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Skylake

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Skylake

I think I learned how to swim before I learned how to walk. My family and I moved to Miami, Florida from Long Island, New York when I had just turned 4 years old. According to my mother, it was just too cold for her up north. We moved into a comfortable home, the same house we now live in fifteen years later. The house is on a lake, along with about sixty-five other homes. My brothers say that when we first moved in, I used to go down to the lake and just sit and stare at it for hours on end.

My first girlfriend lived on my lake. Her name was Anat. I would take my paddleboat over to her house and then go around the lake with her for hours. It was easier to walk to her house, but more impressive to swing by on a boat. I had just turned twelve, and spent the summer with her on the lake. Our relationship came to an abrupt stop after six weeks. Apparently I was not spending enough time with her, and too much time with the fish.

A year after we moved in, my father's best friends, Joe Haimson and his wife Bernice, came to visit us for a week or two. The two of them were pretty devoted fishermen. They went out and bought a couple of basic fishing rods and reels and taught my brothers and I how to fish. My brothers were not nearly as enchanted by fishing as I was. Their interest in it fizzled out shortly thereafter. Mine had just begun. I remember when I was about five or six. sitting at my dock, usually alone, putting little breadballs about the size of a marble on the hook, making short casts, and catching one bluegill after another. They weren't big fish, maybe a quarter to a half a pound, at the most. Not a real anglers trophy, but to me they were the most mesmerizing things I had ever seen, each one more beautiful than the next. On Friday evenings, when I was about nine or ten, I used to sit on my dock with my grandfather, Max, before Sabbath dinner. He used to love it when I pulled those things out of the water.
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