And they're off! -- Longtime fishing volunteer shoots the starting gun at Roaring River
HOLIDAY ISLAND -- "I'll be almost 93 on opening day," said Leo Steinbrecher of Roaring River State Park's fishing season, which opened last Saturday. "I've been fishing all my life."
Steinbrecher had the honor of shooting the starting gun to open the season at the park, located in Eagle Rock, Mo.
"I'm originally from St. Louis, but I wore out many a car coming down here," he said. "I started fishing [at Roaring River] over 40 years ago."
Steinbrecher was also a volunteer for Kids' Fishing Day at Roaring River for 25 years.
"I used to take my wife's scissors out of her sewing box every year to cut the line to get their fishing poles ready," he said.
Born March 5, 1921, Steinbrecher was drafted into the Army in 1941 and spent four years, serving in North Africa and Italy during World War II. He was part of the D-Day invasion. In a 2011 interview, he said he was "the first one to hit the beach in Italy," where he said he was "shot point-blank, but somehow the shooter missed."
After his discharge in 1945, Steinbrecher had a career with the government as an operations engineer at the Army records office in St. Louis, where he stayed until retirement at age 62.
The Steinbrechers had been coming to lakes in this area to fish for years and often stayed at the Beaver RV Park campground. They have owned property in Holiday Island since 1971, a year after the community was established, and moved here permanently in 1983.