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  • Billy and the Kid - Chapter 21 through 24

    The previous chapters can be found here: http://www.crappie.com/crappie/conte...billy-kid.html


    Chapter 21.



    And so it went for the next 2 weeks. William and Billy would meet most mornings at Billy’s front steps or sometimes Billy would get the jump on him and be standing there when William would raise the garage door. Billy did that just to remind him he still had more get up and go than the older man, William assumed. On William’s part, he was feeling better and better now that his iron had built back up and for the last week, he didn’t even bother driving around and just walked with Billy through the woods to save the trip across the little lake for Billy. Matter of fact, William had gotten so strong, the two of them would mock up an argument over who would take the first turn on the paddle. William’s casting prowess had come back strong and he’d gotten back in his swing and had a chance to show the young buck most days as it should be. On Billy’s part, his boat handling skills had improved so much you couldn’t tell his work from that of a full grown man. He was still learning on the fish, but it seemed to be an easy learning curve for him. He had a knack of figuring out the “why” of the fish. What he lacked in experience, he made up for in patience and attentiveness. The only fishing days they missed those two weeks were when Ann had something she needed William for or if rain blew through. They had good days with the fish, but they had their off days too, but to William and Billy, they didn’t measure their success in the numbers on the day, but in time spent on that little lake.


    “Billy, when does school start back for you?” “2 weeks and 3 days Mr. Baker and I’m not looking forward to it?” “Why not?” “It’s going to cut down on our fishing something terrible Mr. Baker”. William chuckled a bit. “Well that’s true, but we’ll still get our swings in on the weekends and maybe some afternoons too before the time changes and the weather gets bad. You know, I’ve been thinking….” William trailed off and pondered and plotted a bit, but Billy held his tongue. Something William was always appreciative of. “I’m getting a bit tired of fishing the same lake day after day. We need some variety and maybe some new techniques for you to learn and maybe some bigger fish while we’re at it.” “That sounds good to me Mr. Baker, there’s another lake about 10 miles past the river we could try or maybe some place else if you have something in mind.” “Billy, I’m sick of looking at that boat of mine sitting there in the garage. It’s time we got some use out of it before it rots. I’m thinking we ought to hit the Cape.” Billy beamed as wide as ever as he made another cast, “That’d be just fine with me Mr. Baker”. As they fished on they made their plans. William had some errands and some shopping to do with Ann the next day and Billy had some back to school shopping to do with Carol on her day off, but they would get the boat dressed and buttoned up that next evening. Cape Reservoir was about an hour away and on the big side of things at 14,000 acres. Deep, cold natured and a real witch with a south wind, William had heard through his network over the years about how rough and unforgiving it could be as well as the quality of fish that came from it that made it worth the ride, , but never had a chance to fish it since it was a good distance from their old place.


    That night evening, William manned the phone and worked his network to come up with an idea of what the fish were doing. From two of his old friends, he narrowed it down to two arms depending on the wind that both had nice stump filled flats that should produce enough fish to keep them busy on the day. He thanked his friends for the information and made a mental note to repay the favor some way for the both of them.


    The next day, the Bakers and the Brannons just happened to be leaving at the same time and as Ann waved hello to Carol, William flashed the thumbs up to Billy. The two families made their separate trecks and stops, but William managed a quick stop in the bait shop to pick up a couple of good colors and a paper map of the lake they could study later that night. Billy’s trip turned out to be longer than Williams as they made it back before lunch and had everything put away and lunch over and done with long before Carol and Billy pulled back into their drive. Ann had left word with William to be on the lookout and invite the both of them over to dinner that evening when they made it back. That was just fine with William as that left him in the garage for a couple of hours going over his boat and tackle while he “looked out for them”. When Billy made it over, the two of them walked back to Billy’s house to invite Carol and she accepted thanking her lucky stars to herself that she didn’t have to cook for the two of them after all that walking and shopping they’d been through on the day.


