RIP – JACK GARTSIDE


Expired: 12/05/09 – Jack Gartside, 66, lived simply. He lived simply so he could fish.

“In my high school yearbook, other people listed doctor or lawyer in the space provided for their future job,’’ he told Field & Stream magazine in 1999. “I put fishing.’’

If Gartside took a job, it was a short one, to pay the bills long enough to hold him over so he could fish. Or he’d take a part time gig somewhere near a place he’d want to fish at for a while. The job wasn’t the reason for living. The fish were.

He was once a teacher, but he quit. Too time consuming. So he drove a cab mostly because the hours allowed him to jet off when he wanted to.

Gartside tied many of his much-prized fishing flies while using a vise clasped to the steering wheel of his cab as he sat in Logan Airport’s taxi queue, waiting for a fare. But even as he’s drive local businessmen or tourists to their Boston area destinations, he’s be thinking about his next fishing hole – in California, Minnesota, Mexico, Denmark, Japan, France, Germany, Norway, New Zealand, or, even later that day in Boston Harbor.

He also spent so many hours fishing Boston Harbor that his books on the subject are key reads for anyone looking to bone up on the best locations to successfully drop a hook.

Thirty years ago, an airline had a promotion where it would give a away a round trip ticket to anywhere in the world for $1, plus tax, to 225 people who dressed in clothes depicting a destination. Gartside was already at Logan Airport in his cab wearing what he always wore while fishing – a New Zealand bush jacket and an Australian campaign hat.

He was chosen and off he went. He spent a month hitchhiking around New Zealand fishing the best places with only a few hundred bucks in his pocket.

“I frankly don’t make much of a living, but I make a hell of a life,’’ he once said.

READ THE OBIT

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