Posted by Stan Harrington
Considering it has been over two weeks since my last posting, I thought perhaps it was time to do a little refreshing. Life has been hectic in making the transition from a business owner to a non-business owner, however the transitional period will come to a close tomorrow with it being our last day that we are open to the public. Then it will take two days to complete the pack out and by Wednesday, onto better things like the HITW.
Terry has been a trooper, although she did miss a lot of work during her "vacation" to the city, but that trip was a priority and I made do working the doubles and packing. Upon her return, those videos that we had stored upstairs is at the video store are now safely stuck away in an undisclosed location. We had used fifty pound "wetlock" fish boxes to store those videos in when we closed down the Homer store. We had 140 of those boxes, Terry successfully proved that a 50 pound fish box will hold more than 50 pounds when VHS tapes are packed carefully, she was able to increase the weight to a minimum of 70 pounds and I know of a few that she was able to double the weight. She and I, in two days time successfully carried all of those boxes downstairs, loaded them into the back of my truck and transported them to their storage location. The storage area is a 5'X10', once again if you do the math, it is almost impossible to store 140, 50 pound fish boxes in a 50 square foot room - wrong, all you have to do is stack them twelve high! Fortunately, the room had a 14 foot pitched ceiling and the boxes are fourteen inches high. Getting the top five boxes was the difficult part. If you think I am kidding, photos will follow when I have the time! Monday and Tuesday, we pack up the next 140 fish boxes from the Anchor Point store and make the trips to a second undisclosed location and attempt the feat again in an identical room. I hate videos!!!!
How busy am I, on Friday morning at 0900 we were at the storage facility unloading the truck from the previous evening load. At 1030, rushed home and had a much need quickie haircut. Back to the video store by 1115 and started hauling videos, interrupted at 1415 by a lady that wanted to purchase some DVD's and ended up purchasing $1,000 worth of movie (won't have those 100 DVD's to pack) . At 1515, rushed home to prepare an agenda and make up the forms for the 13th Annual Calcutta King Salmon Tournament Banquet and Auction. Grab a quick shower, dressed up in a tuxedo and out the door to check the set up on the banquet room just as Terry came in from the video store. Upon arriving at the banquet room at 1715 was surprised to find that half the room was already filled with anxious fishermen and bidders. By 1800 there was standing room only, while they all ate their dinner, Terry and Patty were kept busy registering boats and bidders, while I worked the room greeting those about to be relieved of their cash receipts while at the same time consuming a couple of my favorite alcoholic beverages. At 1910, I opened the festivities with all of the normal rhetoric, tournament rules, joke, weather report, joke, marine forecast, joke, tidal data, joke - oh, I forgot to introduce my two assistants so my agenda did have a few minor flaws but all tasks were completed, just not in a normal sequence. Started the auction at 1940 with 37 boats to auction off and a big pile of miscellaneous donations to raise funds for the Sportsman Association. The banquet had served 65 meals with one meal left over so I requested that it be reserved for my two assistants since they had not eaten prior to the auction. Completed the auction at 2245, by 2330 my professional auction clerks had successfully balanced the books and accounted for the cash, raising over ten thousand dollars. We all retreated to the lounge to sit down and have a beverage and split the one remaining meal three ways. My first real food in 24 hours - if splitting 1/4 of a chicken three ways can be considered a meal. After visiting and rehashing the evening, arrived back at the home office at 0045. Commenced preparing the financial reports for the Sportsman Association, documenting the cash, checks and credit cards as well as computing the percentile splits for the prize money for the largest fish and the bidder that bought the boat which landed the largest fish as well as the cut for the association. Completed the four page report at 0330. Jumped into the recliner, set the alarm clock for 0415 and took a 45 minute nap before I was rudely interrupted by the beeping sound. Made a quick pot of coffee, grabbed a "to go cup" and out the door, saved time by not having to dress. Arrived at the beach launch site at 0435 to check on the weather status, mirror flat and boats lined up six deep. After visiting with some of the fishermen that I had not seen all winter, returned to the Anchor Angler awaiting for the first King Salmon to arrive to weigh it in. At 0530, I commenced looking for the "official digital scales", not in the tackle shop! Now where did the "Moose" store them. Checked the warehouse, all four rooms, no scales in site! At 0630, I am still looking for the scales, the tournament has started! One more check in the tackle shop, searched all the boxes, nothing and out of desperation, I opened up a two drawer file cabinet. The "scales" neatly stowed away - but who would have ever guessed they would be in a file cabinet filed under the letter "C"! Test the scales, don't work! Batteries are dead, so I patiently wait until 0800 when the ARI store opens up so I can purchase four new batteries, hoping no one would bring in an early fish. At 0800, I was the first in line for batteries and a cup of coffee. Returned to the AA to install the batteries, scales work fine and it is only 0815 but in my haste, I dropped my coffee. Back to the inn for a second cup of coffee in my "tommy tippy cup". At 0845, I begin removing the "winter shutters" from the AA just in time to see Terry walking the beach road doing the annual "clean up day". After being interrupted several times by visitors, I completed by task of removing the shutters by 1215. Still no fish to weigh in! Commenced other "spring clean up" chores around the AA. First King Salmon to weigh in at 1400, at 14.6 pounds! Continued making at an attempt to do chores between visitors, next string of fish that came into weigh was at 1600, largest fish worked up to 26.3 pounds! Two clean up ladies stop by the store to pick up some trash bags that had been deposited at my driveway and asked if I had anything to eat. Replying I had not, they volunteered to go get me some lunch, I ordered a cheeseburger, fries and chocolate malt and gave them a twenty dollar bill. They returned at 1640 with my lunch and a five dollar bill in change - a $15.00 cheeseburger and malt but well worth the money! Just a hour to go for the tournament to end, another fish comes in to be weighed in 28.1 pounds, spawner female. Tournament ends at 1800, but the scales remain open until 1930. More fish arrive to weigh in, but all of them less than the 28.1 pound leader. Anticipating fishermen arrive to see who will win the tournament, lots of great visiting. Representatives arrive from the Chamber of Commerce and Sports Association to review the financial reports and cut checks for the winners of the tournaments. At 1930, I declared the scales closed and made the presentation of checks to the winners for the largest fish, and the high bidder walking away with over $4,000 for a $175.00 investment. At 1945, the last of the visitors depart, I lock everything down and head for my truck, arriving at home in two minutes to find "Dutch" and "Goldie" patiently waiting my return so we could all go out and play ball. Total sleep since Friday morning: forty five minutes. Total food consumed: 1/3 of a 1/4 of a chicken, a spoon full of spuds and two cauliflower lumps, one cheeseburger, fries, and one chocolate malt. Now asked me again why I have not been blogging? Tomorrow is a new day and back to the video store - it will all be over soon!
- Stan Harrington
- Stan grew up fishing the rivers and marine waters of Cook Inlet since the 1950's. Retired from the U.S. Navy in 1983. Stan and his family owned and operated Anchor Angler Tackle Shop on Anchor River for twenty-two years. He was the host of the popular daily radio program, "Kenai Peninsula Sport Fishing Report" on radio stations KGTL, KPEN, and K-Wave for fifteen years. Stan retired from business in 2007 and continues to live in Anchor Point, Alaska.
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