Some of my fondest memories of my pre-teen, middle school years are those lazy summer afternoons when my buddies and I would grab our fishing poles, hop on our bicycles and head on down to the Fox River, the picturesque river that bisected our small Midwestern community.
I remember there were two things I always did before I left for those days of adventure, challenge and a bit of horseplay — raid my mother’s bread box for the excursion’s bait (carp loved dough balls we made out of it) and tape a sign to my bedroom door that said “Gone Fishin’” (as if my folks didn’t know where I went).
This weekend, I hope every Rim Country youngster has that same opportunity to announce to the world that he or she has Gone Fishin’.
From 8 a.m. until 3 p.m. this Saturday (April 6) at Green Valley Park, the Rim Country Optimist Club will host its seventh annual Kids Fishing Festival — a great way for kids (and adults, too) to enjoy a fun and hopefully memorable day.
The festival will feature free fishing (from a very freshly stocked lake) for the entire family, music (that would be me), Scoops Ice Cream, a huge silent auction, raffles, Optimist and Rotary Club food booths (hot dogs, hamburgers, drinks and more) and fishing clinics by Arizona Game and Fish and Trout Unlimited. And, to top it off, if you don’t have your own fishing pole and bait, they will be provided for you — and if you register on site, you don’t need a fishing license.
It seems to me, that over the seven years that the Kids Fishing Festival has been held, it has grown not only in size and stature, but in enthusiasm, as well. It’s hard for me to imagine a better way that an adult could spend a Saturday with a youngster.
If you would like more information about this fun family event, you may call the festival’s public relations coordinator, Joan Young, at (928) 472-2264.
This week’s question
Can you name the Southern-rock band, formed in 1965 by Ronnie Van Zant, who released the 1999 single “Gone Fishin’”?
This seven-member group’s music was noted for fusing the overdriven power of blues-rock with a rebellious Southern image and a hard rock swagger. The group produced its first album in 1973 and is still going strong, releasing its 23rd album just this past year.
The group, named after their high school gym teacher, had three singles reach the Billboard Top 20, “What’s Your Name,” “Freebird” and their Grammy and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame hit “Sweet Home Alabama.”
Is this “Gone Fishin’ group A) The Allman Brothers; B) Lynyrd Skynyrd; C) Grand Funk; or D) The Steve Miller Band?
If you’re the fifth caller this week and have the correct answer, you’ll win a CD of your favorite artist, genre or era of music.
This past week’s music trivia question asked if you could name the bandleader who in 1952 had a hit with his release of the song “The Bunny Hop” (which also quickly became a line-dance and was covered in 1959 by The Applejacks).
Was this “Bunny Hop” bandleader A) Ray Anthony; B) Percy Faith; C) Guy Lombardo; or D) Peter Cottontail?
The correct answer was Ray Anthony, who had Top 10 hits with his 1952’s “At Last” (vocal by Tommy Mercer), 1953’s “Dragnet” and 1959’s “Peter Gun.”
Bandleaders Percy Faith and Guy Lombardo also had chart-topping hits in the 1950s — Faith with his 1953 “The Song From Moulin Rouge” and Lombardo with his 1950 “Third Man Theme.”
Congratulations to last week’s first-time music trivia winner, Harvey Berg, who won an album of his choice. He selected a Top Country Hits of the 1940s CD.
This week’s winner
After being born in and living his first 10 years in Devils Lake, N.D., Harvey and his family moved to Stillwater, Minn., where he graduated from high school in 1948.
Then, it was off to the Indiana Institute of Technology for Harvey, where at one of the school’s weekly dances, he met Loretta, also an avid dancer. It must have been love at first dance, as the two dated and danced weekly for the next five months before saying their I-do’s two months after Harvey graduated.
Following a two-year enlistment in the Army, Harvey and Loretta moved to St. Paul, Minn., where Harvey began a 34-year career with 3-M (Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing), retiring in 1990. Later that year, the couple relocated to Payson, where they live today.
Harvey’s interests include traveling (they have visited 47 of our 50 states) and being a member of Tonto Rim Sports Club. His favorite genres of music are big band and classic country and he lists Glenn Miller, Ray Anthony and Pete Fountain as his favorite artists.
A final note
New pictures that I’ve added to my Web site are from last week’s Easter Party at the Payson Care Center. Dressed in homemade bunny outfits, the center’s activity department did a “wascally wabbit” of a job of entertaining the center’s residents, showing off their moves to the “Bunny Hop” and other fun line dances.
Please stop by and say hello at the Kids Fishing Festival.
DJ Craig, (928) 468-1482
Web site: www.djcraiginpayson.com