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We live on a branch of a tidal river and my three grandchildren, Amanda, Ryan and Tyler, who are old enough love to fish and crab when they come over to visit.   My granddaughter is of a scientific bent and brings her magnifying glass over to examine the flora and fauna she finds in or near the water.

Several summers ago, all three were over to visit and wanted to fish.   I had to break out all the rods and reels I had to accommodate their desires.   We then set out the minnow trap and within a few minutes had our bait, after giving them time to inspect and count how many minnows we had caught.

After we had done this, I started baiting up the hooks for the grandchildren and they started fishing.  I ended up having to use a fly rod, with an automatic reel, which has a trigger that winds up the line when the trigger is touched.

I would no sooner get one baited up when one of them would call to me that they needed another bait.  This kept me moving at a rapid pace.  To complicate the situation, my youngest grandson, Tyler, would trigger the automatic reel and there would be the minnow, dangling from the leader.  Now if you need a fellow fisherman to keep score of how many fish you catch, Tyler would be the ideal person.  Every time he did this, he would look at the minnow and exclaim, "Oh look, I caught one!"

We did not catch many fish but the grandchildren enjoyed these outings with "Pawpaw" and I guess this is what matters.

Later, I bought a paddle boat and they enjoyed paddling up and down the canal and looking at the wildlife.  Upon occasions, my granddaughter and her father, Walter Mooney, will put their canoe in the water near their home and paddle down to visit us.  Often when the tide is wrong, he will have to go get his car, put the canoe on top and drive back home.

Often when they are over, my wife, Margaret Ann will go for a ride in the paddle boat with them.  Once I was in the boat and we pulled up to my next door neighbor's dock.  I was having trouble getting out of the boat when Tyler, not as big as a minute, ran over and stuck out his hand to help Pawpaw get out of the boat.

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