My dad is an Original. He is brilliant (has a Mensa IQ); has lived all over the world; is a Vietnam vet; worked at Area 51; worked at Las Vegas Casino’s in the 50’s (when it was just starting to get popular) and met multiple 1950’s stars; spent 20 years designing and creating electrical transformers for the Limerick Nuclear Reactor; and renovated the now deceased King Khalid of Saudi Arabia’s guest palace. He has met multiple members of Royalty; made Yassir Arafat really mad; met multiple VIP’s; worked for billionaire Mr Keating; and is a gifted storyteller with details that just amaze me every time I hear his stories. I have heard his stories all my life, and I never get tired of them! Storytelling is part of his family culture; my grandpa was also a “mesmerizing” storyteller.
My dad is also a “semi-professional” fly fisherman. We took a vacation to Yellowstone together one year, and his fishing guide told him of the BIG ONE that had been spotted for years in a certain section of the river, but never caught. Of course my dad catches it on his first day out. His guide almost fainted with astonishment. But to the guide’s greater astonishment, he returns it to the river.
The guide said, “Why didn’t you keep it?”
My dad replied, “I have nothing to prove to anyone, I’ve been fishing for 50 years, and that fish has survived despite constant attempts to catch him, he deserves to live.”
The following day we were driving by the fishing guide center and it was PACKED with fisherman frantically gearing up. My dad went in and was hailed like a hero. The fishermen were going out to get that fish or die in the attempt. He was offered a job and was told his story had spread out all along Yellowstone and was giving their outfit a huge advertisement. Only my dad would catch The Big One and walk away from it!
This poem takes his nickname “Babbling Brook” (babbling for his stories, Brook for his surname and both as a nod to his fly fishing) and I try to capture him in a short but fun poem. Note: the phrase “moffe fluz” is “no money” in Arabic, a private joke in my family.
Take a look there’s babbling Brook!
A man unique, few can compare
His mind, sharp as a fishing hook,
with stories large with flair.
He speaks with the confidence of a sage;
a Shakespearean comedian and bard.
Knowing the story on the next page
he slyly moves the details around….
What a Card!
A fly fisherman of yore, catching the “big ‘un”.
Each story as large as the fishes caught.
But they are so full of fishin’ fun
that swallowing it whole is easily bought.
He fishes with flies, luring them with honey
sweet and sticky as the stories told.
But when asked for money
“moffe fluz” never runs cold!
There is an oral tradition we Brook’s inherit:
To tell a Tale shows our true merit.
And my dad’s the best “babbler” in the bunch!