Father's Day: Remembering Dad
June 15, 2018
Happy Father's Day, dads! We're celebrating with cookouts, steak dinners, and boat rides, as well as remembering our fathers who have passed away. This is a story from our own Gene W. about a fearless backwoods boy his father knew in the Army, and the happiness Gene feels when he remembers how much his father loved to tell this story. "My father, God bless him, had a wonderful memory that in turn left me with a wonderful memory. "During WW II Army boot camp, Dad was in Fort Benning, Georgia. One young recruit named Elmer was from the swamplands of Florida. You have to remember that Florida of the 40's was vastly different than today...its two biggest attractions were alligators and mosquitoes. My father recalled how Elmer (who was probably about 16 years old) kept getting into trouble because he would never keep his boots on. His army-issued boots were the first shoes he ever owned, and couldn't get used to them. [caption id="attachment_762" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Cabin in Volusia County, Florida.[/caption] "The best of the story comes when, one evening, a number of the recruits were relaxing outside the barracks swapping stories about where they were from, and the like. Well, turns out Elmer's family were alligator hunters. Pretty much their entire existence was dependent on alligators, and they mostly hunted at night. Elmer casually told the story of how, when he was 7-8 years old, it was the norm for his kin to tie a rope around his waist, throw him into the water, have him splash around to attract the gators, then yank him in when the gators got close. Elmer never thought twice about it...it's just the way it was done. From that day forward, he wasn't Elmer. He was 'Gator Bait'! "While the story is funny, it was my dad's expressions while telling the story. Here he was...91 years old, remembering something from 70 years before. The grin on his face, the twinkle in his eye. For just a moment he was a 20-year-old kid again reliving a memory from long ago. THAT'S what I remember and always makes me smile." Got any great stories about boating and fishing with Dad? We'd love for you to share them with us on Google+, Facebook, and Twitter.