Laughs That Last

Outdoor Life - - LETTERS -

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

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