BookLife Talks with Russ Orkin
A sponsored Q&A with the author of 'Part-Time Lawyer, Full-Time Fisherman'
Retired lawyer and forever fisherman Orkin debuts with his memoir, encompassing his family’s emigration from Europe, his years in the law profession, and, of course, the many, many fishing spots he’s conquered over the years. We spoke with him about his book and found that the octogenarian has no intention of slowing down.
Did you always want to write your memoir?
My interest in writing a memoir increased as I grew older. When I did our “family roots” tour several years ago, my determination to preserve the family history increased exponentially. When I retired in 2019, my friends encouraged me to memorialize the many adventures and professional stories I have shared with them. I was able to combine the family history with those stories in this book.
How do you make sure you are telling “the truth” about events that happened decades ago?
For starters, I contacted Frontiers International, my outdoor-adventure travel agency. They provided me with a chronology of my trips with them over the past 50 years. I outlined the highlights of each trip and selected the most memorable ones. Again, Frontiers assisted me with the names of guides, areas fished, and so on. I also was able to check in with some friends who accompanied me on these trips to refresh and confirm my recollections and facts. My 91-year-old sister was able to supplement the early chapter on my family’s emigration from Europe using old scrapbooks and hand-me-down documents. My former secretary, Ruth, kept meticulous records at my law firm and was able to cross-check many facts in the “Part-Time Lawyer” chapter.
Was there a fishing story that you wanted to include but couldn’t?
Having fished for 80-some years, I have many more stories to share, but I believe I was able to capture the most memorable ones. In retrospect, I could have shared the many wonderful experiences I had as I traveled to various locations around the world. However, I chose to stick to the fishing stories.
How do you imagine readers at this moment will connect to Part-Time Lawyer, Full-Time Fisherman?
Readers might appreciate how a balance of hard work and high adventure leads to a fulfilling life. They can either live vicariously through my stories or recapture their own efforts to find this perfect balance. Most friends of mine lament the fact that they spent too much time in the office and not enough time with their other interests. This should “strike home” with most readers.
Where will readers find you fishing next?
Next up are the largemouth bass lakes of central Florida this winter. I will also fish the Everglades, since I have booked a month on Marco Island. I have already booked my yearly trip to Montana in the fall with my son and grandson, so 2024 is quickly filling up.