My daddy was a banker all of my life. And in our little South Alabama town the bank was closed on Thursdays – all day – and half a day on Saturdays. (In fact, the whole town closed down on Thursdays if I remember correctly.) Anyway, if Daddy was going to go fishing (which he loved to do) it would be on a Thursday.
One summer when I was maybe eight or nine, he asked me on a Wednesday if I’d like to be his fishing partner the next day. (I think his regular fishing buddies were unavailable.)
I loved to fish.
I could bait my own hook, I could take a fish off a hook, and I could eat potted meat and soda crackers like a pro!
That Wednesday night we (Daddy and I) slept on the pullout sofa in the den so that we could get up early- before dawn – not waking anybody else in the house, and head out to the lake before it got too hot. We turned on the window unit air conditioner in the den and bedded down, me snuggling up to the small of his back, as I loved to do – and he would let me do.
Still dark on that Thursday, we headed out – fishing boat in tow. We got to our spot just as the sun was rising, and by the time the skeeters started to bite we were hauling in the bream, shell crackers, and a few bass. By noon we had consumed all the potted meat and the Coca-colas in the icebox, and we had caught our limit.
In those hours out on that lake – just the two of us – I don’t remember if we talked or laughed or had any father/daughter moments or not, but I remember just being with my daddy – doing something that he and I loved to do.
Daddy has been gone for over 40 years now. I have a lot of memories of the 18 years I knew him, but that one half-day in a fishing boat – just him and me – is one of my favorites.
Happy Father’s Day to all dads. Remember it’s the little things…