Father’s Day in Seadrift

Everett Johnson

June is a glorious month. June marks the official start of summer, the end of the school year, pleasant weather, great fishing; and most especially, June brings us Father's Day.

Being a proud father and grandfather means that I'll be one of the lucky dads come Father's Day weekend and I hope to spend a good part of it on the water. Pam and I will load both boats with food and soft drinks Saturday morning and then the fun begins as the kids and grandkids pile in with the special rod and reel they got for their birthday or, more than likely, the one they just pilfered from Peepaw's boat shed. The big kids will be giving orders and the little ones will be ignoring them. We'll probably haul a Lab or two because they like to celebrate too, and getting out of the harbor is never complete without one of them jumping in for a swim and then shaking on everybody when we drag them back into the boat.

We'll start out semi-serious, as serious as you can get with protesting dogs tied in the boat, but that part of the trip never lasts long. After an hour or two, when a 10-year-old's attention span gives out, Vickie (oldest grandchild) will want to show me how she can swim while casting and reeling a Mansfield Mauler. Soon, I too will be swimming and we'll re-anchor one of the boats out a little deeper so we can do cannonballs off the bow. We'll head to Sunday Beach to look for sand dollars and even though the lunch will probably get soggy it's going to be a blast.

Hot afternoon sun will bring us back to the shade of the porch and we'll light the pit. A washer tossing championship will get underway and somebody will fall off a bicycle and there will be skinned knees and elbows to doctor. Robert Earl Keene and Cory Morrow will be belting out our favorite anthems and before you know it we'll be sitting down to a feast of beer can chicken, potato salad and baked beans. Nobody will lose weight.

When the sun goes down Tanner will drag out the box of fireworks we stashed last New Year asking Peepaw if it's dark enough yet. The kid will come out in me and everybody will settle in for the show with "Oohs and Aahs" and cries of "Can I light one?" The little ones will run out of gas and craw up on a couch. The big ones will be shuffling dominoes and arguing over whose turn it is to ice another twelve pack. We'll make big plans about getting up early and hitting the surf, but the dominoes will likely win that battle. Come morning we'll roll out around the crack of eight and make omelets and pancakes.

We'll celebrate a little more by riding Peepaw's tractor and taking the dogs down to the lake to chase bumpers, and of course we'll all end up going for another swim. Pam and the girls will rustle up what's left of the chicken and trimmings and then everybody will start packing up. Nobody will be anxious to leave and we won't want them to; but there is a real world.

Pam and I will walk around picking up what's left of the skyrockets and then go in and clean the kitchen. We'll talk of maybe making an evening wade to scare up a couple trout along Dewberry shoreline, but we'll need a movie first. We'll sheepishly agree the wading can wait and continue couching.

Sound like a plan? All you have to do is grab your dad and kids and do it. During the merriment, don't forget to give thanks for the time the Good Lord has given you to celebrate with your father. And before I forget, please also offer a prayer of thanks for all the military dads over there in the Iraq desert preserving our freedom to enjoy such a wonderful weekend here at home!

God Bless, Good Fishing, and Happy Father's Day!