Hanging out at the service yard

Just bought this little pocket camera thing, like $79 bucks on Amazon, supposed to have 14 Gizallion Mega Picture taking things inside, so I thought I would take it out for a test shoot.

Headed to the service yard to spend the first day of practice for the Sunshine Showdown on the Harris Chain of Lakes.

Thought I would sit with the service crew and wait to see who pulled in.

First up ... Dennis Tietje ... second-year pro dude. Going to do a story with him soon looking back on his first year in the bigs. So as we're talking he walks around to the back of his boat and shows me what's left of his tie-down straps.

"Dude, what gives."

"db, my hunting partner, Pete, got so mad at me for not taking him hunting that he got all fussed up, chewed one strap clear through, had this one hanging in his mouth when I came outside."

I'm thinking, this guy he hunts with must be one weird dude with some anger, and dental issues when he says, "He's a great dog, great hunting dog."

Seems Pete is a yellow lab ... with some anger and dental issues.

Temp has dropped 2 or 3 hundred degrees since getting here, sun has almost set, just as Fred "Boom Boom" Roumbanis and his wife, Julie, and son, Jackson, pull into the lot. Julie leans out of the truck cab window and says ...

 "db, I'm pregnant, did you hear?"

I did, their second child is due around October 5. Talked to Fred, who is just getting a feel for his new boat, "just picked it up last Monday, up until today I've only had about an hour in it ... total."

And just as I'm leaving Brent "Brody" Broderick pulls in and stops, yelling out the window, "Dude!" Of which I as a professional reply, "Dude!!"

Brody jumps out of the truck and starts saying, "Man I almost got all burned up."

I say nothing, I know Brody, when he gets like this you just let him roll.

"Man, I was on I-95 South, just south of St. Augustine when all these cops speed by and shut down the whole highway, man. I got evacuated off I-95 because of the fire dude. I was like the fourth truck in line and I could feel the heat of the fire and I could see the flames like 100-feet high in front of us.

 "So the State Troopers call some dudes and they come and cut right through the guard rails, cut them right in half, and then they cut the poles that hold the guard rails up and the cops took out the floor mats from their cars and covered the stumps and had us turn around and escape.

"I was driving and I saw these huge helicopters and they were carrying these huge buckets of water to dose the fire and as I'm driving some of the drops from the buckets fell down and hit right on my windshield, splash. It was so cool, db."

Stuff ya hear when you are just kind of hanging out.


Don Barone is an award-winning outdoors writer and a member of the New England Outdoor Writers Association and the Outdoor Writers Guild of the U.K. You can reach db at www.donbaroneoutdoors.com.

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