Stash is a guy who has lived his life in Wisconsin and is a profound devotee of one of the most hallowed traditions in this state.
He has always loved it. Packing his car with weapons, ammo, beer, foodstuffs, colorful clothes, mittens, matches, brandy, those crunchy Cheetos things, a sleeping bag, two hats, underwear, maps, a copy of DNR hunting regulations (2002 edition), a bottle of gin and a 12-pack of tonic, two kinds of squeeze cheese, a plastic bag full of spiced beef jerky, an air-tight plastic container of egg salad made by his wife, Sally, a charger for his cellphone, two decks of cards and a carton of poker chips.
He was ready to head up north to the cabin he had shared with four of his friends for the last 27 years, His best friend, Larry, had driven up with him each of those years.
But things were changing this year. Stash wasn’t going to be able to go. His company had recently downsized and all vacations had been cancelled until after the first of the year. Stash worked third shift and was stuck.
Stash was sad. Really sad. His wife was very worried about his mental health, although she was happy she didn’t have to make all that egg salad this year.
The day before the season was to start, he got a call from his best friend, Larry.
"Stash, I’ve got great news," Larry said.
"There is no great news now," Stash said, sounding grumpy.
"Wait ‘till you hear about this," Larry said. "You know Cedarburg?"
"Yeah, Stash replied. "That’s the place the wife drags me every year for strawberries and what she calls ‘tchotchke checking.’"
"Well, guess what," Larry said. "We can take our rifles up to the Town of Cedarburg and hunt the fearsome deer."
"Bull whoohey," Stash said. "I thought Ozaukee County was a shotgun-only county."
"No joke," Larry said. "It’s changed. The Town of Cedarburg board voted not to have restrictions on rifle hunting. You know what that means?"
"Yup," said Stash. "I can go after my shift ends and try to kill some deer with you. How did this happen."
"Well the DNR passed a regulation saying rifles will be allowed statewide for firearm deer hunting as of Nov. 1, 2013 – unless a local municipality has enacted a more restrictive ordinance. And the board in the Town of Cedarburg decided not to impose restrictions," Larry said.
Stash hung up and started thinking.
He thought that he should have been happy with the DNR change. After all, he could go hunt after his shift, even though he was usually so tired he could hardly keep his eyes open.
But a tiny part of him was just a little bit concerned.
What would happen, he wondered, if he took a shot at a deer and missed, as he always did, and the bullet killed a strawberry picker or someone looking for tchotchkes.
He thought about whether the DNR was really doing the right thing.
With a history in Milwaukee stretching back decades, Dave tries to bring a unique perspective to his writing, whether it's sports, politics, theater or any other issue.
He's seen Milwaukee grow, suffer pangs of growth, strive for success and has been involved in many efforts to both shape and re-shape the city. He's a happy man, now that he's quit playing golf, and enjoys music, his children and grandchildren and the myriad of sports in this state. He loves great food and hates bullies and people who think they are smarter than everyone else.
This whole Internet thing continues to baffle him, but he's willing to play the game as long as OnMilwaukee.com keeps lending him a helping hand. He is constantly amazed that just a few dedicated people can provide so much news and information to a hungry public.
Despite some opinions to the contrary, Dave likes most stuff. But he is a skeptic who constantly wonders about the world around him. So many questions, so few answers.