When I was 13 years old, my dad did two things that I distinctly remember. One was he gave me a copy of The Old Man and The Boy by Robert Ruark. He told me to read it, and I did, several times.

The other was he showed me a map of the United States and said, “Here we are right here (Little Rock), and way up here is Canada. In five years you will be 18 and becoming a man. If Canada was the way to manhood, which way would you go?“ I just pointed straight up to Canada. Dad just smiled and said, “Sure, you would go straight north. That would be the quickest way, but I promise you life is hard, and the decisions you make in life will alter that path and you may find that you have to start over a few times, but it’s a marathon not a sprint”.”

I have been all over the map, but Dad is right that it’s a marathon and not a sprint. Quail, ducks, deer, dogs … Dad was always there. Growing up as a kid and spending time with my dad was priceless. I could not have handpicked a better father.