    That evening, the men gobbled and women gabbed. William and Billy made the pretense of offering to clean up for the ladies after supper, but were all too relieved when they were shoed off to the garage and out of the way so they could get ready for their trip while the ladies talked. The two of them B-lined for the boat and the two of them climbed in. William spread the map out on the front deck and they studied and plotted. “Billy, the forecast is calling for 5 to 10 out of the South and the Cape runs almost perfectly North and South. We may be in for a bumpy ride out and a wild ride back. You up for that?” “I’m all in if you are Mr. Baker”. Of course, Billy didn’t really know what that meant, but William did. From what he’d been told, 10 was rough for the Cape, 15 was ugly, but it took 20 to be dangerous. William figured they’d be on the safe side of things, but had a strategy if things got bad. “Well, where do you think we ought to try”. “Well, I’m thinking this arm up here looks interesting. The creek swings in pretty good here and there all this timber here, plus it runs in to the East so we should be tucked out of the wind if this bank has any height to it. And there’s bound to be some run out feeders coming out of these coves if we need to go shallower.” William was impressed. Awful solid thinking for such a young kid and it just happened to be one of the two arms he’d been told about. “That’s where we’ll start then Billy. If that doesn’t pan out, we’ll run over to this arm up here. It’s pretty similar to your spot too.”


    “What are those up there Mr. Baker?” “Those are rod holders Billy. A fella named Echols down in Alabama made ‘em for me. We’re gonna try something new tomorrow. Spider Rigging.” “Never heard of that Mr. Baker, but I’ll give it my best shot”. William explained how it worked as they loaded the rods and substituted some tackle then they set down in the boat to pre-rig some set ups and William showed Billy how to tie them. He struggled with the first few but caught his stride by the time they had two dozen done. The ladies came to the door saying good night and William and Billy made the final arrangements to meet over at Williams at 6 sharp. He didn’t want too early of a start with him being rusty at handling the boat, but not too late to get them on the lake before the sun got very high over the horizon either.




    Chapter 22


    As for Billy, 6 AM couldn’t come early enough so his feet hit the floor at 4:45. He tried to be quiet as to not wake his mother, but dropped a pan when putting away the dishes. Carol strolled in the kitchen at 5:20 and surveyed the room for damage. “Billy, what in the world are you up to?” “Sorry Mom, it slipped as I was turning.” “No harm I suppose, you sit down and I’ll make breakfast”. “No Mom, you sit and I’ll make it.” Carol gave in and sat down and watched in wonder as Billy made coffee and started toast and eggs. She couldn’t believe all this little boy was capable of at only 12. When Billy brought over the plates, she starred at him. “What is it Mom?” “Billy, you’re growing up.” Billy only replied “Oh Mom”, but inside he swelled with pride.


    Right on time, Mr. Baker’s garage started up at 5:58AM and as was Billy’s custom, he was standing at the garage before the door came to a stop. To Billy, this was the trip of a lifetime. To Mr. Baker, it was too, but more than that, it was somehow a victory at the same time. There was so much to teach Billy yet and every movement was a chance to explain the how’s and why’s and look out fors, especially with a big boat on a big lake to consider. Mr. Baker was in a hurry to get to the lake, but not so much that he rushed past his checklists in his mind or skipped the opportunity to show something new to Billy. Just backing up to the boat and hooking up to it provided a host of things to go over with his apprentice.


    They made the Cape bait shop less than an hour later, having not so much as a pause in the conversation. Billy would ask a small question and Mr. Baker would answer it in detail with his answers leading to other subjects. Billy drank it all in as best he could. After buying minnows and ice, they lined the boat up on the ramp and slowly inched it into the water. Billy waited to be asked to do something and tried to stay ready to help, but out of the way at the same time. Mr. Baker guided the boat over to the dock with a launch rope and showed Billy how to tie it off and how to hang a bumper to protect the boat and explained why you needed them in the first place. After parking the truck, they stepped over into the boat and Mr. Baker pulled their life jackets out and explained how he’d lost 2 good friends over the years because they were too dumb to figure out that people sink in water.


