I did this sketch a few weeks ago and forgot all about it. It is from a sunny afternoon at Centennial Park of Tinley Park, IL. This man shown here is enjoying some fishing beside the willow trees. He did not know I was a few feet away sketching him during his chosen past time.
This sketch reminds me of my Grandpa Rich, who is my most favorite fisherman ever. Today my Grandpa is in his 90’s and in ill health. He is the reason for my love of nature. He took me hiking, camping and fishing just about every year of my childhood.
On my first fishing experience when I was very, very small, my Grandfather took me to a Missouri state park lake. I caught a bass (I think) and he made such a grand deal over it, I felt proud. As we drove towards the exit of the park however, I looked at my fish in the cooler at started to cry. I was thinking of the fish’s feelings and didn’t want him to be in pain or on my dinner plate. My Grandpa suddenly stopped the car in the middle of the street and asked what was wrong. At first I wasn’t going to tell him because I thought I would disappoint him but then I confessed. Instead of telling me I was “silly” or yelling, he quietly took the cooler, left the car in the middle of the street and walked to the lake to release him. That is why my Grandpa Rich is my favorite fisherman.
The next few years I “got over it” and was not opposed to fishing but I never ever forgot what Grandpa Rich did that day. He didn’t reason with me or tell me I was ridiculous (which I was), he just considered my feelings before his own and that’s how he lives his life today always considering others before himself. How powerful grandparents can be in the lives of their grandchildren, look at me I’m remembering this story 30 years later!