I Wish Grandpas Never Died
A stolen title for this blog from Riley Green’s hit song, “I wish Grandpas never died.”
Such a simple line, but oh so true. Both of my grandpas have gone on to be with the Lord, and it’s hard not to miss them, especially right here around the holidays. They both managed to have an impact on my love for fishing, both in their own separate way.
My “Big Pa” first introduced me to fishing on the banks of the Satilla River when I was 6 years old. I can still remember that foggy morning so many years ago, and I still smile to this day when I pass that spot on the river bank. Sometimes I can almost see him there, perched on a 5-gallon bucket in his faded overalls.
God I miss that man. He spent many a Saturday mornings teaching me about life, and how to cast a line. Heck, if I had a dollar right now for every time he helped me untangle my line, bait a hook, or retie a knot, I probably could retire a pretty wealthy man. Big Pa passed away over a decade ago, but there isn’t a fishing trip I go on, I don’t think about the good times we had.
My other Grandpa, “Papa” as I called him, also had a large impact on my fishing career, a little later in life. When I was first published in GON magazine, I don’t know if anyone was prouder than my Papa. Truthfully, it was his encouragement that made me push even harder at writing, and the success I’ve had at it is owed to him.
Papa has gone to be with the Lord a couple of years now, but if you were to go look by his recliner, there’s still a stack of GON magazines with every story I have ever written. He kept them all. Without a doubt my Papa was my biggest fan. Every time I type the first word of a magazine story, I think of him and I always will.
Riding home from the Satilla River last week, thinking about these two great men, tears ran down my face as memories of them flooded my mind. I know where they are, and I know I will see them again, but man… I wish Grandpa’s never died.