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.
Can I just say how much I love this! I recently was on the receiving end of some comments from old high school friends about how I was going "nowhere" because I married a boy from our home town and still live here. I am grateful for that hometown boy that taught me to fish and enjoy the outdoors more! I love our community and the support everyone is willing to offer at different times. We both have our college degrees, a home and a beautiful baby boy....tell me again how its so terrible to still live here? :)ReplyDelete
Thanks Liz for your comment, I am glad there are people like you and your husband who aren't afraid to live in a small town and live a simple life. I would agree with your old high school friends in the fact that they are right in the fact that I am going nowhere, I'm going nowhere else... I enjoy it here and I choose to stay here for the reasons that are right for my family and I. I don't have a need to go anywhere else. Thanks again for your commentDelete
Really enjoyed reading this, Kevin. Well done and be sure to thank Fred before time slips away. I, too hope you can be someone's 'Fred' and inspire them. Great read!ReplyDelete
Thanks Al, I have taken a few kids fishing already and hope to always continue to share the outdoors with those i'm around.Delete
That was a good read Kevin. I remember I had a great neighbor that was a stubborn old man, but I was the only kid around on my block and he didn't have any grand kids close. Al was his name and he treated me like I was his own grandson. I too think that good neighbors like that can make a world of difference in the lives of children. I had a lot of great neighbors, but Al was the one that had the greatest impact on me. Thanks for sharing your story Kevin.ReplyDelete
That is neat Bryce! It is funny how some of the "stubborn old men" are so soft when you get to know them.Delete