Tim Russert and the Imperfect Moment

On my way to the Bahamas Wednesday I stopped and bought my seven-year-old a fly rod and reel. He’s been asking for it for some time — in fact it was tops on his summer list of things he wanted most. Will has been tying flies for a couple of years now, and he can cast my 9-weight a good 30 feet, so I figured it was time to make it easier for him to get really impassioned. Truth is, it is still more about my passion than his, though in the fungible mind of a seven-year-old intensity makes up for an awful lot of persistence.
I was crushed by the death of Tim Russert. No other way to put that, and no other way to explain why the news of his passing resolved all questions of whether or not it made sense to spend so much money on a piece of high-tech gear that will no doubt be broken and eventually forgotten. Russert reminded us that just as you could be a good, unbending interviewer while still being fair, you could be a good dad without being perfect. It is indeed the little things that count, even if — and perhaps especially if — they are fishing trips that get rained out, fly lines that get shredded in the process of learning to cast, and fishless days sweetened by mashed PB&J sandwiches.
If I had any doubt about what I will be doing when I get home, it’s gone. Have a great Father’s day.

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  • Scott Swartz

    Marshall,
    From the story I believe you have a 7 year old son who wants to learn fly fishing. If that is correct I would be glad to help by inviting him as our guest to attend one of our schools. Typically the age requirement is 10 but we have allowed as young as 8 if they are mature and have the desire (and have the attention span). I have been teaching in Atlanta since 1999 http://www.atlantaflyfishingschool.com and we are just getting started here in Florida http://www.floridaflyfishingschools.com. If your son is anything like mine he might have more patients in learning from someone he does not know. My 12 year old son is at scout camp this week learning new skills and working on 5 merit badges without my “interference”. If you want to take me up on the offer you can reach me by return e-mail or 404-550-6890. We have a Fly Fishing School on Pine Island on July 12th and there will hopefully be many more opportunities as we attempt to expand the schools throughout Florida.
    Best,
    Scott Swartz

  • Marshall Cutchin

    Scott,
    That’s a great idea and I will certainly ask him to take you up on the offer. Thanks very much.
    Marshall