Monday, December 12, 2005

NASHVILLE, TN - (Excerpt from Jam Magazine interview
May 2002)

What kind of project would an artist-in-residence at home come up with? How about fishing? This is a fishing story that Bobby Sowell recalls one of the strangest experiences he has ever had.

JM: Being from Tennessee, do you enjoy fishing?
No, not at all! I've never caught a fish. I have never gone fishing but once. Oh I've gone boating any number of times, both in streams and rivers and in the ocean, but I've never caught anything. (at least not a fish) And that really doesn't bother me. I love boats, love the water, I just never saw the attraction of sitting there, holding a rod and reel, and hoping that a fish would come by and mistake some sort of gaudy plastic lure for its lunch. No, I much prefer my fish to come in those little pretty plastic containers at the grocery store.

JM: Now for the rest of the story...
People who do love fishing are very passionate about it. And what could be a more perfect this holiday season than one about fishing. But this is a story about Bobby Sowell, so you know that it won't be exactly what you might expect. Anyway here is a true fishing story unlike you never heard before.

It was the year 1970 and Bobby was at home on military leave in Memphis after a tour of duty in Vietnam. His long time childhood friend Gene Taylor kept bugging Bobby to go fishing out on McKellar Lake. After using every kind of excuse for not wanting to go, and the enticement of plenty of cold beer, Bobby finally agreed to go fishing.

They were out on the lake about an hour. Gene was really getting into the fishing. Bobby being board and drinking the cold beer picked up the binoculars and started checking out the lake from far and near. All of a sudden he spotted something black floating in the water. He told Gene, "let's go check it out!" They pulled alone side of the object to discover that it was a saxophone case. So, Bobby picked the case up, opened it and found a beautiful Alto saxophone. The case was air tight and did not damage the sax. They figured that it was thrown overboard from a Mississippi River boat. It had no markings on it. So, what's the point of this story you ask? Well the only time that Bobby went fishing, he caught a 10 LB saxophone! What a unique fishing story!

Saxophone Update...
Bobby took that sax to Florida with him where he was stationed and began playing it. After a lot of practice, he got to be pretty good at it. He had played the sax (1st chair) in the High School Band. However, after a drunken spree and an argument with his 1st wife, she sold it for $100.00 without Bobby knowing it and that ended his saxophone playing ambitions! She had also chopped up his guitar into tiny pieces and buried it in the backyard. He returned to his first love, the piano (too big to bury). Bobby did get another wife but he never picked up another saxophone or fishing rod.

-Martin Bowers, Jam Magazine


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