Laughs That Last
I got a little choked up when I read that Pat Mcmanus had passed (The Last Laugh). I grew up poor, but somewhere along the way my family received a few stacks of Outdoor Life. I read his stories over and over.
One character Jim Zumbo didn’t mention in his tribute was Strange the Dog. I could completely understand Pat’s humor in that department. My family always seemed to have a succession of mongrels that posed as “hunting” dogs, but the only thing they could locate was an unattended morsel on your plate. They also excelled at occupying the chair closest to the wood stove, and would defend it with their lives.
So, Pat, thank you for giving us a piece of you. It was invaluable when I needed it the most. I hope wherever you are, the partridge fly slow and the deer are deaf.
Jack Pine Savage, MI
I began reading Mr. Mcmanus’ books in the mid ’80s. The first was a gift from my daughter, and after a few nights of reading it in bed, my wife banned me from the room. I was laughing so hard that I kept her awake.
I grew up in a small Texas town and spent my time hunting, fishing, and camping. His stories were infinitely relatable to my life. I had two Eddie Muldoons in my circle, except their names were Weird Harold and Crazy Fred. I also had a sister not unlike the Troll.
I have 11 of Pat’s books. Six are autographed, because in 1989, I had the opportunity to meet him at a book signing in Dallas. It wasn’t busy, and he and I had a 30-minute conversation. Patrick was the most gracious, friendliest, and interesting man I think I ever met. It truly saddens me to hear of his passing. All I can say now is, thank you, Patrick Mcmanus, for the joy and laughter you brought into my life.
Robert L. Fletcher Plano, TX
Reading Joe Arterburn’s column about his old shed (“202 Yards to Adventure,” Offhand Shots) brought back many memories. Thinking of all the sheds, hooches, and shelters the neighborhood kids and I built over the years brought a tear to my eye. Darned if you didn’t cause another by running the tribute to Mcmanus on the back page.
Jim Ross, via email