My Grandfather has always been a quiet man. He shows his expressions more through his actions and laughter than using words, yet there has always been a time of year where he just seems to babble on about two topics with my father and uncles until out of breath; fishing and hunting. Most of the men in my family are outdoorsmen, along with my Aunt Cindi. We all share a passion for hunting and fishing that some people in this world just won’t ever get to experience or understand why we muddle through all the work to get the gear and clothes in the truck, to be covered in mud while in the woods, or drenched by the down fall of the rapid rain. Then after all that work not to catch a fish or even see a deer, but once you do all that effort pays off. My Grandfather has been doing these things since he was about six or 7 years old and has shown me passion on why he follows these traditions.
As a child, my mother and father both worked full time at Intelicoat Technology’s in Chicopee. Having such a busy schedule my mother had found a daycare for my sister and I down the road from her work. We attended daycare four times a week over summers and bonded with some of the other kids that went there. Every Friday though Sam and I went to our grandparents for the day. As normal siblings we always were fusing around getting into little fights, especially because there was not much to do. At least at are daycare we could go outside at lunch and release all of our energy that had built up since breakfast. Yet at our grandparent’s that energy was never released, we couldn’t go outside because their yard was so cramped, and inside the only thing to do was watching TV. So basically it turned into a mini wrestling match the whole time. Me being too rough to a younger sister she would always end up crying, and all fingers pointed at me. Usually my grandmother would put us in timeout upstairs were we had to sit and twiddle our thumbs but grandpa always snuck us out a couple minutes early being the sneaky man he is.
One Friday my grandpa decided to get us out of the house and do something active for the day. On a hot sticky day in the middle of August he decided to bring us down to this creek right beside the Westover Air Base. My grandpa taught us how to bait a hook and cast; even though Sam and I couldn’t cast to save our lives he was always patient enough to let us learn. After about twenty minutes of not hooking one fish, I noticed a different look in my grandpa’s face as if he was disappointed. It was that face he gets every time after buying a twenty dollar scratch ticket and losing, he just stares and sighs. Yet I couldn’t tell if it was Sam and I that were making him disappointed because for once we were actually having fun, getting along. After about my ninth or tenth cast I felt a slight tug on the line of my pole. Not very hard though, so I brushed it off thinking it was weeds, but then again I felt the tug. I heard my grandpa pacing towards me yelling, “set the hook!” Taking his advice I pulled the rod as hard as I could; I began reeling it in at a moderate speed and retrieved it into my hands once on shore. Something different caught my eye though, but it wasn’t the satisfaction of catching my first fish, it was the
look on my grandpa’s face. He almost looked like a mother looking at her newborns face for the first time, tears of joy, happiness. I had never seen him like this.
As I got older around the age of sixteen, my Dad and I went hunting one morning in New York. It was a typical morning in New York, chilly, sun rising above the trees slowly. I had my 270 bolt action rifle in hand; my father was down the hill a quarter mile sitting in the hedge row and kicked a deer to me. She was sprinting full speed; I was about 100 yards away and tried to get my sights on her. But being so…