By Al Schwartz * Contributing Reporter
Bass Lake ice-fishing legend Cornwall “Spud” Buckminster has been reported missing and is feared to be unavailable for the BED Talk at Twin Nut Farms later this week.
Buckminster was last seen early Sunday morning, just as light was beginning to dapple the snow clouds. When day finally broke, there was nothing left but a hole and Spud’s five-gallon bucket.
“I seen him out there in front of the beaver lodge,” said Bass Lake resident Phil Kenmore, speaking on the condition of anonymity. “He was sitting on his five-gallon bucket there and everything and I thought to myself, ‘Phil, that’s old Spud and he’s too close to that beaver lodge.’”
Struggling Bass Lake author M. I. Angola also reported seeing Buckminster about the same time as Kenmore. Angola said he had stepped onto his deck to chase the birds away from his feeders when he heard the lake crack and someone yell “shit!”
“It had to be Spud,” Angola said. “He’s the only guy I know crazy enough to ice fish at the front door of the beaver lodge. I don’t care if it is 10 below, that ice is not going to freeze thick enough with those beavers flapping around all day and night.”
Beaver activity has been a problem this year. Several residents reported seeing beavers in unlikely places, some even dragging whole orchards into the lake.
“Those rodents would gnaw on a Clem Briksten’s wooden leg, even if he never washed it, which he doesn’t,” Angola said. “But don’t quote me on that.”
Buckminster, 56 on the birthday after his next birthday, failed to show up to his weekly ice-fishing brunch following services at the Bass Lake Church and Filling Station. Buckminster could not be reached for comment. And it appears he will miss inaugural BED Talk. Twin Nut Farms owner Jarl Gøèwj¢öfurƛƷ˂ʥērs, Jr., said he beside himself with worry.
“What am I going to do with all these muffins?” he said.
Search and rescue efforts have been hampered by the sudden disappearance of several chainsaws.
“We may have to resort to these flamethrowers,” said Bass Lake Police Chief Tug McNabb. “I’m not going to chisel my way through that ice.”