Guy Harvey Magazine

WIN 2017

Guy Harvey Magazine is focused on fishing, boating, scuba diving, and marine conservation. Portfolios from the world's best fishing photographers, articles on gear, travel, tournaments, apparel, lifestyle, seafood recipes, sustainable fisheries.

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Page 79 of 83

80 | HOOKED ON MISSISSIPPI The reputation artists have for being eccentric— okay, let's just say it, weird—fits many creative types like a handmade sequin glove. However, not all artists live in a bizarro world. Working with Guy Harvey has taught me this. And, my wife, a lifelong artist, is one of the most responsible and agreeable people on the planet. She forced me to say that. So when the staff here at Guy Harvey Magazine began our journey to produce this issue, we decided to put on our funkiest outfits and visit the home of one of America's early marine artists—a man who exuded epic levels of weirdness: Walter Anderson. A longtime resident of Ocean Springs, Mississippi, Anderson was shunned by his local community for being downright strange. Beginning in the 1930s, Anderson would leave his wife and kids for days and weeks at a time and row his small, wooden skiff 12 miles out into the often dangerous waters of the Gulf of Mexico. His destination was a small barrier island—Horn Island—a place he called inhospitable. Nonetheless, he visited often. He'd use his overturned boat as a tent to sleep under. He walked among the alligators, great herons, blue crabs, armadillos and other island creatures—subjects he painted prolifically. The artist was more comfortable getting vampired by mosquitos than mingling the folks in his local community. Even when he was home, he'd hide away in his "little room" and create. (Sidenote: the Little Room is now part of the Walter Anderson museum in Ocean Springs, and every inch of floor, wall and ceiling is painted in colorful murals.) As it turns out, Anderson was diagnosed with a severe mental illness. So, he wasn't acting odd to gain attention. Even though he battled demons, he produced a prodigious amount of amazing art. Today, he's celebrated as a visionary, and Ocean Springs counts him as one of their greatest celebrities. After a tour of the Anderson Museum, our plan was to have an intimate gathering with some key folks in the Mississippi fishing community. My old friend, Bobby Carter, who is the director of the Mississippi Gulf Coast Billfish Classic, agreed to organize the get together. Bobby lives in Ocean Springs but handles "player acquisition" at the Golden Nugget Resort and Casino in Biloxi, where the annual billfish tourney is held. One thing I've learned about Bobby: he goes big. Not surprisingly, our little meeting evolved into a full-on shindig with more than 20 people at Off the Hook restaurant. When I saw the fresh red snapper and shrimp that had been caught that day in local waters, I knew we'd be in for a feast. Bobby invited Jay Trochesset and Kenny Barhanovich, two fishing icons who are members of the International Game Fishing Association's "Legendary Captains and Crew"—a group that only includes about 30 captains worldwide. Folks like Bouncer Smith, Jose Wejebe and Peter Wright are in the exclusive club, and there we were in little ole Ocean Springs having dinner with two of them. Interestingly, both men began working on fishing boats in Biloxi when they were in their early teens. Both of their fathers were pioneers in the charter boat business. And after more than 50 years, both Trochesset and Barhanovich are still doing what they love on the water. Breaking bread For the past 25 years, Fred D. Garth's articles have appeared in numerous books, magazines and newspapers around the world. Read his blog at: FRED GARTH LAST CAST Breaking bread and trading stories with fishing legends is always an honor and usually humbling.

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