(From the May 30, 2011, issue of Rubber & Plastics News)
AKRON—I hate golf. If you know me, that comes as no surprise.
On second thought, that's a little harsh. I don't hate anyone or anything I personally know, since in my mind that would require a proactive approach to dealing with the person or entity. I've got more important things to do. You won't see me tearing up a fairway with a dirt bike anytime soon.
No, let's just say I'm not a fan of the game. I have my own expensive hobbies, none of which are labeled with euphe-misms like “customer golf,” an excuse once used extensively in this business for people to duck out of work at every chance while others slaved away. That longtime characteristic of the rubber industry, doing “business” on the golf course, seems mostly to have retired with the “old timers.” Who I'm sure you'll find golfing today.
I do like fishing, though. Actually I probably like fishes more than fishing these days, but that happens when you become an avid scuba diver. Make that, obsessed scuba diver.
What brings this to mind is what I always have considered one of the coolest fundraisers in the rubber industry—the West Michigan Rubber Group salmon fishing outing.
For the 33rd consecutive year, hearty rubber industry fisherman on June 2 will sail out of the harbor at Grand Haven, Mich., to catch the wily salmon and trout.
It's my understanding people actually do catch fish on this trip. They even EAT them. Most of my fishing is in nearby Lake Erie or inland lakes. Not a lot of salmon, no trout, but walleyes, perch and white bass. And gobies, ugly little fish that got into the lake years ago that I see underwater on all the wrecks, eating the zebra mussels which strain the toxins out of the water. Then the walleyes eat the gobies, and we eat the walleyes. But only once a month, the state advises us. Mmmmmà.toxins.
As my kids will tell you, fishing with me involves long, quiet hours of contemplation on the meaning of life.
“Dad, how come we never catch anything?” Blame my father, who with his brother virtually was death on perch, but in his later years was more of a “contemplator.” I'm just the next generation of that type of fisherman.
The WMRG folks don't just ponder the meaning of life, nor just catch fish for the fun of it. This is a fundraiser, and the proceeds go to pay for scholarships, including for students in the Ferris State University Rubber Technology Program.
So if you are available June 2, visit the group's website at www.westmichiganrubbergroup.org to get the details and to sign up. Or, if time's running short, call Mike Morrow at 517-339-0812.
Sad to say, I won't be there: So much work, so little time.
Oh, and they also are having a golf outing, at the Grand Haven Golf Club, for those prone to sea sickness or obsessed with hitting that little white ball.
Ah, an obsession: Yes, now that I can understand.
Noga is the editor of Rubber & Plastics News.