When I was growing up, my family and I were active members in our church and quite social in our neighborhood. There was a man who lived about 4 blocks away from my family who had quite a bit of free time which he filled up by fishing around in the near by lakes and reservoirs. He knew my family quite well and knew that my dad took my brothers and I fishing as often as he could. At this time I was around 13 or 14 and to young to get a job so he asked my mom and dad if I could be his fishing partner every Thursday during the summer while I was out of school. When my dad asked me if I wanted to go fishing with Fred (our neighbor) every Thursday I was a bit confused about why this guy wanted to take some young kid fishing, but because I loved to fish I told him I would do it.
Over the course of that summer, I spent quite a bit of time with my friends playing around being a kid but what I remember most was that every Thursday, bright and early in the morning, Fred would be pulling up in front of my parents house with his boat expecting me to go fishing. Fred took me from Henry's Lake to Ririe Reservoir and every where in-between, fishing for anything we could catch. To be honest, I can't remember much about what we talked about or how great the fishing was but I can remember how important I felt every Thursday when Fred pulled up with his boat.
Fred was not taking me fishing because I didn't have a dad to get me outdoors. Fred was taking me fishing because he wanted to, not to treat me as a project, not to get me away some bad influences, not to try and talk to me about planning my future, but he took me fishing just to have a friend to fish with. To this day I still haven't thanked Fred for taking me fishing, and I doubt he even knows how much it meant to me to feel wanted/appreciated by some random guy down the street.
I know my home town isn't the only place where good neighbors exist or where wonderful people live. Share a brief comment about why you love your small town, or about your favorite fishing partner to express gratitude for how it has affected you.