One in a Million

Growing up in the flat lands of Northwest Ohio was not always the most eventful place to enjoy your childhood.  Everywhere you looked was cornfields and bean fields, woods and fencerows, and ponds scattered about.  One pond unparticular always holds a spot in my heart; it was just a mile down the road, perfectly in the middle of my best friend Brian’s house and our house.  This is where he, my brother, and I would make our summers life long memories while we were pre teens.  We still talk to this day about the time my younger brother, Dustin, went home early because we were not catching any fish.  So Dustin took off on his bike and peddled back home.  He didn’t realize what a big mistake he had made, leaving his tackle box there at the pond with two kids as warped as Brian and I.  So when Brian and I started getting into catching some fish, they didn’t go back into the pond, oh no, we just so happened to put about a bakers dozen into my little brothers tackle before we left for the day.  This wouldn’t have been so bad if only it wasn’t ninety degrees out for the next couple days and we were swimming at Brian’s pond at his house.  Brian and I had forgotten all about the tackle box, till that one trip we met in the middle to go fishing again about a week later.  I still do not think my brother has gotten over that, and it’s been every bit of twelve years ago.  
    Well these summer fishing experiences were only one of the many things we loved to do in the summers we had off of school.  Being from the country, baseball was a must.  As we got into high school, my brother was kind of lacking the talent in the baseball category and did not participate like Brian and I did.  Well I was a die-hard baseball fan/player, I was the kid that would show up thirty minutes early to, leaving an hour or so after practice because the coaches would kick me out and say, “you’ve worked hard enough, go home and work on it tomorrow.”  Now with me being a little bit older than Brian, by a little over a year, I had drove Brian to and from practices.  And my hard work at baseball had been putting him to work on his baseball skills too.  Us staying after and hitting balls, playing catch and what not ultimately made the two of us some of the best players on our team, and on top of that the county.  Both of us were named all-league and all county, because of hard work and dedication.
    Now life is going like a speeding bullet and it wont stop for either of us, with my brother living far away and Brian being basically my brother, we had gone our separate ways for a while.  I had moved about an hour away from home, where Brian lived at the time, had no friends and was pretty much wrapped up in work.  Somewhere along the line I met a girl and the situation occurred where I had became a man.  She had my beautiful little girl, Ryleigh.  In my year or two of living away from Brian, I had made some friends, but when it boiled down to the greatest day in my life, the only one that showed up, Brian.  When my girlfriend went into labor Brian pretty much met me at the hospital and was by my side for roughly 6 hours, almost as excited as I was. This was by far the greatest day in my life and I got to share it with a friend that is always there.
    With Brian getting into work with a good company, he was doing his apprentice program about half way between his house and mine.  We decided that it would be possible to finally get our own place together, that we have talked about since junior high. We always thought it would be a riot to live together and figured now was as good as time as any.  We got a place above a small town bar.  And both of us being in the early twenties, yes there were a few times we walked out of the bar and stumbled upstairs.  One of the first nights we had partook into some beverages and started the very short trip home I had said to Brian when we got upstairs, “feels good to be home,” both of us just laughing as it was only about 20 steps from the bar. We both share the same love for the outdoors; we love everything about it.  Our saying is a day wasted outside is a day not wasted in our book.  When we moved in together he brought along all of his bow hunting gear.  I had bow hunted maybe a hand full of times, pretty much to just get out and be in the woods.  But when Brian got to talking, he convinced me to get into it like he was, which didn’t take much twisting of the arm.  And after I made my bow purchase I was hooked, between Brian and his dad, helping me out, I had everything I needed to bring down a deer.  In fact last season I went down south with Brian, his father, and his older cousin on a hunting extravaganza.  With his dad going down a day early to set up camp, he calls and says he has a buck down while Brian, his cousin and I were on our way.  His dad had said,” it was a marginal hit, we will track it in the morning when you guys get here.”  So we unpack that night and wake up in the morning to do some tracking, one of my first might I add.  We get to the “spot” and there is just a mess of blood everywhere, I am pretty sure a blind man could follow this blood trail.  Long be hold, about forty yards from his stand there was the buck, with boot prints in the mud right beside it.  Yeah that’s right his dad had shot this buck and didn’t want to drag it out alone.  Smart man, but he was done hunting for the rest of the trip.  Me being the new guy they wanted to put me on some deer and I got the “spot.”  I was shooting everyday missing everything but I had a blast.  I learned so much from that trip alone.  The one night all three of us, Brian, his cousin, and I all got into this valley.  About fifty or so yards apart, and next thing you know I get a buck coming straight to me.  Ten yards away I let one fly, miss right under him, he jumps and runs about five yards and stops broad side, I am knocking another arrow and he spots me.  He made the most terrifying look I have ever seen a deer do, it was like he wanted to jump up in the tree and beat the snot out of me.  But the darn thing gave me the second shot; fling, right over his back.  By now this deer is headed right towards Brian’s cousin, the buck has a bald spot on his back that his cousin sees and he heard me shoot, so he can not make a shot after seeing this, he was dying from laughter.  We had some great memories that I will never forget on that trip.
    Two guys running around together with a little girl, you get asked some strange questions, one time without missing a beat Brian says to somebody saying how cute Ryleigh is, “thanks we are adopting her.”  I have never laughed so hard in my life, not that there is anything wrong with that, just that he didn’t miss a beat in saying it.  So with Brian starting his new career and me working in construction and having a beautiful little girl around the apartment, I thought life was great.  Well it was great, until winter came and my work started dying slowly, I had to think of my options.  I could just wait the winter out and get back at it in the spring, which I knew it was in my best interest not to do this.  So I started talking to Brian about his program he was in.  He encouraged me to go to an orientation and at least take a look into it.  I had not known much about his field being a high voltage lineman before the orientation besides the fact they climb wood poles and that’s about it.  After orientation I got invited to a climbing school and from there I was in love with it.  Brian had pushed me just like I had pushed him in high school baseball.  And now I am in my first year of the apprentice program trying to better my self and have a great future for my daughter Ryleigh.

    With Brian leading my way into the bow hunting world I am starting to pick up on things and trying to help out others.  My little cousin is a big fan of hunting, at twelve years old I am trying to get him into what I view the safest hunting we have around here, bow-hunting.  He has an old bow that shoots ok and some old sights, would love to see him with some new gear.  But all that is besides the fact that the kid is showing me some drive for something that I feel too.
     Now Brian has been there through everything, good or bad, got me into a lot of things, trouble being one of them every now and again.  But the thing about is, how many friends are out there like this?  He has showed me tons of things and I only hope I have shown him some things along the road.  And I am sure that he has been there through fifteen or so years of my life, he will be there until the end.  I view him as one in a million!