This holiday is most assuredly one of the busiest of the year. I've read that out of the entire year this day actually is the most highly traveled. People are flying all over the country to go and spend time with family and friends. Personally this is one my favorite times of the year for exactly just that, a chance to gather the family together and enjoy one another's company and the quirky personalities of those family members. It's a heart warming and stomach filling day for sure.
In response to this holiday I wanted to post a drawing that relates to family. This one in particular is about my dad. I usually try not to dig too deep into "narrating" my work, as I typically feel it's a part of art's responsibility to tell it's own story. However, this time I'll make an exception and ramble just for a quick moment.
Back when I was just a little guy my dad would take me fishing. We'd head to a little spot off of Riverside Drive called "The Bridge" as it was dubbed by my Dad and uncles. We'd go down there and fish for what seemed, from my perspective at the time, as hours upon hours. Which in reality was more like... heck it probably was hours (my dad really likes fishing). Dad would pull the truck over onto the dirt road shoulder, we'd grab the fishing poles, tackle box, and other essentials and make our way through the grassy path that was carved out by the others before us. From what I remember The Bridge was old, of course when you're a young boy everything is old. It was long, made with wooden planks and a metal railing and ran the length of the road over the Wicomico River, with large rocks that ran up the far ends of the bridge where the water met the ground. It was kind of creaky and seemed to be the gathering location of every known spider in the world, as well as the spiders that were big enough to EAT those spiders (again from my perspective at the time).
Dad stayed on The Bridge while I adventurously climbed down to the rocky gravel below where at low-tide there was an area to stand near the bank. We'd cast our lines out. Dad's being a pretty high-grade pole with an artificial worm and a flickering metal piece to attract the fish's attention. I preferred my small pole with worm and bright orange bobber. Something about the dirt the worms came in, it's texture, smell, and the many ways to wrap the worm on the hook. Good dirty fun.
Then came the long moments of staring at that bobber. Just waiting for something to happen. Intensely eyeing it with my half-squinted glare. Nothing. Nothing. Nothing for SO long it seemed. The occasional look up at dad waiting to see if he thought I should reel in the line and cast it back out again. Then PLOP! The bobber would go under for a split second, pop back up like it was desperately reaching for a breath of fresh air and then PLOP! Back under again. This was my cue and I'd reel it in with as much speed as a kid could muster, dad smiling and watching from above curious to see what I had on the other end. The line darting back and forth through the dark water gradually making it's way towards the shore. Pulling it in I'd be expecting some fish monster or mutated boot with gills (fingers crossed). Just as satisfying though it'd be a bluegill. Slimy and feisty with it's little spikey fins. I'd lay it on the rocky gravel, steady it and pull the hook out as gently as I could without stabbing my fingers. Some part of me always wanted to keep them as a souvenir of my diligence and attention. A sign of my great fishing conquest. But dad always said "nope, throw'em back". We were just having fun. A good time outside. The fish would right himself in the water and swim off until I couldn't see him anymore. The slime still on my hands. Then back to the worms, the hook, and the bobber and the line was cast out yet again with boyish eagerness.
We'd stay and fish until the sun went down. For one, we couldn't see anything and for two, and more importantly, that's when the spiders truly revealed themselves. Neither dad nor I liked the idea of that.
The drawing here is from the view we had from The Bridge. It's no longer there these days. Got a little too old, little too creaky I suppose and it's now replaced by a new road with an aluminum guard rail. Not too long ago with brush, ink and sketchbook in hand I went down, hopped the rail, and put some ink on some paper and that's what we have here. The Bridge may have been gone but the fish were jumping and the smell of those days-gone-by still lingered strongly in the air.
So with my rambling rambled today I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday. And be sure to remember to appreciate the time we're given with those special people in our lives. Whether it be in a warm embrace, or over a slice of pumpkin pie.
Thanks all and have a Happy Thanksgiving,