When I was a very little boy, back in the late 1930's, we
traveled a couple of winters from Marblehead, Mass down to Cocoa Beach,
Fla, on the Silver Meteor train. Wow! We were the guests of my paternal
grandfather, the first Jack Packard, and he was an avid fisherman. Near
Cocoa Beach is the Banana River, and he liked to tell the story of how you
could catch a Bananafish, which was only found in the Banana River, and
looked almost exactly like a ripe banana.
You needed several things: a boat, to get you out into the middle of the
river, a net, a pole, a piece of string, a flashlight, and a ripe banana.
You see, the Bananafish LOVED to eat bananas, and therein lay the secret.
First you waited for darkness, then you went out into the middle of the
river. You tied a banana on the string which was dangling from the pole,
and held it a couple of feet above the water with the light shining on it.
When the bananafish spotted the banana, it leapt out of the water in an
attempt to gobble it all up. However, when he jumped, you quickly dropped
the banana into the hole the fish had made jumping out of the water. The
hole being plugged, the bananafish was unable to get back into the water,
and flopped around on the surface until you scooped him up with the net!
I had never seen a bananafish because I was told I was too young to try it
at the time, and it was after my bedtime, so it wasn't until your shirts
arrived today that I was sure they even existed. I'm sure glad my Granddad
didn't make up the whole thing.
From Jack Packard