If you are fortunate enough to have a dad in your life, you might want to write something special for him for Father’s Day. Years ago, I wrote this card for my Dad.

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Remembering…

… Gliding through the early dawn which shimmered off the water of the Waugun, as Dad and I tended our traps in the morning before school.

… The sharp tug at the end of the line as the white perch were biting. At Dead Stream the whole family filled a bucket with perch, fishing until it was so dark you couldn’t see your bobber out on the water.

… Standing hidden behind a large birch about half way up the Waugun, with Dad beside me, as a flock of ducks set in amongst our decoys. Dad waited to give me first shot, and I downed my first black duck.

… A field at the north end of Maranacook Lake, on a bright, sunny October morning, when our English setter, Gypsy-Lou, stopped on point and a fat pheasant exploded out of the corn. I fired, with Dad at my side, and shot my first pheasant.

… Sunday afternoon rides and picnics when Dad and Mom would pile us in the car and drive through the country.

… Shooting my first deer up country and wishing Dad could be there. I knew how proud he’d be. When I shot my first deer while hunting with Dad a few years later, it became my all-time favorite hunting memory, and not just because it was a huge buck.

… Playing Little League baseball, when Mom and Dad never missed a game.

… The little table Dad set up in front of his store, Wilson’s Dollar Stores, on Main Street in Winthrop, so I could sell my 4-H garden vegetables and earn my own money — a very valuable lesson.

… Evening drives to the Weathervane in Readfield for ice cream cones.

… Waking up at Seboomook on the north end of Moosehead Lake during a raging snowstorm with the tent collapsed around my head. A June fishing trip with Dad!

… Christmas mornings, after trying to stay awake all night listening for Santa Claus. I never saw him but he always came through.

Thanks Dad, for these memories and many more to come!

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Dad died two and a half years ago, but he’s still with us in wonderful memories. And yes, many of them are about hunting and fishing. I was born a Maine sportsman, raised a Maine sportsman, and will die a Maine sportsman. Thanks to Dad. Just like Dad.

His final fall, Dad was hurting but determined to hunt. I put a chair up near the road, at the top of the steep hill that leads down into the bog on my woodlot, and told him to sit there while I thrashed around in the bog. But he trudged all the way down the hill, and when I found him there, it took over an hour, with a lot of stops, to get him up the 200 yards to the road. I knew then it would be our last year of hunting together.

Dad died the last day of October 2014 in the hospice unit at the Togus VA hospital. Ironically, it was the day before the fall deer season kicked off, and I sometimes joke that he died that night because he was so aggravated he couldn’t hunt the next day.

Unable to hunt that spring, he still got out fishing while in hospice. Maine’s Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife stocks a small pond on the hospital campus for the patients. I took Dad there six times, and casting from his wheelchair he caught brook trout. For sure, at the age of 91 and in poor health, he was still a Maine sportsman — and we created more wonderful memories.

If you’ve got great memories like these, write them down now, for your dad if he’s still in your life, or for you, your children, and your grandchildren. Happy Father’s Day!

George Smith is a writer and TV talk show host. He can be reached at 34 Blake Hill Road, Mount Vernon 04352, or [email protected] Read more of Smith’s writings at www.georgesmithmaine.com.