    Mr. Baker fired the motor up and Billy thought it sounded like a race car. With the motor running, Mr. Baker couldn’t talk as easily to Billy but he still managed to show him a few things as he maneuvered out of the cove and idled past the no wake buoys. The wind was still very mild with only a little ripple on the water. Mr. Baker shut the motor off and caught Billy by surprise. “What’s wrong?” “Nothing Billy, I just thought you might like to drive.” Billy couldn’t contain himself. He wondered if he might get a chance someday but knew better than to ask. He smiled as broad as Mr. Baker had ever seen before and stood up and said “Are you kidding me ?” “Hold on now Billy, let’s not get ahead of ourselves, I still need to show you some things.” Billy composed himself and listened intently as Mr. Baker stepped though the procedures and what to look for and listen for. He showed Billy all the gauges and controls and the hot foot and how to use them. He emphasized the kill switch and explained how it worked and how you should never crank the motor without it attached in detail. Three times. Billy got the message the first time and promised he’d always wear one. After 15 minutes of talking, Mr. Baker let him crank the motor back up, put it in gear and idle out toward the mid lake. Billy was unprepared for how sluggish the boat responded to steering at this speed. Mr. Baker had him go from forward to neutral to reverse and back again a few times. Then he had Billy stop the motor and they reviewed what they’d been over and what was about to come. The next lesson was in how to plane the boat and the use of trim.


    They re-cinched everything and Billy hammered on it, but of course forgot the trim. Mr. Baker nudged and pointed and the boat became a rocket when the nose fell. All of sudden they were speeding past 50 mph. Mr. Baker motioned to slow down and Billy let out of the gas too quick and the boat settled back off pad. Billy felt like he’d failed when Mr. Baker motioned to kill the motor, but Mr. Baker explained that pretty much everybody is unprepared the first time they take off and explained a little more on how to plane the boat off then let off some to keep the speed down, but not so much as to let the boat fall off again. Billy listened intently and this time he was able to keep the boat the boat on plane and at about 35mph. With it on plane and steady Mr. Baker had him make some sweeping turns and showed him how maintaining power and running the trim up and down affected the handling and attitude. Billy got the hang of it pretty quickly and Mr. Baker had him run it all the way up to 50 mph before settling back to 40 and heading to their first spot. When they got close Billy let out and the boat settled so quick as to give the back a quick wash down. This was another opportunity for a lesson.


    They got busy baiting and setting out poles and Mr. Baker taught and explained the whole time. The Cape had no pole restriction, but Mr. Baker thought it best to start out with 6 to keep the action at a melee to a minimum. Just about the time Billy dropped the last rod into the holder, the one next to it went 4 eyes deep in the water and Billy snatched it. The fish dug deep and cut sideways but more out of luck than skill doubled back before hitting the next line. The fish came up and Billy held steady until Mr. Baker could get a net under it. “Well Billy, you’re up to your old tricks again getting ahead of me right out of the gate”. This was a Black Crappie and even though it was only 13”, it fought as hard as any fish Billy had ever caught before. Mr. Baker slipped him into the livewell and winked at Billy on the way back to the seat “Looks like we’re not gonna go hungry tonight”. Mr. Baker let Billy rebait and set the pole back out and just like last time, wham, the pole next to it went 4 eyes deep.


    They caught 8 on that first stop and Mr. Baker managed to fight back and tie Billy 4 to 4, thanks to Billy dumping two fish at the boat. The bite slowed and Mr. Baker decided it was time to make a move, but this time he would drive and show Billy a few more things. The next stop was not as productive and only produced 3 keepers…2 to 1 in Billy’s favor, but Mr. Baker pretended to have lost count.


    The third run was Billy’s and this time they would open her up to 60 for a short burst on the biggest part of the lake. As was usual with Billy, he caught on fast and listed to everything that was taught. He even managed to feather the stop to keep the back deck dry this time. Billy took to calling this point “Baker’s point” as the old man schooled the kid 8 to 2. Surprisingly, Mr. Baker somehow managed to remember the lost count when he put his 8th in a row in the box. Billy was quick to point out he had caught another 6 that didn’t measure, but Mr. Baker was quick to point out those don’t count and never have with a chuckle.


