My dad is a veteran of the Vietnam War, a retired small-business owner, the kind of person who thinks discovering a new fruit or vegetable at the supermarket is a reason to celebrate, and he’s 73 years old today. When I was a little kid, we fished a lot together at my grandparents’ pond. One day when I was about nine, we spent a very long, quiet afternoon in Granddaddy’s jon boat trying to pull in this one spawning bass, casting a purple worm into the barely visible ripples above the spot where she lay until she finally took the bait. Dad reeled her in. I got her in the net. Nine or so pounds of thrashing, at least that many hours on the pond, but we did it. It was from Dad I learned the value of having clear vision and the patience to see a plan through.
He’s also probably the kindest, bravest person in the world. When my son was about two, we were walking in the woods when he spied a young copperhead sticking its head out of a pile of leaves a few feet in front of us. Ev was playing maybe six inches away. Very calmly, Dad told me to pick Ev up and pointed out the snake. I froze, caught in my fear, trying to decide whether I should kill the thing or run away. But Dad took my arm and led me to the edge of the path and safely around the snake. Neither flinching nor fighting occur to my dad as reasonable responses to danger. There’s another way, and nothing matters so much as finding it.
Happy Birthday to my Dad! Here’s a photo of me holding a bass I helped a friend who had never fished before catch at that same pond where I learned the art. It’s Dad’s catch, too.
Originally posted via Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/VoteMelissaSmith/posts/147428506637760:0