I’ve searched high and low, through stacks and stacks of photos, but I haven’t been able to find a picture of the “throne.” It’s a shame because it was one piece of my father’s handiwork that perfectly captured his artistry, ingenuity and attitude. It was a masterpiece of design and functionality that remained a source of entertainment from the time it was built until high water floated it away forever.
For those of us who fish in the Apalachicola River and its tributaries, catching pied or hand-painted bream is one of the highlights of any trip. Some of my earliest and best memories are of hanging onto a cane pole for dear life and steering a big pied back to me. That thrill is still is enough to make me drive two hours, bail a boat and fight mosquitoes all day.
It occurred to me not too long ago that I haven’t been anybody’s grandchild since 1991 and I miss it sorely. As a kid with grandparents, you always know there’s somebody out there who thinks you’re wonderful, no matter how often or badly you screw up.
I used to really like duck hunting. I enjoyed being out early, waiting on the ducks to start coming in. I appreciated seeing a well-trained dog at work. And I’ve never minded cleaning a mess of them.
In fact, the only thing that kept me from becoming a full-fledged duck fanatic is that I don’t like to eat them.