    “Billy, we better call it day. I’m running out of steam and it’s already lunch time.” “I think we’ve hit ‘em a lick Mr. Baker, you’re probably right”, Billy shot back and said it in a way that Mr. Baker could barely tell he hated to leave so early. “Truth is, I’m just flat wore out and hungry” Mr. Baker said to let Billy know he hated to go too.


    They made their way back to the dock and Billy tied them off just as he’d been shown that morning and Mr. Baker backed the truck down and loaded the boat with Billy sitting close to Mr. Baker so he could be shown how it was done for the next trip. They pulled out and headed over to the bait shop for a burger as big as a grown man’s head and Billy promised not to mention the menu to Mrs. Ann.


    They talked over the day’s catch, the lake and the boat without so much as a pause except to chew and swallow and when they’d finished they made plans for the following Tuesday to come back and ‘hit ‘em another lick’.


    On the way home, Billy got quiet for so long that Mr. Baker thought he’d nodded off. “Mr. Baker. Thank you for taking me and showing me everything”. “My pleasure Billy, my pleasure”.


    Chapter 23


    They did make it back to the Cape the following Tuesday as planned. And even made 4 more trips over the next 3 years. Matter of fact, they hit a total of a dozen lakes in the same time frame. But life caught up to Billy and age crept up on Mr. Baker. Billy was busy with high school and Mr. Baker just didn’t have the energy he used to. So the trips were closer to home, shorter and less frequent. They were pretty much reduced to weekends Billy’s last 2 year of school. The summer Billy graduated, they only managed 2 trips to the lake out back and both of those were only for part of an evening. Billy was getting ready for college by working his second summer with a heat and air company that Mr. Baker had helped him find. Still, as busy as Billy had been, he still managed to see Mr. Baker and Mrs. Ann several times a week and he and Mr. Baker would talk fishing until Billy ran out of time.


    The weekend before Billy left for college, Carol and Mrs. Ann made a big fuss with a dinner party. Billy had to leave that Sunday morning in order to get moved in and register for classes the following Monday. When dinner was over, Mr. Baker pulled him aside and gave him a present. It was a framed picture of the two of them with Billy holding up an 8” Black and Mr. Baker holding up a 16” White. “Every trip, a keeper” was inscribed on the top of the frame. “Billy, I wanted to thank you and tell you how much fun I’ve had with you over the past years. I’ve enjoyed every minute I’ve spent with you. You’re a fine boy and I know you are well on your way to becoming a fine man. You go on to school and keep your head in the books and study hard. Me and Ann will keep an eye on your Mom. Call if you can and don’t worry about us, but you let us know if you need anything.” Mr. Baker had a long speech planned, but cut it short because he could feel his emotions welling up. “Mr. Baker…………..it’s me that owes you the thanks.” Billy bit his lip and looked away for a moment. “If you and Mrs. Ann hadn’t moved in next to me and Mom…….I don’t know where I’d be right now, but I can tell you it wouldn’t be where I am. Thank you.”


    Billy’s first year of school was harder than he’d thought. He only made it home twice and he had done as he was told over and over by his Mom, Mr. Baker and Mrs. Ann and had kept his head in the books. He did manage to find a local pond when he needed to get out, but it was just fun fishing and didn’t have much to offer other than a way to take a break with a few little brim and occasional bass. He had decided to stay and take summer classes and work with a local engineering firm that Mr. Baker had put him in touch with to try and stay ahead. And that’s just what he’d done. He’d taken only 16 hours the first semester and 16 hours the second on Mr. Baker’s advice so he could ease into the routine at school. Summer school would allow him to get a few more credits in and earn pretty good money that summer too. He didn’t get straight As that first year, but close enough that he’d made Mr. Baker proud when he told him. He’d managed to keep a routine of calling his Mom twice a week and Mr. Baker and Mrs. Ann at least once.


