Building the legend of grandpa Steve
I WENT FLY FISHING for trout on Sunday for the first time this year. And, believe it or not, on my very first cast, I hooked and landed a plump 16-inch rainbow.
I should have quit right there for the entire trout season.
Had I done that, I might have honestly been able to tell my grandson that grandpa once had a trout season where he caught a fish on every cast.
This, of course, is important because as any outdoorsman who has a new grandson knows, you can never start cultivating the legend of grandpa too early.
My grandson Hudson is only six months old now so there haven’t been many opportunities thus far. In fact, it’s even too early to decide if I need a mask and cape, though I’m thinking that the mandatory leotards that typically accompany these items will tilt my decision against this.
Regardless, I have activated the process of becoming my grandson’s hero.
The last time he and his
parents visited, when we were alone, I mentioned off-handedly to Hudson that grandpa had arrowed a 24-point buck last deer season and I even showed him the photo of that three pointer to prove it, which is OK because math class hasn’t ruined him yet.
Better yet, Hudson cannot currently comprehend any complex thoughts that do not involve food intake, the smearing of food all over his face or diaper changes. Basically, right now he’s kind of like the ghost of hunt camp future.
Unlike the guys at hunt camp however, Hudson will trust that grandpa is all-knowing and wise – at least for the next few years. So this is my one chance to build on that misconception.
That’s why I’m going to try extra hard to shoot a decent gobbler this spring, if not with my gun then hopefully with my camera when the guy who brought it to the local voluntary check station isn’t looking. Of course, if that doesn’t pan out, I might have to go out and get one of my own.
Either way, I’ll place the photo of me and a turkey in the scrapbook of grandpa’s greatest achievements, which already has blurry photos of a two-pound bass beside a Ken doll and another photo of grandpa shoo-ing off what appears to be a huge mangy bear from a campsite but is in fact my buddy Tom without a shirt on.
The sad thing is I didn’t even have to blur that one.
The way I figure it, I’ve got a brief window to cultivate the image of a grandpa that any red-blooded boy would be proud of. It’s going to take a lot of hard work and a relentless determination to never to be seen without a safari hat on.
I will also need a heroic catchphrase. I’m talking about the kind of catchphrase that makes women weak in the knees and grown men look at you in raw admiration. Right now, I’m thinking of something like “I don’t rake leaves.”
This is the kind of thing a fellow my age thinks about when the early stages of grandfatherhood and turkey season intersect. With that in mind, tomorrow morning I’ll be out there hunting hard to get a bird or at least a story that I can tell to my grandson when he is old enough to understand words – but not abbreviations like BS.