Petesy liked a small rod, easy to manage close to the pier. He lowered the bait to just above the water. Then he swung the baited hooks above the ocean, to tantalize the fish, as if schools of them waited for treats, like seated dogs.
He never tired of explaining himself to curious fishermen, especially the old ladies, who took his method seriously when the fishing slowed. He tantalized the old ladies for laughs.
Petesy was jolly. The more playful he felt, the more the people around him had fun on the fishing pier. His playmates were mostly the old ladies dipping snuff.
They told stories for Petesy. Some were good storytellers, all benefited from straw hats pulled down to their ears and tied. Like the old woman who knew the meaning of “goms” which were the mysteries of men never fathomed.
Everybody loved Petesy. His funny bone was easy to reach—anybody could find it. The old ladies adopted him for laughs. He attracted young girls just the same.
Females played music and danced when Petesy was around. He gave underage virgins, and grandmothers alike, a feeling of safe passage to the fun house.
He was the best dancer in high school. Too heavy to be graceful, you might have assumed —he played tackle on the football team— but he had the rhythm, light on his feet as a feather biscuit.