Thursday, June 4, 2009

Proof is in the Picture

My father was a hunter, fisherman and outdoorsman. When I was a youngster he was my hero and there was nothing that he could not do in my eyes. He taught me how to shoot, fish, hunt and trail a deer if need be. He made sure my brother and I had hunting and fishing memories enough for any lifetime. He was hard and required perfection in all that we did. I don’t know that I ever pleased him but I became very good at some of the things he taught me to do. I can remember my brother and I sitting with some friends and family at some function just a few years before Dad died. Someone made the comment that he had been afraid of his father until he was 30 years old. At the time my brother and I were in our late forties. We looked at each other and one of us said “Hell we’re still scared of Dad” He was that way but would have done anything for us.

I can remember a hunt late in his life where we broke the axle of a 4x4 Land Rover on the side of a rough mountain canyon many miles from help. I headed for headquarters while my brother stayed with Dad on the side of the mountain. A Blue Norther hit and none of us had been dressed for sub freezing weather. My brother and Dad liked to have frozen before I got back with help and warm clothes. It was hard as Dad had a bad heart and diabetes but we all laughed it off later. We all took deer and javelina on that adventure and made memories I will have till I die.

The three of us had a hunt for Desert Mule Deer in the Texas Trans Pecos when my brother and I were just kids. My brother and I both killed a monster buck on that trip and it was many years before I realized that Dad had put us on those deer and had given us the shot instead of taking it himself. He was that way.

Dad always told us a story of a perfect day with perfect water while fishing for Sailfish off the coast of Mazatlan Mexico. He talked of strike after strike with perfect hookups. He told me of the fight after fight with giant tail walking sails that wore him out. He told me that on that perfect day he landed six sailfish over 10 feet. I have never heard of anyone else doing this and at times doubted the story. Mom ran across a picture the other day in a box of keepsakes. Remember in 1956 there was no such thing as catch and release in Mexico as all billfish were brought in and the meat utilized for food. I thought you all might enjoy this picture. Dad is on the left with the boat captain on the right.
Miss you Dad, Wild Ed


James A. Zachary Jr. said...

Sir, that is an outstanding post, a great salute to your Father and to family.

Beautiful old photographs...

Thanks you. I enjoyed that more than I can tell.

Anonymous said...

Stalking a deer or turkey, setting steel traps, running trot lines for giant yellow cats, skinning a deer (or any animal), facing down charging animals, running deer out of the pasture with a Cessna 310L, calmly feathering the prop when one engine on the plane when out, buzzing the ranch house late at night and then landing in a dark field with Wild Ed in one truck and me in the other, always bringing us a pie or donut to our lonely ranch outpost somewhere in Texas, showing us boys you could kill a mule deer at 600 yards, telling us how disappointed he was with us and then later telling us how much he loved his boys and was proud of them. A complicated, talented man.
I miss him too!
Baby Wild