Stripah Love

by Stephen Hunter Morris
This second edition of Stripah is bettah.
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Stephen Morris is New England's answer to Carl Hiaasen and Jimmy Buffett, and this is his latest work. The reviews are in -- all 21 of them -- and agree: this is Stephen's best yet. Here, for your reading enjoyment, are a few more of the best reviews, and short extracts from the book chosen by the author.
Stripahs Cross Political Boundaries

David Zincavage of San Carlos, California is known to subscribers of the Yale Class of 1970 listserv as an articulate conservative with an acerbic sense of humor. He mentioned on one of his posts that he was also an angler, so I sent him STRIPAH. He responded by buying several copies that he sent to influential friends and giving me all kinds of helpful suggestions. He even tracked down my previous books and read them. I've never met David, but if I could find a hundred readers like him, I could rule the world. Here's his five-star on Amazon review.

-- SM

Stripah Love

by Stephen Hunter Morris
Sixty Minutes of Fame

Artie invited Elaine and about fifty friends to his house in Brentwood to watch Sixty Minutes. It was very early in the My Mother, My Lover controversy, back in the days when Artie thought damage control was still an option. Elaine had advised him to take the high road and not to respond to the critical attacks. As a result of his silence, however, everyone wanted to interview him.

When Sixty Minutes called to make their pitch, Mike Wallace, personally, told him he thought media people were rushing to judgement without even seeing the film. The press, in true sheep tradition, were focusing on the reactions to the movie, rather than the content of the film. No surprise there. Artie, in Wallace's opinion, had played the situation just right in refusing interviews. He was reminded of when Robert Bly's book Iron John was published. There was an initial hue and roar about it being the "bible of the men's movement" but Bly let the critics bluster themselves out then came out with a defense that had impeccable credibility. The academic community stampeded onto his bandwagon, and now the book is universally acknowledged as a classic work of scholarship.

"Ex-act-ly!" said Artie, thumping his hand on the desk. He immediately agreed to the interview, even though standard operating procedure was to let Elaine make the call on interviews. He explained to her that he had acted impetuously because FINALLY someone in the media was willing to look beneath the surface. Say what you will about ol' Mike Wallace, but at least he had been around long enough to recognize a media witch-hunt when he saw one. Plus, he had the clout and the cojones to be able to take the contrary stand. Let the critics peck away. The counterpunch was on its way, and it would be a knockout.

A Damn Fine Read

John Quinney is a native New Zealander who has spent a lifetime in support of environmental causes. Currently the head of the Energy Co-op of Vermont, he was at one time the executive director of the legendary New Alchemy Institute. In addition to his achievements on behalf of the environment, he's a helluva nice guy.

-- SM

Stripah Love

by Stephen Hunter Morris
Liam, Meet the Garden Bitch

Liam's first job is to tune the spinet piano in the cottage living room. It's a job he thoroughly enjoys, as it brings back memories of staying at Indian Mound as a boy. Everyone in the family played at least a little piano. Maybe that's where his impetus to be a musician came from. It isn't a hard job, but the cottage is stuffy, so he works up a light sweat and removes his shirt. He goes outside to take a break, lighting a cigarette and wandering over to the Shea's perennial garden that borders their property. He is examining the new growth on a plant when she surprises him.

"Hey, get away from that Nicotiana."

Stripah Love

by Stephen Hunter Morris
Sandy Beach's Fishing Forecast for June

The spring brings some of the strongest tides and some of the best fishing. If you are a newcomer to fly fishing, you will do well to spend some time thinking about, and watching, the tides.

There is no visible signal, no ringing of the bell to the changing of the tides, but the fish know when it happens and whet their appetites accordingly. On the high tide, this works to the advantage of the bait fisherman, the chunkers, who throw out a chunk of mackerel or pogie on a hook and hope for the best.

The changing of the low tide, however, belongs to the fly fisherman. If you have a chance, observe the tide change before you actually fish it. Look for fish. Sometimes you can see their tails as they dig through the mud, looking for crabs, worms, or clams. Sometimes they bulge the water from underneath. Sometimes they make the surface "nervous." Sometimes it's the baitfish who break the surface, chased by the bigger fish. Cruising fish will create a wake that is visible, especially if it's calm.

A good pair of polarized sunglasses will help, but there are also observation techniques that equal parts training and meditation. Let you eyes go out of focus and be aware of the perifery. Check the current, check the wind. Now wade, one step at a time. Small steps. Get your breathing aligned with your steps. Be aware of what is happening all around you. Gradually, you will become sensitized to anything that disturbs this wholeness. You will notice ghostly shadows as stripers pass over sandy bottoms. What you are looking for is something that doesn't belong in the picture. It's that simple.

Is it a fish or is it a dream? The only way to know for sure is to cast your fly.

From Think Like a Fish by Sandy Beach

Stripah Love

by Stephen Hunter Morris
Cuzzin's Clam Bake

Dig a pit, two feet wide, eight feet long and two feet deep. Build a big motherfucking fire in it, preferably using driftwood. As the fire is burning down, line the fire pit with beach rocks. The best kind are round smooth ones, but beggars can't be choosers. Use what you got.

As the fire dies to coals, rake them to the side. Cover the rocks with a thick layer of wet rockweed seaweed. Rockweed is best because it contains tiny sacs of salt water that burst during the cooking, releasing more moisture for the steam. You will need a lot, a pick-up load or two 55 gallon drums. Layer your food in reverse order of eating. Put lobsters at the bottom, followed by shellfish, Joe's 21 pound striped bass (stuffed with onions, mint, garlic, and whatever else you want), corn, potatos, onions, eggs, and spicy sausage. My personal favorite is linguica.

Add a little more seaweed, cover with a heavy canvas tarp, and cover with sand. Let it cook for two hours. When you get ready to remove the tarp, make sure that all the other meal logistics have been taken care of -- paper plates, melted butter, utensils, trash bags, ice, keg tapped -- because you don't want to be interrupted once the eating begins.


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