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Old 07-28-2010, 07:15 PM
Jim Casada Jim Casada is offline
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donwinn--You are right in your findings on The Earth Is Enough. It is possible there were "old men," but there weren't trout in the way Harry describes them. I have two good friends (fellow writers in Arkansas) who worked for that state's wildlife magazine for better than twenty years. Both assure me there are no wild trout in small streams the way Harry describes them. Just monstrous tailwater trout.
It is interesting that he chose the Ozarks as the setting for his first book and the Smokies for the second, because in terms of his first love there is no question it was the Smokies. He told me as much on more than one occasion.

That consideration does give at least a bit of credence for there being figures representing his grandfather, his uncle, and Elias Wonder, although the overriding thrust of the book has to be fictional. I'm pretty sure Harry was more or less estranged from his father (who was a military man), and that may explain coming up with substitute father figures in the book.

It's difficult to get inside Harry's mind now, and let me assure you the same was true when he was alive. We had wonderfully long talks about the Smokies, specific creeks, Horace Kephart, literature of angling, and many other topics. But when things moved in the direction of anything hinting at the personal, Harry immediately got uncomfortable.

Jim Casada
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  #12  
Old 07-29-2010, 09:02 AM
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donwinn donwinn is offline
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Jim,

Based on my limited research, his grandfather, whose name I will omit out of respect for Harry, did live in Arkansas and survived Harry. So, even his last book contained fictional information about his grandfather as he wrote that he visited the graves of the three men. I just wonder if he did that to protect his identity and privacy. Remember that he suggested being cryptic about things such as locations in that book; hence, the name of the creek that all of us are still trying to find. We would all like to fish Karen's Pool. I have no doubt that Harry fished it many times, at least in his mind. I myself have fished similar pools, perfect pools that the mind has the capacity to invent. I think I will let my mind continue to accept the delusion that the Ole Indian really was and that the earth really is enough.
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  #13  
Old 07-29-2010, 09:48 AM
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Slipstream Slipstream is offline
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Perhaps the thing that should have tipped us off about the Spine of Time being purely fictional was his claim that each time he visited Hazel Creek he was the only fisherman on the river. Now that's something to dream about....
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  #14  
Old 07-29-2010, 12:55 PM
Jim Casada Jim Casada is offline
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Slipstream--Amen to that. I've have sharply curtailed my trips to Hazel Creek in recent years for precisely one reason--too many people. Even when I was visiting it back in the late 1950s and 1960s you always saw fishermen.
Of course the stream is amazing in that it takes a beating and seems to continue to produce. A lot of the outfitters take clients there for overnight stays because it is so easy and the use of Hazel Creek buggies allows luxuries you can't have backpacking. Having said that, I guess I'm part of the problem--this very day I'm working on an article on the stream for a major regional magazine.
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