Jerry Kendall: Dad Sold Favorite Fishing Pole So His Boys Could Enjoy July 4th

in Column/Jerry Kendall

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By Jerry Kendall, guest columnist

JEFFREY CITY – Once again, Memorial Day is on the horizon. It’s a day for reflection. A special time set aside for remembrance of the folks who have made a difference in our lives. The people who made the world a better place to live. We keep them alive by remembering.

A while back my big brother told me a story about our father. He was killed in a mine accident in 1960. I was 10 years old then and at 71 years, I still love to hear stories about him or anything that has to do with him. I miss him every day.

My big brother was over at a friend’s house one day and the talk got around to fishing. His friends uncle was there and he asked my brother if he knew that he had one of my dads’ old bamboo fly rods. “No, how did you come by that?” My brother, excited by the prospect of seeing something of Dads.

The old man smiled and took a seat on the sofa. “Well, your father had seen me a eyeballing his bamboo fly rod on many occasion. One day, he come to me, pole in hand. “I have seen you admiring this pole for a long time now, so I got a proposition for you. I have no money for fireworks for my boys this year so I will sell you this pole and reel so that I might give them a good 4th of July.”

My brothers eyes filled with tears.

He knew that the pole had been special made for Dad and it meant a lot to him. “He sold you his prize fishing pole so that we could have fireworks? Can I buy it back from you?”

The old man smiled sadly and said. “No, I’m sorry son but he was my best friend and it means too much to me to part with. When I’m fishing with it, I feel that he is standing right there beside me.”

When I heard this story I realized that, I missed my father every day and loved him so very much. But knowing how he must have loved us boys, to sell his bamboo fly rod, that meant so much to him, so that we could have a happy 4th of July.

The very thought of it was like the feeling I used to get when I would fall asleep on the floor in front of the TV and he would gently pick me up and carry me to my bed, tuck me in and kiss me on the forehead. “Goodnight Son.”

We keep them alive by remembering.

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