    His second year was easier now that he had the routine down. By his third year, he’d declared a major and was ahead on his hours to graduate early. Engineering was a good fit for him and while the math was hard, he enjoyed most of the work and found a lot of it actually interesting. He able to get home for a Christmas visit both of those years. His Senior year would be his hardest and he had fallen away from his routine some. His Mom started to worry when he hadn’t heard from him in 2 weeks. That was the week Billy brought Karen home for a visit. Carols eyes went from joy to surprise when she answered the door. Billy had never brought a girl home before. They could only stay for a few hours since they had classes the next day, but Billy wanted to introduce Karen to his Mom and of course, Mr. Baker and Mrs. Ann.


    Before he left, he let Mr. Baker know that he remembered something he’d told him on one of their trips, to “find one good woman and to love her with everything he had” and that was what he intended to do. Of course, this worried Ann and Carol, but not Mr. Baker.


    Billy went on to finish his Engineering degree and for good measure a Masters degree after his fifth year. And did it with no school loans holding him back thanks to Mr. Baker’s help and contacts and Billy’s hard work. He decided against taking a job in the city with a mid-sized firm and instead took a job with the State Highway department about 30 miles away from his home town after talking it over with Mr. Baker. He’d never get rich working for the state, but he’d have a comfortable living, good benefits and most importantly, plenty of time off for family and fishing. He proposed to Karen 2 days after completing his 90 day probationary hiring period.


    Chapter 24


    Work and a wife of only 4 years saw to it that Billy didn’t have much free time. Especially in the summer with all the projects he had to keep up with for the highway department. Billy and Mr. Baker only managed 3 trips all summer, but two of them were good ones. But things were slowing down at work now and his schedule was clearing some. Billy and Mr. Baker were looking forward to the next few short months and had made many plans.


    Fall was coming and the ground had given up it’s heat 2 weeks before. The water temps had been dropping slowly for the last month, but with this cool snap, they’d be ticking down quicker now putting the fish in a hungry mood. It was the worst time of year to bury Mr. Baker and Mrs. Ann. Billy was sick he had had to cancel the fishing trip the Saturday before, but he’d put off painting the dining room for Karen the two weekends before so he and Mr. Baker could fish and there just wasn’t any more patience left in her. Mr. Baker understood, of course, but Billy still hated it. The worst part was remembering the last conversation he’d had with Mr. Baker that Friday. “Don’t worry about it Billy, fall’s coming and we’ve got plenty of time to catch ‘em this year”.


    Two days later, a 26 year old “boy” ran a red light and plowed into the Baker’s driver’s side door. Mr. Baker died instantly and Mrs. Ann before they ambulance got there without ever regaining consciousness, is what they said. Of course, the kid that ran into them walked away with just a broken leg. It seemed to Billy that drunks never get hurt in wrecks like that. And what in the world was he doing drunk at 7 PM on a Monday anyway. He’d never understand it, but never really hated the kid for what had happened. He actually felt sorry for him. If it wasn’t for the Baker’s he might had ended up in a similar situation.


    The funeral was awful. Relatives of the Bakers he really didn’t know and most of them didn’t understand why this “neighbor” was taking it so hard. Mr. Baker’s son understood, but Billy didn’t really know him that well. And besides, he had his own grief to deal with. The best he could manage was to tell Robert that his Dad was a great man and meant the world to him. Robert, for his part, managed to say thank you through choked back tears.


    The funeral was bad enough, but the gathering at the Baker’s home was even worse. More awkward and more depressing. The pleasant conversations going on around him and the occasional laughter was more than he could take. If it weren’t for Karen and his Mom, he would have bolted, but they understood what the Baker’s meant to him. He was able to keep it together long enough to stay an acceptable amount of time before heading back home.


