I was about 8 when he turned to my grandmother and said, “it is time the boy learned to swim”. He picked me up, waded out to deeper water, released me and said, “swim boy”. I did and I had no fear.
When I was 10 he presented me with his old single shot 22 rifle. The following weekends he taught be about firearm safety, how to clean a firearm and how to store a firearm. (It was my gun, but it stayed in gramp’s locked gun case). He had no interest in sport hunting but from his days in the wilderness was comfortable in hunting for food or to protect a camp from roaming carnivores.
He showed me how to build a rock dam in an Adirondack stream and return in a week to find it teeming with little crawfish like critters that made perfect bait for fishing. We built a worm farm with coffee grounds and soil so we always had bait.
He taught me how to cast a fly rod and how clean the rod after every use. When dissembling the rod is was mandatory to rub the male end of the connection on the side of your nose to lube with natural oil.
In my memories of him I can’t recall hearing a harsh word or a word spoken in anger. He had strong opinions and was not reluctant to speak them but he would always respectfully listen to the opinion of others.
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