January 2003


Dear e-Fisherfolk,

Happy New Year! 2003 came in quietly around here and that was nice. I hope it’s not like a March thing, in like a lamb and out like a lion and all that. I know it wasn’t so quiet everywhere, but I’m still hoping all these troubles will work themselves out.

This is Keith writing to you as my partner, Ezra, is out in California right now getting an upgrade on his Xytar recording module and learning how to use it better. I hope everyone had a nice holiday season. I got sick somewhere around Thanksgiving and never really shook it enough to write a family letter or even get out cards this year. The Idlets sent out a very nice Holiday letter. So I’ll just take this opportunity in Ezra’s absence to send out my very own.

The first thing to do in a Holiday letter is to take a household census. We are holding steady at an even dozen cats. They range from Matty (short for Maternity, which tells you what she was good at before we caught her and put an end to all that) who lived here before we bought the house 10 years ago, to Nicodemus, a large gargoyle-shaped “Buick Manx” that has been orbiting the property lately and has actually been touched by me twice. Yes, old Chicken Joe is still around and he’s getting to be a real kitty candidate for Weight Watchers. My good dog Abby would like to let you know that all these cats are totally worthless and you should pet her instead.

My wife, Beth, is back working with 4th Grade kids at West Fork Elementary. My son, Kevin, is rocking along in his second year at the University of Arkansas. He plays bass occasionally with Emily Kaitz and one of my highlights of last year was when they, along with “Drifty Texarkana” and Fred Bogert, opened for Trout at a show in Plano, Texas. We seem to have acquired a pseudo daughter around here as Sarah Taylor, a 3rd year University of Arkansas student, has come to live with us. Board games have become popular with the family and my Championship Boggle Title has been severely challenged lately.

2002 was a banner year for Trout. We played many of great places (thank you, Dick Renko!) and met a lot of great people. I suppose the highlight of the year happened early on with our 1st Grammy nomination. That was quite an honor and a good time to boot. I’m not meaning to slight anybody or any place, but my personal Trout highlight of the year was playing in Cooperstown, NY and getting a private tour of the Baseball Hall of Fame. My boyhood hero, Nellie Fox, was finally inducted in 1997 and it was inspiring to visit his plaque.

My main New Years’ resolution is kind of backwards this year. I just want to NOT gain the weight I lost last year. It was a rough holiday season as I heard the phrase “You look so great, have some fudge” many times. Generally looking out at the new year, I try and imagine how to approach it. My father’s favorite fortune cookie message keeps coming to mind. “Do what you can.” It’s as good advice as I can think of.

Besh fishes,

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