Sunday, June 16, 2019

Happy Father's Day

My father, myself and my brother Mike fishing for
tautog at Jamestown in 1960.  There was rarely a
weekend when we didn't fish.
Fishing is one of those hobbies that often gets passed down from father to son or daughter. If anyone were to ask me who the best fisherman I know is, I would have to say it's my father. He taught me everything I know about freshwater and saltwater fishing, and I just continued that tradition by passing it down to my four sons.
My father was the hardest working guy I ever knew.  He worked in a shoe factory for much of his life, and even worked second jobs when he needed the money to support his three kids.  Yet, he always found the time to fish with his kids.  We often fished freshwater for bass and trout during the weekday evenings, and on the weekends we fished the ocean for stripers.  In the off season, we built plugs in the basement or tied flies at the kitchen table.
It's 1965 and my brother Mike and I stand in front
of the "beach buggy" my father built. Here we
are camping in a dirt parking lot at East Matunuck
and catching bluefish!
From spring to fall, we spent most weekends at the oceanfront.  Back in the 1960's, my father built his own "beach buggy", a 1950's bread truck that he rigged for camping and fishing.  It slept 5 people and a dog.  It was outfitted with a beer barrel on the roof for water and an ice box (yup, it worked with ice) for a refrigerator. We cooked on a Coleman stove.  We had everything we needed for a weekend of fishing as we would fish the RI south shore as well as the outer Cape.  He named his buggy "Connie" after my mother.
Those were the good, ole days.  No computers, no smart phones, now even color tv's.  Yet, we enjoyed really ourselves and lived simply without the stress of our new age gadgets.
My father, Ralph, turns 90 this year. I don't know how many Father's Days he has left, but I can tell you his memory will last forever.
Happy Father's Day, Dad.