By Mickey Howley
Paul Johnson is one of those fanatics you see this time of year. You’ll see him and his like on the road, that 100-yard stare in their eyes as they are driving their long rigs down the road. They may look dangerous, unkempt, and anti-social, but Paul and his comrades are on a mission. A mission to reconnoiter hidden terrain, attack without mercy, capture by deception, and yes—even kill.
We know his type here in the Valley—know them all too well. Maniacs. Crappie fishermen (and women). And they’re back. Again this year. Fishing for the tasty green scrappers like it is an unrelenting madness. And it is just not people from around the state like Paul, but our own local hooked on crappies types like Tommy Hill, Joe Newman, Mark McGavock—I could go on and on with this list. Oh sure, other places have their own breed of nuts—folks who live and breathe tarpon or snook or bass or specks. But we’re crappie and we know it.
So the World’s Largest Crappie Festival is back in town. Saturday May 4th. That means fish, fishing, boats, and all things crappie. Put it on your calendar.
New for this year at the Crappie Fest is a Run/Walk sponsored by Borg Warner. I can already hear the puns about a crappie run, but pay attention. Borg Warner has an on-going effort to help employees stay fit and they are willing to take that idea into the community as well. The health benefits of serious walking (not just strolling around) or running are well proven. And literally humans were “born to run” –it is one of the things that makes us different, that bi-pedalistic tendency we all have. And so Borg Warner will kick off the Crappie Fest with a timed 5K Run and 2 Mile Walk. Prizes and awards if you win in your age class. Why the mixed metric and standard distance measurements? Well, it’s a big world. Put this event on your calendar, get your shoes on, and get ready for the endorphins to kick in. Check out www.runsign-up.com. It’ll be race 3183.
There is new art this coming Friday evening in the Valley—April 12th. Both Bozarts Galley and Yalo Studio have new shows opening. J Clayton’s will be open, too. J’s on Main is having some new local pottery in and the artist will be there. Come out and meet the artists, see the shows, mingle, and get the art tingle. The forecast is for near perfect weather, so it looks like a great night to be out and about downtown.
Fiddler’s Loft is going on too. If you’re real Valley savvy, you can catch all of this.
A very sad note for the Valley, Stanley Crow died this week. It is hard to say how many lives Stanley affected in such a positive way here as an educator and as a musician, but the number is large. We just pray his creative spirit is in a better place.