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By Pam Burke 

View from the North 40: As luck would have it


Last updated 3/12/2021 at 10:51am

Apparently, the coronavirus social distancing guidelines haven’t slowed down the Good Luck Fairy from spreading her magical glittery stardust around the world.

Good Luck Fairy, better known to her friends as G’Luck, went nuts with that glitter in Connecticut last year in order for its magic powers to play a bit of a long game.

The Associated Press reported March 2 that a Connecticut man, who wished to remain anonymous for reasons that will become obvious, bought a cobalt blue and white porcelain bowl for $35 at a rummage sale in New Haven, Connecticut, last summer. He took it home, did a little research on the 6-inch bowl and thought, hey, these floral designs look a lot like those from the famous 15th-century Ming dynasty porcelain.

The guy fired off an email to the antiques appraisers at Sotheby’s Auction House. They asked to examine the small 6-inch bowl further and told the guy, “Yeah, man, this bowl is the real Ming deal. It’s one of seven known to exist in the world, so it’s worth a cool $300,000 to $500,000. And by the by, if you want to turn this porcelain piece into cold hard cash, we happen to be holding an auction of Important Chinese Art March 17. You’re in? Well, G’Luck with that, dude.”

Because that’s how they talk at Sotheby’s.

So, I guess we’ll see on this auspicious St. Paddy’s Day how his luck holds. It’s already better than the luck the rummage seller had with his $35 in hand.

A Bozeman fisherman made international news this week for a very big fish he caught with a little tiny minnow on Fort Peck Reservoir back in early October.

Theron Thompson was jigging with minnows for walleye with his dad and a friend on the reservoir last fall, when Thompson caught a smallmouth bass that seemed to quite large, weighing in at well-over 7 pounds. After they wrapped up the fishing for the day, they got to where they had phone service and looked up the state record.

Thompson’s fish was heavier.

Sixteen phone calls later, they finally found a Fish, Wildlife and Parks warden who was returning home from practically North Dakota and they formulated a plan to rendezvous in at a grocery store in Miles City — well, the unG’Lucky fish didn’t have a say in the matter, and at that point he was just along for the ride.

Anyhow, they had to meet at the grocery store to use the store’s official, calibrated scale, and it was a mad dash through the dark over 80 miles of secondary roads to get there before the store closed at 9 p.m. The bass weighed in at 7.8 pounds, three-tenths of a pound larger than the former state record.

The story, which originally appeared in The Billings Gazette Oct. 3 and then in United Press International news Thursday, isn’t inherently funny, nor does Thompson seem bathed in G’Lucky glitter.

But consider this with all the ironic sensibilities you possess, Thompson got his name in the state fishing record book, and international fame, for having caught a 7.8 pound smallmouth bass, when they were out on the water jigging with minnows for 11- to 12-pound walleye.

Also dealing with the vagaries of international fame is a guy from Albania who could tell you that you never know when international fame is going to get you.

The AP published an article March 11 about how a German sausage helped catch an international bad guy.

Almost exactly nine years ago, a burglar in Schwelm, Gemany, paused in the act of thievery to take one last thing from the victim — a big bite out of a sausage. With not much else for clues, the Schwelm police ran the DNA swabbed from the sausage, but no luck, and the burglary eventually became a cold case.

Out of the blue, the French police call the Schwelm police one day and said, “Hey, man, we have this Albanian criminal in custody here and his DNA matches the sample from your sausage case. What a weird co-inky-dink, eh?”

Because the French talk just like that.

And so maybe you’re thinking this story isn’t so G’Lucky — for the criminal anyway. Consider this, though, the statute of limitations is up on the German crime, and the French police set the guy free on their charges.

So I’m thinking March is the month to try your luck, or press your luck, or thank your G’Lucky stars. Maybe I’ll buy a lottery ticket or take my brand-new, but sufficiently aged, coronavirus vaccination for a drive to go visit a friend’s vaccination.

You never know. I might jay-walk on a side street while nobody’s watching. It’s March, I’m declaring my own kind of madness.


I ate raw fish this month and liked it, so the sky seems to be the limit at http://www.facebook.com/ViewFromtheNorth40 .


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