Kickass, the doorstop dog, indulges the keeper yet again in sorting through Labor Day memories of how the keeper’s old fishing pal John Lawton routinely put an early end to magical Wolf River trout weekends by returning to Madison’s Labor Temple to give a holiday speech to his labor clients.
The memories of those weekends at John’s cabin, just below the Wolf’s Slough Gundy Rapids, loom as large as anything in the keeper’s memory bank; and unbeknownst to him at the time, they spawned new thought processes that served him well in his fumble through life.
John was not just an incredibly fun fishing and hunting companion for many years, he also became a pseudo father who cemented liberal credentials in place and instilled a need to doubt and question everything from god to the GOP.
As Gaylord Nelson’s law partner before Gaylord went political, John loved to pontificate on the differences between Republicans and Democrats. And he did this best with a glass of Korbel in hand, at the Wolf cabin or around the cluttered table at his Westfield haunted house; and having been there–hearing the laughter and the hiss of the gas lantern as the day’s events were loudly reviewed, that all comes cascading back on this Labor Day to render the keeper more or less a lost cause.