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My father had always liked to hunt and fish.  He decided he was going to build a boat so we could have a boat to go fishing.  Now most men would get some wood and go to work, but not Roy L. Cook.  He ordered a book on boat design and spent almost a month building it.  It was a masterpiece when he finished, for a common rowboat.  The sides were tapered and curved to a point and the bottom was made of tongue and groove wood, with asgum on the inside of the grooves so it did not leak.   It handled beautifully in the water with the outboard attached and was a great rowboat.  He, my brother and I spent many a happy day fishing and enjoying nature.

On one occasion, we were anchored on the Hinton Dam and I had baited up my casting rod with a minnow and cast out, putting the rod in a holder that clamped on to the side of the boat.  I then got out my fly rod, rigged a spinner, hook, and night crawler, and started fishing for bluegills.  I had made a few casts, with no results and dad started complaining about rocking the boat.  I had four nice bluegills on the stringer and then my casting rod acted up and I landed a nice bass, which I put on the stringer.  After several more bluegills, and another nice bass, dad didn't say a word.  He rigged his casting rod like mine, pulled his fly rod from under the seat and starting doing what I was doing.  At the end of the day, we had a nice string of fish.

When we went fishing, we usually took along a can of peaches to eat with our lunch.  The boat had three seats, in the bow, the middle and the stern.  Dad always sat in the stern and ran the outboard, him being the senior on board, I sat in the middle seat and my brother, Lee sat in the bow.  We had lunch and opened the peaches.   Dad had one, passed it to me, I had one and passed it to my brother, who had one, then passed it to me, and I had one, back to the cycle again.  Finally after three trips with this peach eating routine going on, I had a good laugh when I explained that I couldn't keep laughing to myself about getting twice as many peaches while waiting for them to figure it out.

My brother, Lee and I were fishing in the reeds with our fly rods one day when the largest black snake I have ever seen swam in Lee's direction.  He just stood there and it went by him.  I went down there and with it's tail at my toe, it winding through the reeds, I could barely reach to where it's head was with a nine foot fly rod.   I asked Lee why he just stood there.  His answer was, "I was too scared to move."

Musings of Henry T. Cook, Lt. Col., USMC (Ret.)