This story was collected as part of a collaborative effort to record the state of American lakes, rivers, and waterways as well an attempt to uncover what water means to Americans. Listen to other stories recorded for the Be Here: Main Street project, a collaboration with the MuseWeb Foundation to record stories from rural America.
Pat Onstead talks about why he thought a Detroit Lakes, Minnesota, bait and tackle shop was worth saving. "My father, who just passed away when he was 89, he remembers coming to Detroit Lakes as a child on the train and spending a week in the Graystone Hotel with his grandfather, and they went fishing. The whole reason for coming down here was the lakes . . . We all work very hard on maintaining that and keeping it prosporous . . . We just bought the bait store last year. We thought it was an important part of our community. We didn't want to see it close. With our two boys here, Matthew and Michael, they decided it was worth the investment. Quality Bait and Tackle has been a long-time staple for area fisherman . . . The reason we spend long hours here is the opportunity is to meet those people, talk to them, and help. It's a very rewarding experience, for sure."