August 11th, 2003

The Premiere OnLine Magazine for the Fly Fishing Enthusiast.
This is where our readers tell their stories . . .

Zachary Wants to Go Fishing!
By Steven H. McGarthwaite

Publisher's Note: The following article is a rewrite of a newspaper article Steven read in his local paper. The story originated with the Duluth News Tribune, written by Chuck Frederick, it is a true story.

Zachary Woods wants to go fishing with his Grandpa; this would be a special event in Zachary's life. Zachary is 10 years old with Spina bifida, and has been confined to a wheel chair since he was a toddler. Because of Zachary's condition, and the family just building a house, a pontoon boat is not in the family budget.

Dorlyn Desen lives across the street and would watch as Zachary's dad lift him into and out of the family car, wondering how much longer before the father's back would give out. One day the neighbor saw Zachary's father, Terry, raking the front yard, and came over to talk with him. There was a used van with a chairlift that Dorlyn wanted Terry to look at, so the whole family followed their neighbor to nearby Rainy Lake near International Falls, MN. The neighbor explained that the property belonged to his cousin's wife in Arizona. His cousin, David Perlin, was an electrical engineer, had been paralyzed from an accident in his youth and had died the previous winter of a stroke. So the Perlin family did not need the van any more; the van had very low mileage and no rust.

Dorlyn told the Woods about how David Perlin loved the area and would come up to escape the heat of Arizona in the summer. The neighbor showed them around the property. There was a boat house with a pontoon boat that David used. Then they went into the house. Everywhere there were ramps for Zachary to easily move around the house, and even out onto the large deck overlooking Rainy Lake; the house even had an elevator.

The neighbor asked if they could imagine living in a house like this. Terry's wife Tammy said, "Maybe if we won the lottery."

But they had payments on their car and the new house. Terry and Tammy thanked their neighbor for showing them the place, and said the van was nice, but they could not afford it at this time. The neighbor said, "Well then just take it." "Take it all. The house! The boat! The van! It is all free! I just want you to enjoy it. Please enjoy it!"

David's wife had decided that she could never go up to the house on Rainy Lake again, after the death of her husband, and she could never sell it because of all the memories. So hearing about the neighbors across the street from her husband's cousin, she decided to give them the house (with all furnishings), the pontoon boat, and the van.

Now Zachary will be going fishing with his Grandpa! ~ Parnelli

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