Visiting Jim and Jon Smith of the former Lurkin' In The Weeds and Piranha Cove Fish Store

June 2006







While traveling through Michigan we stopped to visit two of my oldest friends in that State. Jim and Jon Smith of Grosse Point, MI. These two men owned and operated Lurkin' In the Weeds Fish Store but closed it due to landlord/tenant problems.  A couple of years later they tried to reopen a new store called Piranha Cove and later closed it down because of the effects of 911 terrorist action.. 


Piranha Cove Pet Store LogoWe had talked extensively about that name and I helped them with my input on their logo design which was quite attractive (see photo at left). However, the store did not take full light because the economy was still reeling from the effects from 911 and the store closed its doors for the last time. A very sad ending to a great store.


These 2 men would send me live specimens when OPEFE was a live exhibit of fishes. Many of the most unusual oddballs made it  into the exhibit aquariums and they made sure I was always fully loaded with new and different specimens. We talked many times over the years about science and its problems along with hobbyist perceptions about piranhas. Jim was the first person (known to me) that bred Pygocentrus cariba, but he is a very humble man and didn't seek to glorify his achievement. I found this attitude atypical of men that silently contribute to the fish hobby without seeking glory for themselves. His brother Jon, is a kind soul who unfortunately suffers from Diabetes. He too has been a warm and caring individual that I respect and love as a brother to me.



My wife making friends with a lizard.My wife and I spent a few hours visiting them and to her delight, Jim brought out a chameleon for her to hold. Jim explained to me that he had quite a few people that wanted to meet me during the visit, but he took pains to insure that we would not be disturbed. I would not have minded, but perhaps given the time constraints of my itinerary it was best. Certainly, I'm sad that I didn't meet their friends and fellow peers. My meeting with these two men was both enjoyable and relaxing. I only wished that I could have spent more time with them but we had to continue our travel to NY.


If Jim or Jon read this web page, I'm deeply grateful to have spent the time with them that I did. You two men are the nicest, kindest people that I have ever met. My hope for both of you and especially Jon is continued health and well being.


Always your friend,

Frank Magallanes






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