Once, a long time ago, Elmer heard a poet named Carl
talking to an eager group of young students.
Carl was describing a place on Northern California's coast called Noyo.
A small fishing village, perched on a bluff overlooking the river's mouth,
it included a small collection of shacks right down along the banks of the river itself.

Carl spoke of the virtues of working with one's hands for a living;
of laboring under open skies, and on the rolling ocean.
He spoke of the beauty of the salmon as it came
glittering up from the green depths of the sea.

The young students listened with eager eyes and hearts.
Already, in their minds feeling the swells pass under the hull of the boat,
the timbers shuddering, as the bow crunched through a large wave;
foam blasting over the scuppers, and running off
knee-high along the back deck. This was life...