by Jerry Vovcsko
Hardwater anglers on the Cape had just gotten used to having sufficient ice surface to work with and here we go again with temperatures spiking all over the place, a week's worth of rain melting that ice away and now a blizzard supposedly heading our way early next week. Anybody know what to do with the two feet of new snow we're supposed to get?
Sad news this past week with the death of Bill Bauknecht, former long-time owner of Green Pond Tackle Shop in East Falmouth. Below are a few excerpts from his obituary published in several local newspapers:
William E. "Bill" Bauknecht, 77, of East Falmouth, passed away at home on Saturday, Jan. 10, 2015 after a 19-year battle with multiple myeloma. He was the beloved husband of 56 years to Mary Sue (Johnson) Bauknecht.
Born in Cincinnati, OH, the son of the late Joseph E. and Esther (Wagner) Bauknecht, he was raised with his sister, Jo Ann, on a farm in Milford OH. He graduated from Milford High School in 1955. He enlisted in the U.S. Air Force on Aug. 10, 1955 and was accepted into the security service, where he acquired the highest security clearance. He spent two years with a mobile unit in Alaska. He earned a good conduct medal and was honorably discharged in 1961.
Bill married his high school sweetheart, Mary Sue, in 1958 in Alaska. They moved to Cape Cod in 1963 to help his father run the small business he had purchased from the Costas in 1959 on Green Pond. He managed Green Pond Shellfish until 1967 when he took over the business from his father. He moved his family into the adjacent house on the property in 1971. He changed the name to Green Pond Tackle, Inc., though most people called it "Bauknechts." Through the years, he expanded the business by doubling the marina capacity, adding marine products and services, and wholesaling the famous Green Pond stuffed quahogs to many local restaurants, manufacturing as many as 200,000 a year. During this time, he served as Falmouth's Assistant Harbormaster, as well as Harbormaster of Green Pond. He served as director and vice president of the Falmouth Chamber of Commerce and was the director of Falmouth Youth Hockey.
He was an avid fisherman, boater and golfer, however, martial arts was his biggest interest. He began his Karate training in 1974 as one of Arthur Rabesa's first students at the Falmouth Uechi-Ryu Karate School. He performed at such a high caliber that after a few years, he was placed in the New England test for his black belt promotion, which he achieved. He continued his training over the next 40 years, being promoted to higher ranks. He often taught many of the adult and children's classes at the dojo. He achieved the master rank of 8th degree in 2012. He was well-known in the martial arts world for his dedication and loyalty to Uechi-Ryu Karate and credited his training for helping him battle multiple myeloma, an incurable blood and bone cancer he was diagnosed with in 1996.
Initially facing the possibility of having only 9 to 18 months to live, Bill underwent an experimental stem cell transplant and was given a life expectancy of three years. He survived for almost 19. During this time, he established a website for those diagnosed with multiple myeloma that offered advice and counsel. His doctors also provided his contact information to newly diagnosed patients. He received emails and phone calls from all over the world and provided hope and guidance to complete strangers. He was featured in a multiple myeloma survivors calendar and is one of the longest known survivors of this disease.
Bill was a heckuva good fisherman and his dad built me a fiberglass rod back in the 70s that I still use to this day. Rest in peace, Bill…you touched the lives of a lot of local anglers.
One of the attractions of fishing in the salt water is the unknown nature of what eventually comes out of the water anytime an angler hooks up. Like the fishermen in Victoria, Australia, who didn't know what to think when they reeled in a prehistoric-looking creature from the water. They noticed its head and body looked like it belonged to an eel, but the tail looked like a shark's. They had caught a very rare frilled shark, sometimes referred to as the "living fossil." The creature's ancestry goes back roughly 80 million years and is rarely sighted.
The creature was described as looking prehistoric, like something from another time that just happens to have 300 teeth over 25 rows, so that once you're in that mouth, you're not coming out.
The New England Patriots are headed to Arizona for the Super Bowl but all fans seem to be talking about is "DeflateGate", the name the media slapped on the matter of the less-than-official air pressure the footballs supplied by the Patriots turned out to contain after a complaint by the Indianapolis Colts to NFL officials. Patriots' fans for the most part dismiss the allegations of cheating – fans of other teams are somewhat less charitable. Come Feb 1st, aka, Super Bowl Sunday, we'll see how it all plays out as the NFL will be supervising the handling of the game balls. Now if somebody can just figure out a way to keep Seattle running back Marshawn Lynch's hands off the post-touchdown balls, all will be well in Arizona.