Fluke & Apple Pie - The Fisherman

Fluke & Apple Pie

Last Tuesday, Ed Labunski would’ve celebrated his 82nd birthday.


Ed Labunski, AKA the “Polish Cowboy.” Lebunski partnered with blues-rock pioneer Lonnie Mack on a rural Pennsylvania recording studio in the late ‘70s with plans to produce an album by a then-obscure Texas guitarist named Stevie Ray Vaughan. Those plans died tragically when Lebunski was killed in a Milford, PA car wreck in 1980.

While Stevie Ray would end up in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and Mack would go on performing and recording his way into the International Guitar Hall Of Fame, Lebunski’s fame would remain a bit more obscured as one of the great jingle writers of all time, penning the 1974 classic, Baseball, Hot Dogs, Apple Pie and Chevrolet.

Don’t remember that one? Undoubtedly you’re too young, or I’m too old; either way, it was an iconic ditty that had Americans singing their way into our nation’s bicentennial, and Detroit automakers humming a happier tune in the years that followed the end of the gas crisis in 1974.

Gas was hovering around 53 cents a gallon that summer, the equivalent in 2019 dollars of about $2.88. Relatively speaking, it’s not that far out of whack. But now that service stations have switched over to their “summer blend” for the 2019 season, you can expect to see a slight uptick in gas prices in the coming days. Last month speculators predicted that New Jersey would hit an average price of $3 a gallon by Memorial Day weekend, just in time for the start of the opening day of summer flounder.

Painful, yes; debilitating, no! On splashdown back in April, my 20-foot center console sucked down $189 worth of fuel at Great Bay Marina, and I’d expect she’ll be thirsty enough for another $150 drink by Friday’s fluke opener. It’s the price of doing business; heck, they say a boat’s just a hole in the water where cash gets dumped (For me it all starts with the little hole on the starboard side where the fuel nozzle gets inserted.).

I don’t know what your favorite make of vehicle, or whether you really care about nitrates and everything else contained in the common wiener. And yes, baseball can get a bit boring, especially for kids more apt to stare into cellphones than major league boxscores. But if you’ve got a problem with good ol’ American apple pie, then boy, we may be looking at a little dustup you and I.

Summer flounder, pork roll, Jersey tomatoes and apple pie might not be a catchy jingle, but it sure seems like a great song to sing when kicking off the summer season this Memorial Day weekend. Though truth be told though, I do actually prefer pecan to apple.

It’s been a long wait – 244 days to be exact – since the 2018 fluke season came to an end. Suffice to say I’m a little anxious, and pretty darn excited; same as you I’d imagine. I’ll be available most days this week if you need to reach me. But on Friday, I’ll be on The Road all day, and unlikely to pick up the phone if it jingles; so leave a message.

Catch ‘em up & rock on!


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