A group of friends has been visiting Bennett Spring State Park since 1973
Top, Tom Paul, Bob Manuel, Ron Rude and Gerald Newman drink a cup of Gerald’s Newman homemade wine in his remembrance before pouring a cup into the river. Above, in 1973, some friends began a yearly tradition of camping and fishing in Bennett Spring State Park. Bob Manuel and Matt Manuel sit in front of Gerald Newman, Ron Rude, Jeremy Newman, Adam Miller and Tom Paul.
CHRIS RODEN FOR THE LACLEDE RECORD
A group of four friends started a tradition in 1973.
Gerald Newman, Bob Manuel, Ron Rude and Tom Paul began camping at Bennett Spring State Park a day or two before the March 1 buzzer sounded and kicked off a new season of trout fishing in Bennett.
Manuel admitted how much fun the annual fishing trip was to the foursome.
“It was a pretty big deal for us. We always made it. Gerald would probably not hardly sleep for a couple of nights before we left he’d get so excited about it,” Manuel said.
The tradition had some friendly competition involved according to Jeremy Newman, Gerald’s son.
“Back in 1980, the four of them had started this plaque. Basically, every year, whoever got the largest lunker out of the four of them would get to put his name on the plaque and keep it until the next opening,” Newman said.
For more on this story see Wednesday's LCR.