I had a great childhood growing up as a farm boy in the Yakima Valley of Washington in the 1950’s. I was surrounded by good strong men that were my role models. My father was as good a man as ever was. He taught me to work hard and stand up for myself. He taught me to never ever quit. My mother’s brother was Uncle Norm. He was also a farmer but he hunted, fished, had a boat and a cool car.
In the garage at my Grandma’s house was Norm’s boat. It was a plywood boat strapped to the trailer by an inner tube stretched across the top. It smelled of wet wood, musty life jackets, oil and gasoline. It might have well been a space ship or a pirate ship. I spent many hours behind the wheel watching the engine move from side to side as I paid attention to how the cables went back and forth through the pulleys.
It was Uncle Norm that brought me my first fishing pole and took me fishing for the first time. It was Uncle Norm that gave me that first pump shotgun. It was he that took me deer hunting for the first time. He had a huge influence on my life.
For me, those memories are priceless. Take your kids, your grandchildren, or the neighbor kids fishing. Take them out in the boat. Teach them water safety. Teach them to be safe with guns. Teach them to shoot. They will never forget it and the world will be a better place. Pass it on!
Richard W. Bogert