By-The-Way players performing 'No Fish' at the Governor's Fishing Opener

Would anyone dare whisper, "No fish!" around Minnesota's Governor Tim Pawlenty, or anybody else for that matter, on the eve of the Fishing Opener? Might that be considered bad luck?  Or bad manners?

No, not at all. Not if it's the By-The-Way players performing 'No Fish' at the Governor's Fishing Opener Community Picnic on May 9, 2008, in Pequot Lakes.

Indeed, the By-The-Way players, a group of talented actors lead by Darren Blanck, with one year of Byway performances already under their collective belts, will perform a shortened version of this glimpse at a 1947 summer day in the life of local mailboat driver, Ben Knebel. Ben drove the mailboat on the Whitefish Chain for 39 years and never missed a day of work! He also enjoyed a good meal of fish, but on this day, various delays keep cropping up causing him to worry that he won't have time to go fishing. And, he has promised to provide the fish for the fish fry at home that night.

Governor Pawlenty won't have that kind of pressure during his fishing trip, so he and the rest of the folks at the Community Picnic can sit back and enjoy the performance of 'No Fish'.

The action takes place on a dock at a Whitefish Chain resort. The audience will be treated to not only a snippet of Ben Knebel's story, but also some cleverly included area history and even a few 1947 tunes to get toes tapping.

The stage and sound system will be set up under the big tent, so, just like fishing, weather won't get in the way of the action. Put the date on your calendar today. Don't miss 'No Fish' on Friday, May 9, at the Governor's Fishing Opener Community Picnic in Pequot Lakes.

The mailcarrier project and the By-The-Way players are funded by an FHWA Scenic Byways grant, the Paul Bunyan Scenic Byway Association and Rice Creek Resources.

Photo descriptions: Darren Blanck, as Ben Knebel, in a summer, 2007, performance of ‘No Fish’ at Crosslake Corps of Engineers Campground. Left to Right are, Chuck Nielsen as Slim, Darren Blanck, as Ben Knebel, Mike Sommerness as Alf, a traveling musician, Ralph DeWitt as resort owner, George.

News Category: 
Published Date: 
Sunday, February 10, 2008
Published By: 
the Brainerd Dispatch