Fish & Feathers & Basketball

<I>RON MALAST photo</I><BR>What a difference Wheaties makes, Colton, Will (7-foot, 3-inches) and Matt, three of my favorite people.

This past Christmas my wife and I spent the holidays with our family in Enumclaw, a town where we had lived for 22 years before we moved to the Peninsula in 1998. During that holiday family time, it was significant, because it is the only time when all three grandsons are at one place, at the same time. The youngest Matt, age 9, is a chameleon in his own right, his talent and love of music are immediately evident, he is an entertainer, pure and simple a talker and charmer. Matt also plays basketball in the park and recreation league. His aspirations are to follow in his 18-year-old brother's footsteps, and play basketball.

Colton, the 10-year old, can be an ornery critter at times but is a real achiever, having passed his hunter safety course by age 10 and is an avid upland bird hunter. He also participates in baseball, basketball and football and is a very good fisherman having already caught his first halibut, salmon, sturgeon, trout and catfish by the age of ten. Colton's best friend is his dad.

Will Foster is a grandson by marriage on my wife's side and is a hard guy to miss when he walks into a room. He is 7-feet 3-inches tall and weights 210 pounds down from 240 when basketball season started. He stars at White River High School in Buckley. This being his senior year, he is averaging 16.3 points per game and 10 rebounds. Will says, "The hardest thing about being so tall, is gaining weight. I signed a 'Letter of Intent' to play basketball Gonzaga University on a full scholarship, where I will probably be red-shirted the first year." His favorite basketball players are Adam Morrison and J.P. Batista.

Having known Will from the time he was 18-months old, there was a time when I could beat him on the court pretty consistently, then he started growing and growing and growing and I knew it was time to quit. Will grew 2-inches this past year and only God knows what lies ahead for this "gentle giant" gentle that is, until he gets on the court.

Just thought I'd share three of the joys of my life.

Storms batter clammersThe recent series of storms rolling in off the ocean relegated many locals to watching football games in front of warm fires. Without a doubt there will be many clams left for future clam digs in the spring. Some people take it as a personal challenge to brave the elements for the satisfaction of getting "a limit," I joined the guys by the fire.

Nautical TriviaPurser-Paymaster - This comes from the medieval word, "busar," who was the nobleman's keeper of the cash. Hence the word, "disburse," when referring to payments or salaries to the crew.

Ron Malast is owner/operator of the charter boat Big Dipper working out of Ilwaco.

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