The following is a true story.
Friday, July 9, 2010. 11 PM. I was on the phone with my good friend Larry Solov, who also happens to be Andrew’s business partner. Something unprecedented was occurring: Larry was committing to a non-work-related plan to go fishing in the early morning. I was trying to end the phone call as quickly as possible to at least solidify the aforementioned plan. if only for a few minutes. I was fairly confident he would call back to reschedule.
But that didn’t happen. What did happen was far more concerning: he got another call. He told me to hang on, which usually means I hang up and he calls me Thursday. But something told me to actually hang on–something strange, something bigger than I, or Larry, for that matter. Something to this day I can’t explain, but… Okay, he was back. The dialogue went as follows.
Larry: “Andrew wants to go.”
Jon: “Andrew wants to go where?”
Larry: “Fishing. He wants to go with us.”
Call it instinct; call it experience; call it what you will, but know this: it came from the gut of a true angler. I was that angler, and I was not gonna let this happen.
Jon: “I’m not taking Breitbart fishing.”
Larry: “Why not?”
Jon: “Because he’ll get sea sick.”
Larry: “How do you know?”
I was getting flustered. How do you prove the unproveable? I think I did quite well with the following:
Jon: “Because he’s that guy!”
Larry: “What guy?”
Jon: “The guy who gets sea sick.”
Andrew Breitbart was a great friend and I loved him, but he wasn’t ruining my fishing trip.
Saturday, July 10, 2010. 7 AM. Marina Del Rey. Apparently my argument was not as compelling as originally thought. Pictured below from left to right: Myself, Samson (Andrew’s son), Larry, and of course, Breitbart. The latter 3 were pumped full of Dramamine and ready to receive whatever bounty the Pacific was gracious enough to send to the end of their lines. I, on the other hand, was more pensive, as I considered the direct correlation between fair skin and sea sickness.
Note: I’m closest to the camera, which creates the illusion that I’m heavier than my comrades when, in fact, I’m a slight and frail flower in need of a short window of summer rain.
We left the bait dock at approximately 7:20 AM. The waters were calm.Our spirits were high–Andrew’s in particular, as the trustworthy 18 foot craft ushered us out of the channel. We were roughly 30 seconds out of the marina, if that, when I noticed a peculiar look on Andrew’s face as he took it all in. It was a strange look on him, but it looked good: He was relaxed. And he said, “It feels so great to get away.”
Larry and I looked at each other and then simultaneously looked to our right, where we noted that we were maybe 30 yards offshore. Any closer, we would have been merging onto the 405. The entire city was visible. We could make out the expressions of hotel guests on top level floors at beach front hotels. We weren’t away from anything yet. But he was.
Our destination was only about 20 minutes away, and I made it very to clear to all on board to please inform me the second they felt the onset of anything that might even remotely feel like the initial stages of sea sickness.
Andrew’s response: “What’s the likelihood we encounter a floating sorority barge in need of rescue?”
We arrived at the secret fishing hole just off Sunset Blvd and Pacific Coast Highway. I cut the engine. We were 4 warriors ready to take on nature. But was nature ready for us? That question was quickly answered as I found myself baiting hooks for everyone on board. It was more time effective than answering the myriad questions that arose the moment the actual concept of fishing was introduced. It was then I realized, not only was nature ready, it was pretty much mocking us. And there we were, three good friends and a little boy fishing in the sun–among them, Andrew Breitbart.
Everything was the way it should be. Things were under control. Before I baited my own hook, I checked in.
Jon: “AB, you good? You feel alright?”
Jon: “Be honest with me.”
Andrew: “I feel 25% nauseous”
What followed was an in-depth discussion as to how to interpret “25% nauseous.” Although that discussion soon became irrelevant, as 25% was soon a memory–and not because that percentage decreased.
Note: there is inevitably a correlation between fair skin and sea sickness.
As to what came next, some things are better left unsaid. However, let it be noted that Andrew later stated with great pride, “Veni, Vidi, Puki.”
Lines up. Rods stowed. Engine on. Heading home. On the way back, Larry showed the kind of concern for Andrew that only a best friend since childhood could exhibit, and it moved me.
Moreover, Samson, who had never seen his Dad in such a vulnerable state, was equally concerned.
With a bond of friendship that only those who have had their collective backs up against it could ever fully understand, we arrived back at the dock at 8:15 AM.
Our trip lasted 1 hour and 15 minutes. Less than 5 of which were dedicated to actual fishing.
Andrew Breitbart was a great friend and I loved him, and I am beyond grateful for every minute of that fishing trip–and every minute I was fortunate enough to spend with him.