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Father’s Day reflections

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POSTED June 20, 2011 12:38 a.m.

Several years ago, an auto accident claimed the life of a singer-songwriter named Harry Chapin. As is the case with many song writers, Chapin was actually a poet and philosopher who used music to expound upon the nature of life. Probably the most famous song that Harry Chapin wrote was titled “The Cats in the Cradle”. It was about a fellow who was on his way up in the world and was too busy to spend time with his son. The young achiever was away on a business trip when his son was born. A few years later the son wanted his father to play ball, but dad was too busy and didn’t have time to play. Later, the father had arrived at his successful plateau, but his son was too busy in college to spend time with his dad. Finally the events had come full circle and now the father was retired and wanted to spend time with his son but, the boy had learned too well from his father and was too preoccupied with becoming a success to spend time with his dad.

Perhaps it was the way I was raised but, I have always associated angling with family activities. Even though angling is often perceived as a male sport, it is most assuredly not so. Girls can go fishing just as readily as boys. Recently I’ve been noticing all of the advertising in the newspapers and on TV aimed at selling various and sundry Father’s Day gifts. There are some great gifts to be had out there and I wish all the merchants well, but nonetheless, I sometimes think that we are placing too much emphasis on the material aspects on life and too little on the fact that Father’s Day ought to be a celebration of how much we appreciate our fathers.

If your father, or husband is an angler, hunter or outdoorsman of any sort let me make a recommendation for a Father’s Day gift. First buy him a material sort of gift that pertains to his favorite outdoor pastime, a fishing rod, new hunting vest, binoculars, you get the idea . Then give him the important gift, the one that no one can give to him but you, offer to take him out to use his new possession for the first time. What to do if your dad is getting up there in years and can’t climb the hills like he used to? Just getting out in the outdoors with old guy isn’t a bad idea. Maybe you could take him to lunch at a restaurant in a national park or a state park. Lunch at the Ahwanee Hotel in Yosemite Park is pretty civilized yet the beauty of nature is all around. Not a bad idea for a Father’s Day brunch.

What the heck, make it an annual tradition, Every Father’s Day take the old codger out for a picnic beside a river or a lake or bass pond. Load up the chainsaws and go wood cutting, make an event the whole family can enjoy. Years from now the little ones will remember the Father’s Day outings with Grandpa. Such traditions are the glue that holds families together. Make this Father’s Day one that he’ll never forget. Give him the gift of yourself.

Until next week,

Tight Lines

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