Editor’s Note: The following letter and accompanying photograph were delivered to the Florida Sportsman office recently by a longtime reader of the magazine. A father of four, age 75, he said that he wished to be unidentified, but wanted us to share this letter, “to show other fathers the value of spending time with your kids in the outdoors.”
Florida Sportsman readers are encouraged to visit our Facebook page this week and post their own photographs in honor of upcoming Father’s Day, June 15.
I wanted to take this minute to say some things that I feel represent all the kids. As the oldest unmarried son, growing up I got a front row seat on how to be a good husband, good father and good man. I only now can understand the many sacrifices you and Mom made always on our behalf, constant taxi service to our various activities, endless football, basketball, and baseball and whatever hell else. I know it would have been easy to look the other way and have spent quality time with friends but as parents you always made sure that we came first.
I am very disappointed that you never got to relive your glory days in sports with any of us but as we all found out that simply was not in the cards, it would have been fun. We did however explore our very eventful fishing career complete with smiles, tears, relentless groundings, crashes and occasional medical visits. I have yet to determine if this was due to your total lack of ability and knowledge or the fact that you had four unruly kids. I suspect it was a combination of both, but we all eventually got better and have now taken all our own families on trips although with considerable less drama. I guess during all those early years of struggle we were all learning from our mistakes. Fishing as a family is what it’s all about.
I strongly feel the fact that you and mom raised three boys and a girl not one of us ever getting into any serious trouble, all married well, and have not had to go thru any substance abuse problems says a lot. If you look at a lot of other good families seldom do all the kids remain out of harm’s way.
I write this letter because as you know it is not in my personality to tell you in person. I hope you understand. In closing, I will say that any little success that any of us achieved was largely due to the Stellar job you and Mom did as parents. I THANK YOU.
Your loving eldest son,