rockaway Beach, Long Island, from the Jetty; it’s a government project that was made by laying in some huge boulders and extending them a good distance into the ocean).

Fortunately, one of dad’s friends accompanied us. He was a physician, and an avid fisherman, (I was about 10 years old in those days) so he was teaching me how to cast my line from the rocks into the ocean. On my first try, I heaved the rod with all my strength and lo and behold my hook caught my dad in his ear and he was bleeding profusely.

Of course, I was so ashamed, distressed and anguished at the thought that I might have a father with one ear, I was ready to jump into the surf, but lucky for us, the doc had a cutting pliers in his tackle box which was made for just such a catastrophe, and he snipped the hook. I was so relieved my dad was O.K.; I wasn’t the least bit sorry that it was decided we would call it quits and not catch any more fish…or ears that day.

However, on the way home, my father always being an upbeat guy, like all the Tobkeses, stopped at a fish market and chose some good-sized, fresh-caught (not by us) Flounder.

So, we did eat well that evening.

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