août 28, 2009
Yesterday we held a very special shorelunch in memory of incomparable friend, a loving father, exceptional steward and devoted ambassador of Aikens Lake Wilderness Lodge. Having done numerous trips spanning 5 over decades, the late Tom Greteman was truly one of Aikens' greats! Always smiling and jovial, this quick witted man had plenty of limericks to keep his audiences grinning and anxiously awaiting the next one-to-one-hundred liner. Our shorelunch site in the Back Bay was constructed at his request. On many occasions Tom would be spotted trolling incessantly up and down the magical bay in constant pursuit of 'Ol Walter. A Johnson Silver minnow tipped with a fresh split-tailed Pork Rind chugging along slowly was his remedy for any of life's woes. Not wanting to cross the open lake only to return in the afternoon, the denim overall clad gent beseeched us to set-up a lunch spot on what is known as Greteman Point. Unfortunately, Tom never did get the chance to see the sight in person as he passed away in 2005 (http://aikenslake.com/newsletter/index.php/2005/12/07/patriarch-tom-greteman-passes-away) We first inaugurated the site by surprising Tom's two sons (Dan and Kirby) with an unveiling in 2006. A wooden plaque was hung and later that season, one of Tom's daughters (Mary) had a plaque made with a fisherman's prayer (penned by his incomparable wife Celine) to immortalize Tom's mastery of prose and angling. Unfortunately, the beautiful plaque was damaged this spring, so we took matters into our capable hands. With the support of one of our other guests, we had a granite slate engraved which houses a 2nd copy of the fisherman's prayer. This slate is bulletproof and sure to last for generations. Tom's wife Celine returned to Aikens this week in company of Dan and Kirby. It was her first trip since Tom's passing. Her first shorelunch at the Greteman site was one to remember. Pit, Julie, Gerry, Lorraine, Phil and many Aikens staffers joined in and ate a great Walleye lunch at which point Celine was presented with the plaque commemorating her late husband. A very touching moment for all parties. The slate will be permanently affixed at the Greteman Shorelunch site in the Back Bay. We have the strong impression the Old Tom was watching over us smiling and happy to see that the Greteman Clan can still reunite with their family and their good friends at Aikens Lake... their own little slice of heaven!
"I pray that I may live to fish Until my dying day... And when it comes to my last cast, Then I most humbly pray... When in the Lord's great landing net And peacefully asleep... That in his mercy I be judged Big enough to keep."