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Saturday, Apr. 30, 2016

'Hey, Dad, I caught a fish!'

Monday, September 19, 2005

Frank Phillips photo

Gabriel Draper with his catch.

Nearly 100 children with their parents or grandparents spent Saturday morning fishing at Craig Park in Brazil. It was the parks department's first Fishing Fun Day, a program revived from the fishing derbies the city sponsored at Forest Park in the 1940s.

Gabriel Draper, age 4, stood near the registration booth. He squeezed the fish on his line and asked, "Hey, Mom, why isn't he moving?"

"He's ready to go back in the lake," Mom said to him and then to another adult, she said, "I'm not going to clean fish!"

Gabriel's parents, Melissa and William Draper were glad to accompany their son to the activity.

"I'm having fun," Gabriel told The Brazil Times. "Now I want to swing and slide."

"It's a good thing for people to get together," Melissa said.

Gabriel had caught four fish before 9 a.m.

Levi Asher, age 7, of Brownsburg had caught three fish before 9 a.m. He was at the park with his grandfather, Fred Asher, of Hollandsburg.

Levi was pretty quiet, but Grandpa said, "We really like it," when asked what he thought of the Fishing Fun Day. "We plan to return. I take the kids fishing a lot."

There were 57 children registered to fish , 89 people participating, counting adults.

"I'm just thrilled to death," said Parks Board President Ruth Ann Jeffries. " I woke up in the night, afraid no one would show up.

"Everyone is having a great time and the community has been very supportive."

Wilmadean Baker, 80, remembers the old fishing derbies at Forest Park.

"My children looked forward to them," she said. One of those children is now in her 60s.

She felt the program is educational, teaching patience among other virtues.

Brad Deal has been on the parks board for three years. He filled the late Kenny Bass's term and was reappointed. Deal was enthusaiastic about the program and the setting.

"This has been wonderful," he said. "This area hasn't even been developed to its potential."

Plans have been made to develop a skateboard park within Craig Park and an advisory board and fund has been established for donations.

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