Michael J. Woods

Dad, Me, and the Great Tarpon

Dad’s respect for the outdoors was something naturally inherited by all three of his sons. We grew up in a household where travel and various sporting ventures became mainstay. Whether angling for peacock bass in Panama, deer hunting in Virginia or trout casting in the Delaware River; Dad exposed us the beauty of nature. His loyalty to conservation and the environment was something that we all assimilated. The picture shows my Dad proudly displaying a 20 lb. tarpon that I caught in Lake Gatun, Panama at the age of five. This was the biggest fish that I ever caught and the excitement of reeling in such a monster remains with me today. That shared experience with my Dad was coupled with laughs and good cheer will always be with me. It is more than gratifying on this Father’s Day to recall the things that Dad did for his sons and how we were inspired. While we desire similar adventures with Dad in the future, we all realize that times change and so do life’s other priorities. Dad is at an age where mobility issues prohibit him from enjoying many of the outdoor pleasures that triggered so much delight in the past. As to his boys, one is currently on his fifth deployment in the Middle East and another is committed to humanitarian efforts in Kyiv. We are hoping to honor Dad on “his special day” with a conference phone call. Without question, this would be the best “Father’s Day gift!”