Gadabout Gaddis - The Flying Fisherman
I was eight years old, firmly planted in front of the old family Magnavox tv set when I first saw this carefree elderly gent with the sprite step of a 20 year old hop into the cockpit of a 1960's single engine, piper Cherokee and head for a pristine wilderness area on what seemed to be a whim.
I was a city kid. Born in New York City's Greenwich Village. I was so naive that I had no idea that a tree could sprout unless it was surrounded by a concrete base, yet on Saturday afternoons for thirty minutes, when this fatherly, easy-going character (like someone's favorite uncle) beamed across our tv set and spoke, my mind for the first time soared too, out of the confines of our five story walk-up, as high as his little Cherokee plane could climb and then some.
In my mind, I accompanied this man and visited wilderness areas from that panoramic view of the Cherokee's small cockpit, too beautiful for a city kid to imagine. I was mesmerized by the man. I hung on as the words flowed like smooth syrup oozing from a bottle through the Magnavox's tiny speaker.
Gadabout 'Roscoe Vernon' Gaddis was a hero to me. Not an action hero by Hollywood's standards who rescues Afghanistan single-handedly or comes to the aid of the fair maiden. Gadabout represented a different kind of hero - possessing a spiritual freedom - he brought alive my wandering spirit . His optimism for life and people was contagious. He made a lasting impression which has affected me to this day.
Later on in life, in his easy-going everyman style Gadabout shared these adventures. First in the pioneering early days of radio and then, took all us all on the ride of our lives with his own brand of movie-making during the infancy of tv.
Thirty years later, this man's spirit still fills me. I imagine the clouds parting for Gadabout: white brimmed hat, plaid shirt, soaring that single engined plane and spending a gorgeous morning on a Montana river, later that afternoon fighting bluefish off Cape Cod and in the evening fly fishing for bone fish in the keys.
As a child, I sometimes went to a quiet space in my mind and imagined joining Gadabout at a country lodge. There, in front of a blazing fireplace, I imagined what it would be like to hear Gadabout spin a tall fish tale or two.
Fueled the imagination and wanderlust of thousands ... !
I have never met Gadabout although I feel like I've always known him. I heard that he lived well into his nineties and only passed on a few years ago. I wish I was aware that he was still alive somewhere in Florida. I'd have loved to meet the man who fueled my imagination as well as the imaginations of thousands of others. I'd like to thank him for opening me to the beauty of wilderness areas, the innate qualities of my fellow humans that make them so special. His easygoing nature, home type friendliness and love of nature were inspirational.
I was surprised when I posted a message on the net a short time ago. Here's the message! I wasn't prepared for the responses. Seems I wasn't the only one whom ole' Gad touched a warm spot in their heart.
This site is dedicated to Gadabout Roscoe Vernon Gaddis - a simple man - a true representation of freedom, adventure and the goodness in people.
For those of us that admired the man, drop us a note and we'll include your kind words. We appreciate any anecdotes, any uncovering of the old 'Gad' shows and any photos we can publish here.
A lot of fisherman and a lot of young children won't ever get the chance to experience this man's essence, his simple charisma. I hope this small spot on the web will keep his memory alive.
Gadabout's Show on video - Is it still available ??Gadabout Gaddis's Biggest -- and Youngest Fan - Page II
Gadabout's Mail bag!
Gadabout's TV Philosophy
Gadabout - 'I'm the Luckiest Man Alive!"
The Gad FAQ - In his own words! I-II-III
A Salty Dog's Home Page!
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