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A Father's Day Tribute to My Dad

My dad...

What an extraordinary individual!

A human being; a man of compassion; yet all the brawn a person could muster.

He was born and raised in Santa Monica, California, 1920.

Let's take a trip back in time: Santa Monica, 1920. Not many people in Southern California. Route 66 finds it's end here. Gas powered street lamps. Telegraphs still being used. No freeways, no smog. And all along this pristine coastline, tremendous opportunities await.

Calico Bass, Grouper, Halibut, Barracuda, Yellow Tail & Albacore. The list goes on and on.

"He gave me this wonderful gift of fishin' when I was just barely old enough to tie my shoes. So, give tribute and thanks to your dad or whomever may have had a positive influence in your life..."

Dad grew up living only a block from the beach. One of five kids. Things back then weren't as easy as they are today. My dad's parents both worked multiple jobs to make ends meet. And their modest home . . . only two rooms. Your SUV is probably larger.

While kids today are distracted by drugs and the heavy negative influence of television, my dad's only distraction was deciding whether to fish or surf in the beautiful blue Pacific, his big backyard.

Did he skip school? Sure he did, but for fishing the pier to bang out a Halibut or two...or maybe even catchin' a wave.

To hear him tell the stories of catching huge Halibut off the pier is amazing. I'm not sure if any are even left these days, but as he tells it, he always caught fish and they were plentiful. He helped feed the family. Yet, sometimes there was danger, like a whale surfacing only a few feet away, completely catching my dad by surprise or the ever-constant threat of sharks.

Dad always fished, and even when I was a small child, I remember the poles neatly lined up in our garage, the big Penn reels that he used, the big fat line on those reels...and then there was the famous paddle board hanging from the rafters in our old garage. Dad chose to raise us kids in Santa Ana, which is about 40 miles south of Santa Monica in Orange County. Yet, he always found time to take us kids fishin'.

Whether it was surf casting off of Newport Beach, bass fishing in little ol' Irvine Lake, or hanging out on a barge off the coast, our family fished. Dad even let me skip school sometimes to go with him to fish the pier at Dana Point, when there were tidepools to explore, long before the huge crowds that pack the massive marina today.

Yet dad, preferred to fish sometimes without his little boy tagging along...or he even went fishin' alone. I remember one afternoon coming home from school and upon entering the kitchen, I opened up the freezer to a find a school of frozen Barracuda that my dad had caught without me. Boy, was I mad at him!

gone fishingY'know, dad was much more to me than just fishin'. He taught me several things while growing up: Don't ever honk your horn if you're in a hurry; always stop for pedestrians crossing the road even if they ARE NOT in a crosswalk; always open the door for others; if you're with a date, always open the car door for her; don't cuss; mind your manners; and when walking down a street with a girl, always walk on the traffic side of the sidewalk.

As I grow older, I have the occasion to reflect back on my time with my dad. I know that from birth up to about the age of ten, I really needed him. From 10 to 20 years old, I always felt that I knew it all but would occasionally check in with him. From 20 to 30 years old, I DID know it all and gave HIM frequent advice.

From 30 to 40 years old, I knew about things, but every once in a while, I would ask.

Now, in my mid-forties, I do check in with him and ask for his advice - and once again, I really need him. It's amazing how some things come full circle.

About The Author...
Chuck Bauer is an accomplished speaker and writer. He has performed hundreds of seminars and workshops throughout North America and is affiliated with the National Speakers Association, Coach University, and Attraction University. He has served as a Vice President of Sales/Training for two major Dallas Texas corporations. His published work has been featured in numerous business and sales related magazines and websites. He is a committed body builder, private pilot and trophy bass fisherman.
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