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Posted on June 19 2016

I hadn't planned on posting this morning but it's Father's Day and this image of my dad popped into my head when I woke up.  It's from a trip this past December with guide Steve Martinez and photographer Robert Yaskovic.  (You can catch up on those posts HERE and HERE.)  Good times on the river with good dudes, dads, and my dad, also a good dude.

This photograph will always make me smile as my dad had just been giving Robert shit for farming a very large double (maybe triple?) striped steelhead on the swing in a way that only he can.  My old man has had a way with the trash talk for as long as I can remember and he always does it with a twinkle in his eye.  He used to hassle the kids at church in Sabbath School and Pathfinders, all my friends when I played team sports in high school that he helped coach, and now my adult friends.

Image: Robert Yaskovic - Pere Marquette, Michigan

Our son Finneus really looks up to his Papa and I can see that he's learning the ways of teasing and trash talking from him.  There's no disrespect in his game but he's picking up what's funny and loves to poke the bear with Papa.  They tease each other and wrestle.  Finn laughs as he tries to twist and punch his way out of Papa's arms.  It makes me smile to see this passed on from a generation to generation to generation.  Something so simple yet so important.  I used to be the one wrestling my way out of those arms.   

It's been a tough year so far for my dad.  He had surgery in January that he's still recovering from.  It's been really hard on him.  He's never had to deal with something like this before and after 70 years in that body, it's still hard for him to realize that he's 70 years old.  You don't heal as fast.  The body does what it wants and needs to do.  He's slowly coming back.  He's eating better again.  He sounds stronger on the phone when I call.  He's in better spirits even though I know there have been some dark days laying in bed wondering if he'd come back from all of this.  He will.  He's the strongest man that I've ever met.  He's my Old Man.

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