In The Family
by Gail Denham
He fished. Oh yes. My Dad, who rose early during
vacations at the seashore, and trudged to the far
rocks. Mom dressed us kids in many layers (which
she later carried as the sun rose) while Daddy dared
waves to sweep him off the jetty.
I’m sure Mom prayed for his safety, while we
children leapt into receding waves, searched
beach tide pools, and climbed flat rocky mesas.
We all eventually fished. But long before we held
a pole, our grandfather, Homer David and his
carload of family drove to this beach, chasing
rock cod and sea trout. Back home, Grandfather
filled his creel with fish at Columbia River slough.
Yearly beach vacations found my brother Homer
bayside, waiting for a nibble as tides slid in. Our
Uncle Homer and his wife, Ellen, ran charter boats
on the north coast. Our boys’ granddaddy, Earl,
took them fishing at small lakes outside Burns.
In time, it was our son Marsh, who followed his
Grandfather’s and Granddad’s fishing fetishes. One
early morning I drove Marsh to a coastal river where
he pulled in a large salmon, while snow fell. Later,
rowing an inflatable raft on Hosmer Lake, Marsh
and a friend snagged fish after fish, then tossed them
back, while nearby fisher persons glared.
The tradition filters through the generations. Now we
wait to discover which grandchild will pick up a pole,
sit a lakeside rock (taking breaks to hunt frogs), while
their grandpa watches them coax a fish to bite.