Tracy K. Lorenz ...



I don’t know when you’re reading this but I’m writing it on September 11th, one of those days when you remember where you were.

Personally I was in my car driving to work and listening to Howard Stern interview Pam Anderson. At one point Robin Quivers (Howard’s newswoman) broke in and said a plane had flown into the World Trade Center and that’s all she knew. The show went on.

As I was pulling into the parking lot at my office Robin broke in and said a second plane had flown into tower #2, at that point the show took a turn. Howard realized it was an attack and their studio was on the 80th floor of whatever building they were in and discussion turned to if they should bail or not

I left my car and went into the office where word was just starting to spread, we didn’t have any TV’s in the office so my friend and co-worker, Chris McCarl, and I went in search of a place where we could watch events unfold. We worked in downtown Holland and the only place we could find was a bar towards the east end of 8th street.  Chris, the bartender, and myself were the only ones in there, watching as reports came in of other planes going down around the country.

That added a little excitement because two of my brothers, Nick and Chris, were in the air, flying home for the funeral of my Grandmother who’d died on 9-10. They were on a plane and uncontactable, my mom was calling me in panic, and for all we knew the next plane throttling into the Capitol building would contain my sibblings. 

As an aside, they landed my brother’s plane in Dayton, OH, and basically told them “You’re on your own.” Nobody really knew what was going on but my brother Nick was smart enough to make a bee-line for the rental cars where they rented the last car in stock, the smallet car I’d ever seen, I think it was a two door Pontiac Sunbird, and drove the rest of the way to Muskegon.  Two days later they had to drive back to North Carolina in the same car, I can’t imagine that was a comfortable trip.

Anyway, I sat in that bar and watched as hundreds of firefighters ran into those buildings and I remember the sickening feeling when those towers came down and thinking, “Okay, that just took out half the New York City Fire Department, now who’s going to go in to rescue the rescuers?” When the smoke cleared it was obvious that there would be no one left to rescue.

But here’s what’s bothering me: I keep seeing posts on Facebook spouting conspiracy theories on how the whole thing was an inside job, that our own goverment took those buildings down so they’d have a reason to start a war. That is such an insult to the men and women who died on that day, just regular schmucks trying to earn a living, people who went to work with no idea what lay in wait, that the BEST thing that could happen to them was to be killed in the initial impact.

I’ve gotta believe that the purveyors of these conspiciracy theories must not have been watching live eighteen years ago or they wouldn’t be trying to trivialize the events that unfolded. America was attacked by Muslim terorists, period, and all the “Some people did something” crap is a slap in the face of every American who wept on that day, and in my world those insults just aren’t going to ... fly.

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Outside Chance

Hunting opportunities opening up

For many, fall means football and hunting. Early season goose has started and in a few days grouse, rabbit, squirrel and turkey season starts. Small game hunting is a great way to introduce a new hunter to the sport.

For years squirrel season was a way for me to prepare for archery season. I now throw in fall turkey. Fall turkey hunting is a real cool sport and any sex is legal game. Large flocks of turkey are readily spotted in prime feeding areas.

Squirrel and turkey have a few things in common. First, food sources overlap. Both love acorns and corn. Corn knocked down by deer or raccoons become a favorite of turkeys and squirrels. Squirrels will try and hustle up a stalk to get one of their favorite hi- protein foods.

Squirrels love acorns and corn. Now if you can find a place that has both, you’ve located a true honey hole. Squirrels leave plenty of signs. Pawing marks in the dirt and leaves are easily detectable. Calling, stalking and sitting are popular methods used. I like to sit or lean against a tree for fifteen minutes and then move perhaps 30-50 yards.

More for chuckles and grins I enjoy calling squirrels. The Mr. Squirrel call works great and is a distress call. The call is the size of a quarter with a small hole in the center. Two or three hits on this call normally will normally get a squirrel chattering. Another fun call is a call that you smack against your hand that sounds like a barking squirrel.

Fall turkey hunting is a feast or famine situation. Find a feeding area and most likely you will have plenty of birds. Two or three hens with this spring’s brood roam and feed together. Coming off of the roost they make a lot of noise. Fall turkeys are easy and predictable in their movements. They will roost in the same cluster of trees and follow the same route unless weather or the food source dries up.

It’s pretty hard to stalk up on a flock of turkeys. Instead, walk slowly, listen, and if a flock is spotted, run at them as fast as you can trying to bust the flock up into numerous small flocks. The better you bust the flock up the easier it will be to call in a bird. Try making the kee- kee sound after busting a flock.

For pure excitement try grouse hunting. Having a bird or two flush near you with their wings flapping gets the heart pumping. With full foliage actually getting a shot off can be tough. A 1to 4 year old clear cut a good pick. A good bird dog comes in handy but without a dog you still have good options.

Without a dog I would search out water and wild grapes or fruit. Small creeks or streams with a few open pockets are my favorite. Walk slowly and stop frequently. Areas with small puddles or moist soil are worth hitting twice. When you flush a bird remember the spot of the flush and the direction the bird took. You can hit both again later in the day. The DNR on their web site has perhaps a dozen designated grouse managed areas in the state and they provide some nice general information on grouse hunting.

Rabbit season also starts but most hunters get serious about bunnies after gun deer season ends. Rabbits like brush, small saplings, edges, brush piles and old homesteads. We will cover rabbit hunting in more detail a after a good frost or two. In the meantime, enjoy the early hunting seasons.