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Father's Day Memories
Dad's day is about to arrive. When it gets here, take time to
salute the guy who has been there in most of your outdoor memories. From
sunburns to sunsets, he's been in the picture.
Pitching that tent on the side of the lake would have been impossible
without his patience and guiding hand. You wanted to put it in the low
spots but a gray haired gentleman showed you a better place. He
anticipated the rain and showed you how to drive the stakes and tighten
On those fishing trips of yesteryear who showed you how to dig the worms
and tie on a hook? Who took you by the hand down those backwoods trails to
the hidden ponds where big bream awaited your arrival with a hefty
It was always his pole that you wanted to fish with too. Regardless of how
good your's looked, it seems his was the one that the fish liked best.
Perhaps his was being fished by someone with more patience at times, come
to think of it.
He untangled your lines and retied when you snagged the trees and lost.
The same guy help you unhook a spiny catfish and showed you the proper way
to hold him when you caught one again.
When the bull in the farmer's pasture threatened it was dad who kept you
close and provided security in an insecure world. He held the fence as
your short legs attempted to climb and cross enroute to the pond deep in
A thousand questions you asked and a thousand answers he gave. From the
deep bellow of a bullfrog to the shrill cry of the whippoorwill; dad was
there to steady you and teach the sounds of the great outdoors and all its
It's a special day for the man who cheered you on down the bases and gave
you your first bat and glove. Your pitching partner, fishing and hunting
buddy, all wrapped up in one.
When you fell he was there to catch you and help you back on the road to
growing up. If you hurt, so did he. You didn't know it then, but you do
The first shotgun and that finicky first squirrel high up in the
hickories. Dad was there with you and when you squeezed the trigger there
was a little bit of him shooting too.
Teaching you the do's and don'ts. Making sure you had fun but stayed safe
and understood the responsibilities that come with fishing and hunting.
Hopefully, a few of the lessons still linger.
Taking less than the limit and understanding the limitations of the
resources. Dad showed you those things and taught by example.
Old hunting coats, faded photographs and torn and tattered boots help
bring back the memories. There was old "Buster, Sam and Rip", the liver
spotted pointer, a long haired setter and a Labrador as black as the
night. All loving companions and part of the family that live today in
of times come and gone.
Look deep in the pockets of a bird hunter's vest and you'll find an old
pipe whose briarwood gives off the scent of some Prince Albert. Maybe a
paper shotgun shell or two is hiding in the game pouch where the quail of
a long day's walk were carried home for supper.
Remember who guided you around the briar thickets and called you when the
dogs pointed. Ole' dad walked slow and let you catch up and told you your
shot was on its mark. Years later you knew you missed but the gentle man
at your side made you feel 10-feet tall.
So tip your hat to the man who made you what you are today. If he's still
with you there's time to tell him you love him and several ways to show
If dad is only in the memories then rejoice the good times you had and
cast a distant eye toward the sunset over the lake where fish flop, birds
head to roost and bobwhites whistle a solemn serenade.
You might find his legacy lives on in the great outdoors where memories
return every sunrise.
is a professional hunting and fishing guide here in the Paris Landing
area and host of The Outdoor Channel's television series IN-PURSUIT.