Ezra’s First Fish

With the blessings of grand parenting come a few stark realities, not the least of which is that our grandchildren listen to what we say and remember our promises. I was itching to help Ezra catch his first fish about two years ago while visiting Seth, Julie, Ezra, and Ainsley in Asheville, North Carolina. I had packed a tackle box and the family cane pole in the car before hitting the road.

Seth Rowe ySeth With The Family Canepole

An internet search revealed some likely fishing spots where an eager bluegill could be caught. When I explained my plan to Ezra, who was 4 years old at the time, he did not share my excitement. Resorting immediately to bribes, I casually mentioned that family tradition required an ice cream stop after a grandchild caught his first fish. Reluctantly, Ezra allowed that he would be willing to join the adventure. Unfortunately, I had not brought any wax worms with me and the neighborhood bait shop had no bait. Bad omen.

Undaunted, Seth, Ezra, and I grabbed a shovel and dug up a few worms from under a tree next to their home. I worried as I inspected our meager take of four small night crawlers knowing I was ignoring my Grandfather’s admonition of sixty years ago: “A real fisherman never runs out of bait!” I should not have been concerned.

Our fishing day was gorgeous. The lake was stunning in its beauty and shocking in its lack of fish. Seeing Seth and Ezra gazing intently into the water trying to catch a glimpse of a fish caused me to reflect on how many bodies of water I have stared at hoping for just a hint of a reason to fish that water.

Seth and Ezra looking for fish Seth and Ezra looking for fish

Of course, I was disappointed when we were skunked. But being with family on a beautiful day in a beautiful spot put the lack of action into perspective.

Oompah and Ezra Quality Time Oompah and Ezra Quality Time

As for Ezra, his spirits were not dampened by the lack of fish. He has such a unique and refreshing way of encountering the world. I remember a day when as a three year old he spontaneously belted out the first verse of “Be Thou My Vision”. Lauri and I were thrilled to listen to this little guy singing as if inspired by our Creator to share this great hymn with the whole world. During every subsequent trip to Asheville, I have begged Ezra for an encore to no avail.

About a year later, Ezra and his parents were in Worthington. I was eager to give Ezra another shot at his first fish. I reminded Ezra of the sweet reward that awaited once he successfully caught his first fish. His interest soared.

Seth, Ezra, his cousin Izzy, Uncle Nate, and I drove to Sharon Woods park where there is a very reliable fish holding bush submerged close to shore. The cane pole was back in action and I had plenty of bait. Seth baited up and I turned on the camera as the bait settled in the water under the bobber. It did not take long.

So grandparents remember, if you promise ice cream be prepared to deliver!

A Year Later With Aunt Ginny A Year Later With Aunt Ginny

Izzy’s First Fish

Several days ago, I posted a story about my Grandpa Hessey. The events described occurred a long time ago. As we all know, time scorches by. I am now a Grandfather, commonly known in the family as Oompah. My first grandchild, Izzy, was born very early. She weighed 1 lb. 11 oz. Her home for the first several months was Children’s Hospital. Since my law office is only a few blocks away from Children’s, Izzy and I spent many weekday lunch hours holding hands through the holes in the side of her isolette. No doubt there are a few nurses in the ICU who remember a white-haired grandfather singing songs to his new granddaughter.

She has done so well. Nate and Amanda, her Daddy and Mommy, are such great parents. She has blessed our lives in ways unimagined by us until she arrived. But of course, I could not wait to see Izzy catch her first fish. Patience has never been one of my virtues, but Izzy made every day waiting for her to be big enough to go fishing with her Grandpa a day worth remembering. She has been the focal point of many happy and joyous moments for her Oompah and those who love her! For example,

Izzy took me to the Worthington Memorial Day Parade.

Keeping A Close Eye  On The Parade Action

Keeping A Close Eye On The Parade Action

Izzy introduced me to the stylish new hairdos of bathing infants in America.

Is There An Electric Current In This Bathtub?

Is There An Electric Current In This Bathtub?

Izzy makes Lauri, her Mimi, very happy and in turn that makes me very happy.

I Love You Mimi!

I Love You Mimi!

Izzy loves to flirt with Oompah in her sunglasses.

Looking Awesome!

Looking Awesome!

Izzy helped Oompah recover from knee replacement surgery by joining me for long peaceful naps on the front porch.

Nap Time - Nothing Better

Nap Time – Nothing Better

Izzy takes me to eat ice cream.



Izzy tucks me in bed when she gets her sleeper on and combs out her hair for the night.

Night Night!!

Night Night!!

But time passed quickly and a couple of weeks ago the big day for catching her first fish arrived. Her Daddy, Nate, my Mom and Dad, and I were allowed to go along. I had fished this gorgeous farm pond a couple of weeks earlier and I knew Izzy’s chances of success were extremely high and warned everyone to pay attention because catching that first fish would not take long. Our cameras and cell phones were ready to capture the action. Nate was of course in charge. I hope you enjoy seeing Izzy catch her first fish at age 3 as much as the rest of us did.