Goodbye to a Minnesota fishing legend
Long before I wrote stories and such for a living, I took a class in high school called “Independent Study.” It was great because there really was no structure – the only thing expected was a lengthy paper at the end – so I had what amounted to an hour or two of free time each day.
This wasn’t long after I’d discovered that bass fishing really was my thing, and at the time, Ted Capra – who died Wednesday of heart failure at age 80 – was as big a name as there was in the bass-fishing world. I’d read all sorts of books and magazine articles about bass as I researched my paper, but as far as I was concerned, Ted was the real authority on all things bass.
I put off calling Capra’s Sporting Goods – the shop Ted and his family owned and operated – for weeks, afraid of rejection, I suppose. When I finally made the call, explained what I was doing, and asked for Ted, the person on the other end of the line told me he was in Florida and wouldn’t be back until the following week. Talk about deflating. But the next few days came and went, and soon I was on the phone again, asking for Ted.
“Just a minute,” the person who answered said.
At that moment, I thought my nerves might get the best of me. Soon, though, Ted was on the line, and when I told him what I was working on, he said he’d be more than happy to help. I can’t recall exactly how long we spoke, but I do know he answered all my questions and I never felt rushed. If I recall correctly, a few of my questions were more about helping me catch more fish and less about helping me write the paper.
I wish I still had a copy of that paper, but it’s long gone. Still, the memory of someone who’s a legend in my mind taking the time to chat is something I’ll never forget.
Rest in peace, Ted.