“Saw a lot, did a lot, fished a lot, did OK.”
~ Alfred Krejca, 2000, age 95 ~
“By that year, 1996, at age 91, Alfred Krejca on numerous trips, had explored, camped, and fished the Canadian side of the lake for 60 years, and had chalked up a prior 9 years of trips in the wilds of northern Minnesota. Sixty+ years earlier, just down the shore a half-hour troll away from where we now fished, he and his friend, so much younger and so lost, had motored up to the beach at the Indian reserve to ask directions. The two weeks of camping and fishing in the wilderness, the first of many in this area, had just begun. Picturesque details of all these trips continued to surface for Al, who had an amazing memory and over the years revived the sometimes humorous and always interesting stories of his north woods wilderness adventures in a very consistent manner with anyone who would listen. The lighting of a campfire during a north woods trip, in particular, would enable the start of another round of his past adventures.
“In backup of his stories, he had accumulated a rich kaleidoscope-like legacy of pictures, diaries, correspondence, and anything else that related to his favorite reason for living.
“This is the story of this humble ordinary working man who loved both nature and fishing, and who, in his words, ’Saw a lot, did a lot, fished a lot, did OK.’”
“The following postcard ribbing his fellow workers was sent to Al’s friends at the bakery:
We arrived at
“The period from Al’s Canadian trip in 1942 until the end of WWII in 1945 was influenced by wartime travel restrictions…
“Al found that by riding his bicycle to work year around in summer’s heat and winter’s cold, and limiting automobile trips, he could save enough gas coupons to permit travel into northern
“…I must take a moment here to explain something that was always quickly noticed by the listeners about Al’s story telling. Al had a way of telling his stories by creating classic automated effects that were almost as memorable as the story itself. Al liked to explain this story by a slow pulsating vertical hand gesture, simulating the fish slowly moving through the water, and not stopping. His later repetitive retelling of this big fish story, especially the accompanying gestures, became one of many truly classic performances and continues to this day to be lovingly retold, complete with gestures, by some of his younger fishing friends.”
In-Fisherman Magazine Book Review:
"..captures the flavor of the years as they pass, in word and through old pictures. It's fun to read..."
~In-Fisherman Magazine 2009