A Christmas Memory of My Dad

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Posted by: Captain Woody - Comments Off on A Christmas Memory of My Dad

As a kid who grew up with a passion for fishing always meant looking forward to Christmas because of the new tackle I would receive. Every Christmas morning, I would wade through the dad-porchobligatory shirts, pants, and other clothes from aunts and grandparents, looking for the present that had my Dad’s distinctive handwriting on it. I learned very early to recognize his writing; as a Tampa police detective he wrote in a clear precise style, probably from all the reports he hated writing.

“To Woody” From Santa”, it would say, and it was always in his distinctive style. For reasons known only to my dad and Santa, Santa would have my Dad address the packages which I eagerly accepted without question.

On one particular Christmas in 1955, I was about eight and had opened everything but not yet found my fishing stuff. Had I been paying attention, I probably would have seen my Dad watching for my expressions. As it was and coming to the end of the presents and was beginning to get disappointed. Dad finally said, “I thought I saw something sticking up in the hedge when I got the paper this morning, why don’t you see what it was?”

Almost breaking the door down I raced outside toward the hedge and there it was. Sticking up in the hedge was a new rod and reel. Not just a kid’s model but a Shakespeare rod and Zebco 33 spin-cast reel, just like my dads. Christmas was now complete!

After Christmas dinner I spent the afternoon on my bike fishing the banks of the Hillsborough River. Bass, bream, snook and jacks could always be found in the warmer river waters. I caught some fish that day… I caught them on my new rod and reel with new line… the one my Dad addressed for Santa.

I hope all of you have a very Merry Christmas and a very Happy Holiday, wherever you are. May you be fortunate enough to receive a gift that will instill a lifetime memory! And may we always remember the reason we celebrate this wonderful time of year.

This article is owned by Capt. Woody Gore and is copyright protected. Permission to republish this article in print or online must be granted by Capt. Gore. wgore@ix.netcom.com