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August 21, 2014
GROSSE POINTE FARMS AND CITY — Three generations of the Hammel family are, in

rare proper usage of an often belabored platitude, what the annual Grosse Pointe Farms-City Family Fishing Rodeo is all about.

Grandfather Godfrey Hammel and his daughter Sandra furthered their family tradition by taking his granddaughter — her daughter — Adelaide Peabody, 6, to the 66th edition of the rodeo Saturday morning, Aug. 9.


Their experience brought the tradition home.

Adelaide Peabody won a trophy for being the first City resident to catch a fish, just as her mother did in 1986 at age 7, accompanied by her father.

"I wasn't going to go," Sandra Hammel said about this year's rodeo. "But, I thought, how often do I get to sit with my dad for a couple hours with Adelaide and just have time together. I'm so glad I went, especially since she won first fish. It brought back all those memories."'

"The mission of this event is to bring families together in an old-fashioned way," said Dick Graves, of the Farms, second-generation organizer of the rodeo.

Graves' late father founded the rodeo in 1948 with Grosse Pointe police and firefighters.

Boys and girls aged 17 and under from the Farms and City of Grosse Pointe are eligible to compete in the one-hour rodeo off the breakwalls of Farms Pier Park.

Attendance this year totaled 1,205, according to Graves.

"We broke another record," he said.

"It was one of the nicest events in Grosse Pointe I've ever been to," Sandra Hammel said.

"I caught a goby," said Adelaide Hammel.

She has fishing in her genes.

"I've fished all my life," said her grandfather.

"I'm the best fisherman in the family," said his wife and Adelaide's grandmother, Pamela Hammel. "In the ocean, I caught a beautiful bull dolphin. I wanted to throw it back, but they gaffed it."

Sandra said she and Adelaide caught their first fish at almost the same spot about 50 feet from the tip of the north breakwall.

"I caught a bluegill," Sandra said. "My mom saved my trophy, so we have two trophies."

Adelaide's trophy is about four times bigger than her mom's.

"Adelaide said she's glad she was born in these times because back then all they had were little trophies," Sandra said.

Every youngster received a free prize funded by scores of sponsors.

"I couldn't believe how many people gave," said Sandra Hammel. "Adelaide got $20 from Crowther Carpet and first pick from the biggest toy selection I've ever seen."

"That's the kind of community this is," said Pamela Hammel. "Here's a another generation doing it."


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