    It was a month later when he got the call from Robert. “Billy, this is Robert Baker” “Uh, yes Robert, how are you doing” Robert cleared his throat “Ok, I guess. I still miss him and I know you do too.” The pause made Billy almost tear up. “Billy, my Dad had a will and in it he left you his boat…..I guess he wanted to say thank you for you taking him fishing these past years. He left you a letter as well.” “Robert, I can’t accept that”. Robert chuckled, “It’s funny you said that, in his will it said that you would not want to accept it and instructed me that if you didn’t, I should haul it to your house and leave it unhooked on your curb with the title in the glove box. Billy, don’t make me do that. I understand you didn’t want anything from him, but you know fishing isn’t my thing and he really wanted you to have it. Susan and I don’t need anything and we both want you to have it.” Billy couldn’t stand it. He couldn’t hold the tears back now, but he squeaked out, “OK Robert. Thank you”. Robert took over the conversation and gave Billy the particulars on when they could meet at the Baker’s so he could pick it up.


    When Billy brought it home, he backed it in using the skills he’d been taught by Mr. Baker, but he couldn’t deal with it for another few weeks. Finally when he thought he was ready, he climbed into the boat he’d been in many times and opened the glove box and pulled the letter out that Mr. Baker had left him.


    “Billy, I know you didn’t want this boat, but I wanted you to have it. You may have started out as just the kid next door, but over the years, you’ve grown in to quite the man and my best friend. I was proud to have known you and thank you for the memories. Don’t let her sit and waste away. Take her out when you can and think of me when you’re fishing and don’t be sad about it because I’ll be smiling and looking down on your adventures. And if you can, find you a kid that needs some attention and take him with you. You will not regret it. I know I never did.


    Your Friend,


    William Baker”


    The note was so short that Billy flipped it over to see if there was more, but there wasn’t. It was brief, but it hurt. Billy hung his head and sobbed for a bit. Once the sadness passed, he lifted his head and surveyed the boat. She was old now, but still in fine shape. Mr. Baker and Billy had broken and repaired just about everything that they could on the boat over the years. He slid into the driver’s seat and slumped forward on the steering wheel and stared past the bow remembering the trip this past summer with Mr. Baker and caught himself with just a little smile. His daydream was interrupted by the sound of a backup alarm on a truck across the street.


    Billy climbed out of the boat and walked to the garage door and leaned against the opening. That’s when he noticed the rental van that had backed into the Adams’ driveway across and down one house. Two men had already opened the back and were getting things from the truck. Next a car pulled up and a woman got out and walked towards them. As Billy started to turn to go back in the house, the car door opened and out popped a little boy that couldn’t have been 12.


    The end.








    Epilogue

    I looked back and I posted the first chapter 6/9/10. Truth be told, I had worked on it for about a month before that. I’ve always fancied myself as a published author…it’s just that I’d never written anything and really have no clue about how to go about publishing something if I ever did. So…with that “non-plan” in mind, I sat down one day and wrote down a simple outline from a story I had been rolling around in my little mind. It consisted of an outline to be 10 chapters long and would fit on a post it note. In that month leading up to June, I wrote 5 chapters with the plan of getting far enough ahead that I could post one a week and by the 10th week, I’d have the story finished. Well…..that didn’t work out so well seeing as how I went to 24 chapters and 17 months.


    Which leads me to an explanation. The story is an amalgamation based on people I’ve known, but centrally, my Dad. His name was Billy and just like Mr. Baker, he had a propensity to adopt kids over the years and get them into the outdoors one way or another. I started that story in May of ’10 and he passed, if you’ll remember in December ‘ 10. For a long time after that, I just didn’t want to re-visit the story, besides not having the time for it. Therefore, I ask your forgiveness in its delay.


    I started back on this thing a couple of months back with the idea that I’d publish the final chapter on 12-21-12, which would be the 2 year anniversary of my Dad’s death, but yesterday, I attended a funeral of a friend of my Dad’s and mine. One of the old guard from town that has been in and around my life and that of my Dad’s all these years. So, it made me think I need to get off my duff and do it as none of us are promised tomorrow and y’all deserved an ending after all this time.


