The most precious gift is family
The Way I See It
by DON WEST
I grew up with a cane fishing pole in my hands on every occasion possible. There was an irrigation canal that made a dogleg on East Division and I spent many hours sitting on the bank there waiting for that big bite. Most of the time all I got was a suntan. There was also a pond on Highway 90 near the overpass and my uncle partly owned that pond. It was another place that I frequented on my hand-me-down bicycle to search for that trophy fish and, though times have changed considerably since those days, I still have not landed that monster fish.
I graduated from that cane pole and bicycle to having owned boats from a 14’ flat bottom aluminum boats to a fully loaded out Nitro bass rig, but the trophy continues to elude me. Shooting my age in golf, is another elusive goal that will go into my legacy when I leave this world, unless I live to be about 150. Though I long ago gave up the golf challenge, I still, on occasion, seek that personal record bass and my sights are not that lofty. One day before I go to that tranquil lake on the other side, maybe I will break that 5# (this is not a hash tag) mark.
I received an early Father’s Day gift this past weekend when my son, Matt, invited me to join him on Toledo Bend Lake for a weekend of fishing, eating and enjoying the company of his in-laws, Deanna and Shelby Richard, joined by Blackie and Theresa Richard, and Syd and Carol Bergeaux. There were lots of fish tales told and laughs enjoyed, but the trophy bass still eludes. Matt soundly beat his dad again with larger fish, but I did sneak past him on one day with more fish caught. I don’t have the stamina I once had to fish from dark to dark, nor am I as mad at the fish as I once was. But I couldn’t have had a better Father’s Day present than spending time with my son. I thank his wife and children for loaning him to me for a weekend, which has become too rare.
Matt and I once spent long hours on area waters learning and enjoying the sport of bass fishing. It has become one of my favorite pastimes, but I really believe it is about that quality time spent with my son, though the fishing is an absolute pleasure as well. There were times when we would venture across Toledo Bend to the Texas side in a small aluminum boat with a 9 h.p. motor for all-night fishing, napping in the boat and braving the sometimes turbulent waters of that impoundment. Now Matt has one of those water rockets that fly across the lake and enough fishing equipment to outfit a small army. It comes equipped with snacks, beverages and music to serenade the fish. It’s a long way from my bike and cane pole, and the bass I do catch are a nice change from the choupique I used to bring home wrapped in newspaper tucked under one arm while guiding bicycle and clutching fishing pole with the other.
Sometimes we fail to acknowledge our appreciation for moments in time, but I wanted Matt and Melanie to know that this Father’s Day is a special one, in time yet to come, but paid in full with treasured memories. You have honored your father with a gift that will keep on giving and I truly appreciate it and love you for it.
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