Many cultures, world-wide, have their ideas of
who and what 'grandfather' is. Many often just
call them grandpa in this country. One thing for
sure, they are a special person. Any student of
religions and cultures will recall some of the
characteristics which sets 'grandpas' apart. They
can often be accused with good reason for spoiling
a child. Like when a kid comes back from his
grandparents house, it takes three days to get him
to behave again.
Nothing in the world is/was like our grandparents
place, yours and mine. Just nothing; the smells,
the looks, the things they had and how life was
when we visited them. Mostly, grandparents did not
come, you went there. And it was a good time. For
many lucky ones, it still is and will be for some
time to come.
Parents must make the rules and enforce them.
Grandparents do neither, they just get to spoil and
enjoy the grand-kids. And often take them fishing,
sometimes even for the first time. It was my grandmother
actually who took me trout fishing for the first time
in a creek in Michigan, I was four I think. But, of all
the things I must have done that summer, I do remember,
digging the worms, seeing the creek for the first time,
(she put the first worm on) holding the stick over the
water, feeling the tug and jerking the poor little
brookie out of the creek.
There was always something special about time spent
with my grandparents, but especially grandpa as I
called him. He worked during the day but often had
time after that to take me fishing at a nearby lake.
A boat with oars was our 'Queen Mary,' it was very
old and leaked (wood boats do that). My main job was
to make sure we had a coffee can and keep the thing
bailed out. This was not a problem, it was important;
I was important. Didn't all boats leak? I figured
they did, ours was no different.
I learned many things from my grandpa. We fished for
perch and blue gills throughout many summers in Michigan,
and although I was too young to really discuss anything
important about life, somehow he managed to impress a
few ideas on me anyway. And this brings me to my point.
For those of you who still have grandparents, give it
a bit of thought. You won't always have them. They have
lived through a lot and learned many things, some things
they know may actually be of value to you. Listen to them,
ask questions. How about, "Grandpa, take me fishing?...
Teach me how to tie flies?... Can we really build a fly
rod?... Or, Grandpa, will you read to me?
To you who have grandkids, is there some time you could
be spending with them these days? Is there, or are there
bits of life's ethics that you can pass along to them.
Not that their parents don't, or can't, but if you have
the opportunity, are you missing any of the pay-off of
sharing and teaching? These days parents are busy, way
too darn busy in my opinion, doing all sorts of stuff,
like making a living for one thing, grandparents may
have a little more opportunity.
This season some of us will be spending time with our
relatives, hopefully good, quality time. And some of
us will only be holding them in our hearts, wherever
they may be. Maybe you could make time to take your
grandchild (fly) fishing when he gets home? No matter
how old he is. Think about it, give it a chance. And
Let each in his own words and each in his own way, join
together and remember the reason for this season. I truly
wish each and everyone of you, the very, very best of
And from especially from James Castwell... MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!
~ James Castwell