ROLL THE DICE
I love reading, more like consuming, Anglers Journal slowly, page by page. It is simply a treasure. “Between Fish” in the Winter 2017 issue [“Tumbling Dice”] about the editor’s family gambling habit resonated with me, as my dad was a compulsive gambler who hid his demons incredibly well until the bill collectors started to show at the front door.
He has passed on, but he did introduce me to fishing as a kid on party boats out of Sheepshead Bay in Brooklyn. It was a perfect pastime for dad and me. I was ever at the rail trying to fool a red or silver hake, but dad ultimately found his way below deck, where a smoky lowstakes poker game was always in play.
The “juice” Bill Sisson spoke about was clearly passed on to me, as well, and it remains in our family DNA to this day, bearing proof that ontogeny really does recapitulate phylogeny. For me, it manifests in fishing — not a bad thing — and for my siblings in other ways but not gambling, thank heavens. But this genetic footprint is certainly tugging at me all the time.
Mark Freedman Jericho, New York
Sisson family gambler, back row, center.