    In any event, thank you for waiting….somewhat patiently for me to finish. I wasn’t really sure what to expect when I posted the first chapter as I didn’t explain it or preface it in any way. Also, to many, many of you for your calls, emails, thoughts and prayers and even a few that made it to my Dad’s funeral, thank you. Your words of encouragement really meant a lot to me those days, weeks and months following his death. I know from being on the side of trying to give comfort it feels awkward and useless, but being on the side of being comforted for the first time, I can tell you that it really does help. I didn’t realize that before then.


    Dedicated to the memory of William Kent “Billy”Savage 10/8/1940 – 12/21/2010. Every trip, a keeper.





    The Author, Wannabe...
    Comments 23 Comments
    1. speckslayer57's Avatar
      speckslayer57 -
      Thank You very Much, the joys of this story "as I think More on it" outway the tears, reminds me of my father whom also has passed, Sorry for Your Loss! A great way to relay shared feelings, makes me wanna run out and adopt a best friend, and get out there fishin', heaven knows kids today need to get out of the house and into the great outdoors, we all need to get unwired from the TV, intrernet and texts. Great Story!!!!
    1. SlabSlayer77's Avatar
      SlabSlayer77 -
      Thank you for this story. I'm guessing many of us had Mr Baker types in our childhood that introduced us to fishing. My Mr Baker is 80 now and not able to fish all-day like he use to, but he still out fishes me every time.
    1. south point's Avatar
      south point -
      great story! loved it to the end!! I miss my grampa's. thanks.
    1. bovairean's Avatar
      bovairean -
      Great read from the beginning to the end. Makes me thing back to spending a month with my Grandpa every summer, and spending evenings fishing.
    1. rja4bama's Avatar
      rja4bama -
      Wow that was a great story. I always found myself waiting on the next 4 chapters. Thanks for sharing.
    1. RIVERMAN2's Avatar
      RIVERMAN2 -
      I get it! Thank You for sharing this story. In Oct. this year I lost my life long fishing buddy (my dad). His boat is setting in my driveway.
    1. Crappiegirl1's Avatar
      Crappiegirl1 -
      This was a great story. Thank u !
    1. Wannabe...'s Avatar
      Wannabe... -
      Thanks everyone for the kind words.

      Wannabe...
    1. Ragfly Jig Man's Avatar
      Ragfly Jig Man -
      WOW and WOW again. Wannabe, that is one of the best storys I have ever read. You definately should look into makeing this a book. You do have the talent to be a great writer so PLEASE look further into writing my friend. AGain thank you so much for such a great story. Very inspiring.
    1. stickum's Avatar
      stickum -
      Very good wannabe! never new ya had that kind of talent in ya. Congrats on a job well done.
    1. RetiredRR's Avatar
      RetiredRR -
      Great read. Great memories and a tribute to your Dad.
    1. gary's Avatar
      gary -
      thanks, maybe you'll write some more Gary
    1. cricket george's Avatar
      cricket george -
      Thank you for such a deeply moving story. I am at the stage of my life where I am mentoring children to introduce them to hunting and fishing. Don't stop writing.
    1. FisherMike's Avatar
      FisherMike -
      So many things rang true and familar to me.

      It's the people in our lives that make it so much richer.
      Thank you for reminding me.
    1. dandeman's Avatar
      dandeman -
      A very good story. I found myself wiping my eyes before I finished the last chapter. Thank you!!!
    1. bigjohn752000's Avatar
      bigjohn752000 -
      this was an awesome story ty for shareing
    1. jpdawg's Avatar
      jpdawg -
      I have nothing new to add to the above comments except thanks for a story that has touched me deeply.
    1. Billbob's Avatar
      Billbob -
      GREAT are you going to do a another 1 ??? i know it will be jush as good
    1. flintcreek's Avatar
      flintcreek -
      Best story I have read in a long time. I am going to put a few things off and see if I can get my dad to go fishing sometime this week.

      Thanks.
    1. Fish Police's Avatar
      Fish Police -
      Awesome...
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