Lost money, a lost ring & a nearly art of fishing

Friday, July 4th 2008, 2:30 pm
By: News 9

Lost money -

This past week I found yet another angle to cover the forever rising gasoline prices.  I know, how many different ways can you say the price is twice as high as it was just a couple of years ago.   It was just two years back when I did the story about what do all the gas stations do with the "1." (the one dollar - the one followed by the dot) since they can't use them on their price signs anymore.

The other day something actually caught me attention other than the high price; the fact you ‘amount owed' is spinning so fast on the pump now, you can never make it stop on exactly, say, $30.00.  Other than accidental luck, chances are you'll end up on $30.01 or .02.  It's hard to stop it on ‘double zeros' when it's spinning so fast, it looks like it's counting by 4s.

Lost ring -

This week (7/78) I did a story about a lost ring.  But this wasn't just any lost ring.  A 1961 Del City H.S. class ring which it's owner thought was lost forever just months after getting it his senior year.  It's found over 25 years later, but then placed in a jar with other metal detecting collectables.  It's found again by the daughter of the collector.  The she finds me.

I was determined to help her track down the owner.  And the odds were pretty good since his initials were on the inside of the ring.  With the help of the Del City H.S. schools, a few 1961 Del City graduates, and after a dozen or so wrong numbers, we found D.C.W., otherwise known as Danny Claude Whitehead.

"I'll be damned" was about all the student council & honor society member, wrestling & track star and football team captain could say.  You think that ring meant something to him? You betcha.  Four years of incredible high school memories recaptured, all because a young lady from Midwest City, Chris Estabrooks, wanted to make a difference.


Lost Art of Fishing -

I'll be honest.  I didn't have clue what noodling  (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Noodling) was until I read about it online - and after about a dozen co-workers told me I had no business doing it if I ever wanted to use all ten fingers again.  Last week I finally went noodling, barehanded fishing that is, at Lake Thunderbird.

We watched our noodling guides go at it first.  Out came a 25 pound flathead catfish.  That was followed by a smaller bluefish.  They may be smaller, but I quickly learned they carry a much more powerful punch, and bite.  Only the flatheads are keepers during noodling, but you really don't know what your pulling out from underneath that flat rock in shallow waters until you get your hand on it; or it gets it's teeth into you. 

Case in point, after a failing to capture a flathead which I had my hand on at one point, we moved to the next rock of choice, cornered the fish in it's once sacred little home.  As instructed, I put my entire arm inside the fish-formed tunnel.  Before I could see or feel anything, IT decided to reach out to me instead.  Bluefish hate arms being stuck inside their houses without an invitation.  They let you know that by biting down as hard as they can.  I didn't lose any digits, but I did lose a little skin off my right hand and some nerve to boot. 

But how awesome is it that, even though the fishing pole was invented during the ancient times in Egypt, China, Greece and Rome, that the art of noodling is stll around?  Too bad everyone's fingers aren't because of it.