Ode to Father’s Day



What can you say about Father’s Day that perhaps has not already been said; it’s one of the one days for the guys who are dad’s. We come in all shapes and sizes. Thank goodness!

This day for me is also bittersweet as my father has been gone for too long, but that does not say that I have some good memories to cherish. I do. Something that photography does really well is performing a great job of triggering the memories.

I did not take the photograph above as I was pretty young at the time; but if I remember the story my dad is holding the catfish that was pulling me into the river when others quickly came to my rescue before I went into the river. Yep, that catfish was probably bigger than me. I am not sure if that was the reason I avoided fishing for awhile; probably had a bit of a scare with that particular fishing adventure.

So when I think of dad’s, I think of things we like to do and for many of us, that includes going fishing. I guess it brings out the adventurous hunter in us; are we smarter than a trout? Which is why my artist book Pine Lake can also be considered an Ode to Father’s Day. Pine Lake is a compilation of my family archive photographs of which I did not take any of, but I did modify these images to make sure these looked consistently “old” for the artist book. The images and book was created as though the reader was looking a roll of film taken during a guy’s weekend fishing trip.

The back story for creating this artist book was finding the various photographs in the family albums I had inherited that included photographs of my grandfather and great grandfather fishing something I did not have any recall hearing stories about as I grew up. Now I understand  a little better why my dad liked to fish; he used to go fishing with his dad! Very Cool. The bittersweet aspect of this is that these are not memories that I can  discuss with them about today; I only have these indistinct, sometimes blurry, black & white memories to study and speculate about. I created my story of Pine Lake about what “might have been” for the Stockdale guys out fishing together and boasting about the ones that got away.

The upside is I do have my kids (okay, & grandkids too) to spend time with. So don’t take for granted the time you have together; if you have a dad, give him a really big hug today.  And a crazy funny card (mine was outrageously funny!) and make sure the family dog (or cat) signs it too. Spend time talking with your dad about what he did as a kid. Don’t forget to take a snapshot of the occasion; something your kids and grandkids will really appreciate one day. Just saying…..


Featured photograph, above: Red, Catch of the Day, Yuma (Pine Lake), copyright Stockdale Family Archive


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