We celebrated my grandson Allen’s first birthday last month. I’ll be 65 in a couple of weeks, and about 10 days before my grandson’s big party, my oldest daughter (not his mother) told me that I needed to live at least another 12 or 13 years.
I asked, “Why?” Was there a reason other than her just wanting me around a little longer?
She told me that her husband’s beloved N.C. State Wolfpack had just signed a contract to play a home-and-home football series with my beloved Georgia Bulldogs in, she thought, 2033 and 2034.
Other than watching the Dawgs absolutely kick butt in Carter-Finley Stadium and Sanford Stadium in back-to-back years, I have a big reason to make it another dozen or so years, Lord willing, if my ticker will keep on ticking.
By that point, my grandson will be about the age that my father started me hunting, the same age that I started my son hunting, and I’d sure like to be around to see how Allen, aka “Little Dude” operates with a shotgun or rifle on his shoulder, not to mention a fishing rod in his hand.
Two of my most-prized possessions are photos of Allen’s father, my son: one at about age 12 or 13, standing next to guide Ken Dempsey, who is holding up a 60-pound cobia my son caught off the famous Diamond Shoals at Cape Hatteras; the other, from about the same age, he’s posing with my father with his first buck, in the back of a pickup truck. They were sharing a stand when he shot him. Dad just turned 91.
Between the three of us, we have put quite a few more deer in the back of that pickup truck, along with enough turkey gobblers to fill the biggest Thanksgiving dinner table at the biggest hotel; even a few ducks have taken a ride home in that 1995 Ford Ranger.
The truck left us a few weeks before it would have turned over 300,000 miles. Hopefully, I’ll still be around when I hit a similar milestone, if only to be able to share some time afield with my grandson. Maybe I can watch him carry along a family tradition of hunting and fishing.
And I’d like to see the Dawgs kick butt again