Monday, November 21, 2011

Gaining A Second Perspective

The last couple weeks I've had a chance to compare perspectives with my brother. It's been enriching.

While preparing to do our separate eulogies of our father, we discussed a childhood memory from when we lived on Pleasant Ridge Resort. One bright autumn day a large flock of monarch butterflies passed across our lake. We all stood and watched it for the five minutes or so that it took. My remembered viewpoint is from up on the hill, the level the cabins are at. It offered a clear view, and I was awestruck at even such a young age of this once-ever experience. But I missed something. Steve's viewpoint was from down on the dock, much closer to the migration. He remembers also seeing almost as many large dragonflies flying alongside the monarchs.

When giving our eulogies, I discussed the major events of his life, adding in the stories I'd heard him tell about his childhood or WWII. Steve talked about hunting and fishing. Most of the stories I'd never heard, and somehow missed knowing that my dad was a very unsuccessful deer hunter over a long period of years. It didn't stop him from having a great time, however.

The story I do recall was what became known as "The Swamp Buck". In the early 50's, Daddy shot a huge buck out in a swamp. It was tremendous trouble dragging it back to camp, even field dressed. During the (professional) butchering, the butcher "butchered" the process: he cut through the bones, rather than severing the joints. This tough old deer's marrow so strongly flavored the already pretty gamy meat that pretty soon nobody wanted to eat it. When even our golden retriever, Goldie, turned up her nose at the offering, the rest of it was tossed out.

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