In my last post, I wrote about Eden’s (and my own) good fortune from the Fly-Tying Expo in Idaho Falls last month. Believe it or not, we weren’t the only ones from my family that had good luck at the Expo. Let’s just say that my six year old, Tommy, made out like a bandit.
Every Spring, my kids look forward to the Expo because they get to tie some flies and, more importantly, to put in for the free kids raffle. They have a general raffle with numerous smaller prizes. Also, each kid gets one ticket to put into a bucket for the grand prize, which was a cool kickboat this year. In years past, Nessy won a nifty flashlight and Emma won a cool fly wallet. Many times Tommy has walked away from the Expo prizeless with tears in his eyes. It was tough for Tommy to learn that you can’t win every time.
This year, when Tommy spun the wheel that determines how many raffle tickets a kid gets, it landed on five. He looked over all of the prizes, which included fly rods, hats, and shirts, etc. For reasons unbeknownst to me, he wanted this goofy first aid kit. In fact, while I was preoccupied with talking to Babette from the Teton Regional Land Trust, Tommy put all of his tickets into the one bucket for the first aid kit, which Kristin told me after the fact. I guess we haven’t taught Tom that saying about putting all of your eggs into one basket. Oh well, if that’s what he wants, I thought to myself.
After being at the Expo for awhile, I asked my wife if we could go over to Jimmy’s All Season Anglers in downtown Idaho Falls and get some fly-tying materials. Kristin agreed, but said, “Can we come back by 3:00 p.m. for the drawing on the kids raffle?” “Sure,” I replied.
We left and came back just before 3:00, but I could not find a parking space so I dropped Kristin and Tommy off at the front door and then drove to the nether regions of the parking lot. As I walked towards the Shilo Hotel, where the Expo is always held, I saw Tommy burst through the doors with a huge box in his hands and a smile to match. My first thought was: Tommy won something. Boy, that is the biggest first aid kit I have ever seen!
As Kristin followed behind Tom, Tommy excitedly exclaimed, “Dad, I won a float tube!”
“You did? That’s awesome buddy!” I congratulated him.
“How did that happen?” I questioned Kristin.
Kristin then proceeded to tell me the story:
“We came in right as they began the raffle. They gave away all the prizes, including the first aid kit, and they did not call Tom’s name. Tom looked at me sadly and said, ‘I didn’t win Mom.’ ‘Let’s just wait and see what happens,’ I told him. Right after they finished the general raffle, they announced that they were going to draw for the kid’s grand prize, which was the kickboat. Surprisingly, the announcer said, ‘Along with the kickboat, we have a runner-up prize–a float tube–that we want to give away. We’ll draw for that right now.’ Sure enough, they pulled the ticket and announced, ‘Tommy Wayment.’ Tommy yelled out, ‘Hey, that’s me!’ He ran up to the table, grabbed the huge box holding his float tube, and immediately rushed for the door because he was so excited to show you what he’d won. Before Tom made it out the door, however, the announcer laughingly pleaded, ‘Hey, come back here! Can’t we at least take a picture of you with your prize?’ Tom reluctantly said, ‘okay.'”
According to Kristin, everyone in the crowd had a good laugh. I wish I could have been there to see it! But it was great just to see the excitement on his face as he ran toward me with a box half his size. That night, after we blew it up, Tommy wanted to sleep in his new float tube. We had to let him down gently.
Since that time, Tommy and I have talked a lot about going float-tubing for bass. Obviously, with all this new fishing gear, it is my fatherly duty to take my kids fishing with me as much as I can this summer. It’s a dirty job but someone’s got to do it. . . Darn it! (hehehehe).