Of letters, black drum, shared bounty and the Trump effect …

I like to write letters for a lot of reasons. (If you want a one page note, tell me. I’ll send you one. As for subject matter, that’s TBA.)

There is something to the tensile strength of paper in your hands. It’s tangible and real, not some ethereal thing floating loosely out somewhere in cyber space. 

Letters are also a thought process – even if my missives seem to lack coherent thought many weeks. But, hey, it’s the best that is available at that moment, at that instant even if I yammer on about fish caught/missed, a house that hasn’t sold, a disappointing election, leafs from a tree or any of a number of other minor goings on in daily life. But that’s why there’s a letter this week and another next week and the week after that. There’s always a shot at literary redemption.

November 21, 2016

Ellen/Reid: Our first frost arrived yesterday; the grass was stiff and white as I walked out for the morning newspaper. The upshot of it is it will make the Bermuda grass go dormant in an instant which will make golf that much tougher. Actually, the golf has been somewhat improved as of late so all is not lost.

Since there were no invitations – save one, but it involved golf – to a Thanksgiving meal, Miss Emma and I will make the trek to Charleston on T-Day to see if we can replicate the success we had last week. Reid, I wish you’d of been there. The rods really got a workout on Harris Teeter frozen shrimp and mud minnows. Never had to open the package of finger mullet. It’s as many fish as I’ve caught in a single day but by far the uniformly biggest fish ever. All were in the slot.


Miss Emma and her sometimes inept handler/fisherperson have made weekly forays of late down to Bowens Island, South Carolina while the fishing is good.

Those big black drum can fight like nobody’s business. They set their flat side against you and dare you to pull them in and are just so much fun to haul in. And the two big sea trout – ‘specks’ they call them – hit in an instant. No guessing if they are there or not. You know right away. And the first red in a long while was boated. That felt good. I kept the red, the trout and four black drum. The aim was to give some to the black fisherman who don’t have boats but fish off the dock right by the put-in spot. One guy was lugging his gear back to the his car empty handed, but he was grateful for a drum and a trout. An oysterman I’ve come to know got a black drum, too. It’s appropriate to share the bounty. I caught so many fish so quickly that I was able to leave early to beat, sort of, the Charleston traffic. We pulled into the garage at 7:30 p.m., a full four hours earlier than usual. That felt good for a change.

Here are a couple of leafs plucked from a eucalyptus tree that overhangs the sidewalk along the route of my weekend morning walks. I crumple the leaves in my fingers to release the sweet scent; Ellen, I bet Emma would love to smell that. I need to send her a sampling of Southern plants and other fauna/flora to let her know there are more than maple trees. I’ll send some oyster shells from my trip this week. She’ll get a kick out of those.

As for Christmas, Reid your idea of a periodical or newspaper subscription or book works. Just tell me what you want. Ellen, let me know what your brood could use. As for me, a book would be just fine. I wouldn’t mind getting any of the classics. I know that sounds kind of corny but after visiting the Carl Sandburg house I’m kind of in retro-reading mode.

Had a nice reception on Saturday night for my friends Sondra and Jody who got married the week before in Asheville. They are such good people. I bought a corsage and boutonniere to make them stand out as the honored couple. There were about 15 other close friends from our group who milled around at a local German themed brewery. It was really fun. I took a date, a friend really, and we later went to The Comet to hear a great country band, the Hey Joes.

I don’t know what to make of the house thing. The listing is beginning to feel a bit stale. But on the other hand, there haven’t been enough Realtors walking their clients through to put a dent in the total sample size of real estate professionals. I know the price is spot on. I know it. There are mixed thoughts on re-doing the kitchen cabinets; it was my idea initially but some friends say things are fine as is. I asked your mom, the color expert, for her thoughts if the wood were to be resurfaced. I’m starting to believe the talk about the holidays interfering with home sales. There’s likely also a post-election Trump effect. To paraphrase some of his foul, self-serving language, he’s such a ‘major, major loser.’ But I’ll continue to keep the house clean and in order in case that one person comes through who can see the possibilities for themselves. That’s what I keep telling myself: All it takes is one.

Love, Dad



Filed under Writing to adult children

4 responses to “Of letters, black drum, shared bounty and the Trump effect …


    Urethral, ethereal… who cares?We understand the intent.  M

  2. Josh yauney


    I greatly enjoy the letters to your children. You have inspired me to begin jotting down notes, tid bits, thoughts….(some of importance and others of humor), to hopefully one day compile and share with my daughters when they are of an age to appreciate them. I keep a journal now, more like a diary of my observations of their growth and development these last few years…thanks for leading the way!

    Have you left Facebook? I cannot find you anywhere…. I miss your fishing videos from your trusty kayak!

    I contacted Mort to inquire about your blog because I had forgotten it’s name! He was kind enough to forward me your most recent submission.

    P.S. I apologize for my hideous paragraph structure and punctuation…..You would think a person raised by a English teacher of more than 30 years would perform better…..maybe I am still just rebelling!

    My regards,
    Josh Yauney

    • Josh: You are waaaay too kind. But thanks for reading it. Honestly, when your kids are of age they’ll love anything you send to them. How you’re going about it, notes and a journal, are a great way to track things for down the road.
      I’ve got a bunch more videos … but give me a bit to get back on FB.
      As for paragraph structure and such … who cares? That you’re writing at all is good enough for me. Have a great holiday with the little ones.

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