CHRISY AND TIFFANY,
(AUGUST 9, 2010) As you know, I enjoy being out on the Riverwalk and walking in the fresh air. It wasn't always that way.
When I was growing up, my dad took me fishing on the New River or at a lake located at Pluto, W.Va. (it was a reservoir for the Beckley drinking water). I couldn't see what my dad saw in just sitting out there, on the bank of the river or the lake, and just waiting for a fish to bite. Sometimes we would sit out there for hours and not get one bite.
I think of those times when I would rather be with my friends playing baseball or basketball in my back yard rather than being out there with my dad. Those times fishing were, however, special times when he was bonding with me, and I was doing everything I could to not bond with him. It wasn't an intentional thing on my part, it was just a kid thing and a kid trying to be cool.
When I was very young (before I was 9) my dad owned a piece of land on Flat Top Lake. This was a large recreation lake, and the property we had was called Chickapin Ridge. It was on the side of a hill that went down to the lake. We would park at the top of the hill and walk down a winding dirt path to a picnic table. My dad also kept a wooden fishing boat there in season.
On a neighboring lot there were some nice houses, and one lot at the end of the cove had a concrete platform and a rope for the kids to swing on into the lake.
My mother would make a picnic lunch/supper, and we would go out on the boat to fish and spend the day, usually Sunday afternoons, there in the summer. One unpleasant memory I have was that often I would return home with a bad sunburn. I would be miserable that night, and the next few days, my blisters on my back would burst and my back would start itching and peeling.
I kind of enjoyed the family time at the lake. My dad sold the property when he was being assessed to help pay for paving the road that went around the lake.
Though I often rebelled whenever my dad offered to take me to go fishing with him, I realize now that I would rather be with my dad, out next to the water, more than just about anything else. His love for the outdoors became a latent interest of mine. I'm grateful to him for encouraging me to go with him when I would have much rather done something else.