Dick Lattimer

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Last Updated: Feb 22nd, 2007 – 18:37:03

Dick Lattimer

By Frank Addington Jr.

Jun 8, 2006, 10:35

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Most
of us would love to have a front seat view of some of the historic characters
from the sport of archery.  Here is an interview with one man that
witnessed ALOT of our sport’s history from up close— Mr. Dick Lattimer. 
Dick was Fred Bear’s right hand man for many years and shared hunting camps,
office time and spare time with the legendary Fred Bear. Dick is also
Hall of Fame Vice President.

Dick Lattimer

But
Lattimer is also a talented writer and has produced a number of films, photos,
articles and books.  In this interview you can read for yourself what it
was like to be beside of a legend and see history unfolding in front of
you.  Dick takes us there…

    So
I invite you to sit back and read what Dick had to say as I interview him for
our latest column here at Bowhunting.net……


Q. Dick, where were you born
and tell us about your background pre-archery.

     I was born December 6, 1935 in South Bend, Indiana.
My father was a photoengraver, my mother a housewife. Prior to getting married
my dad sailed for a number of years on an iron ore boat, The Harvester, on
Lakes Superior and Michigan.
As a teenager my mom worked in the University of Notre Dame Dining Hall during
the days when Knute Rockne was the coach there. My maternal grandfather, Frank
Horvath, is buried on the Notre Dame campus. He died in the flu epidemic of
1918.

     I graduated from Washington-Clay High School.
While in school I played 1st chair trumpet in the band, editor of the high
school newspaper, and student manager of all of the sports teams. If you’ve
ever seen the movie ?Hoosiers? that is exactly what our high school and gym
looked like.

     I graduated from Indiana University
in 1957 with a degree in Marketing with a specialty in Advertising. While in
college I was the Governor (President) of my dorm  unit, Dodds House
Gargoyles, President of the Advertising Club and Vice President of the
Marketing Club. If you’ve seen the movie ?Breaking Away? you’re familiar with
the I.U. Little 500 bicycle race. Dodds House won the pole position for the
race my senior year, but we didn’t win the race. The following year, while
doing some graduate work I was a resident counselor in the Men’s Quad with
about 55 undergraduates in my care.

     I met my wife, Alice, in college. She was two years
behind me. We married after I graduated, but before she did. She has both
Bachelor and Master’s Degrees in Education from I.U. and taught elementary
school for over 30 years. She was voted ?Teacher of the Year? the year she
retired. We have been married for 47 years.

     No jobs were available in advertising after we left
I.U. so I took a job as the Market Analyst for the Studebaker-Packard
Corporation in my hometown. I was the young fellow that kept the Board of
Director’s sales charts up-to-date and could tell that they were going to be going
out of business, so after 3 years there I left a year before they did so. I
then worked for advertising agencies in South Bend,
Elkhart and Ft. Wayne, Indiana.
It was while I was at the Ft.
Wayne agency that I met
Fred Bear.

Q. When were you first exposed
to archery?

     I was first exposed to target
archery at Boy Scout camp at about the age of 12. Shortly after that I
discovered a bow in my Uncle Jack’s closet one evening while baby-sitting my
cousins. I was fascinated with the idea that someone would hunt with the bow
and arrow. This was supported when I started seeing Howard Hill shorts at the
local movie theaters in town. I first went hunting with my Uncle Jack and my
dad at the age of 13 near Baldwin,
Michigan. I didn’t carry a rifle,
but was with my Uncle when he shot a buck deer and I helped him drag it back to
our hunting trailer, which by the way was the old mail truck at the Studebaker
plant. Uncle Jack was an electrician there and he and my dad had converted it
into a small camper with fold-down cots.

     My wife, Alice, got interested in archery in high
school and her folks bought her a bow set for her birthday. I later started
playing around with her bow in the backyard even before I had met Fred Bear or
knew I’d ever have anything to do with the sport. As with most kids, it
fascinated me. How many of us didn’t try to make bows and arrows out of
branches and string when we were kids?

Q. When did you first meet Fred
Bear? What was your first impression of
the man?

     I first met Fred in the summer of
1966 when Tom Blee, the president of our advertising agency, drove me up to
Grayling to meet him. We were the largest advertising agency in Indiana at the time. I
had just been hired to take over Tom’s accounts when he was promoted to President
of the agency and Bear Archery was one of his accounts. It was Tom who came up
with our famous ?Become a Two Season Hunter? advertising theme that I then ran
with for many decades.

     I was scared spitless when I went into Fred’s office
to meet him that twilight summer evening. He had just returned from his famous
Polar Bear hunt when after his third trip he finally downed a Polar Bear he
could claim with the bow and arrow. Two earlier bears had charged him after he
got an arrow into them and had to be stopped by his backup rifleman, so he
couldn’t claim them as bow and arrow trophies.

     Fred immediately put me at ease and I soon felt like I
was talking to my Grandpa. My first impression upon meeting him was how huge
and soft his hands were when we shook hands. Incidentally, he also wore size 14
shoes. Yet his famous trademark Borsalino hunting hat was a lot smaller than my
size 7-1/8. He did not have a big head, in more ways than one.

     I was honest with Fred that first meeting and told him
that while I had spent a lot of time fishing, camping and hiking over the
years, I had only hunted a couple of times in college with a shotgun and had
never hunted with a bow. He seemed to like my honesty and said that he’d ?give
me a try? as his advertising man. I said ?fair enough? and we shook on it.

Q. You and Papa Bear grew close
over the years. Why so? What do
you think drew you together?

     Well, for one thing, we worked
closely together almost everyday on one project or another—catalog copy, one
of his books, a press release, a film, a video, you name it. It was an
easy-going relationship. Almost everyday he’d stop in my office several times
to chew the fat and once we moved to Gainesville
we had lunch together nearly everyday out in our lunchroom with others of our
Bear Archery gang. I loved listening to his yarns and he liked to hear me
laugh, so we made a good team.

     I think he also was pleased with the way I stepped
forward when he asked me to do so on the national scene to help insure the
future of our sport, primarily helping to run the American Archery Council and
in Washington, D.C. where I got involved on a lot of different committees and
tried my best to represent not only Papa Bear’s point-of-view, but the
interests of bowhunters and archers everywhere. This while I was running the
Fred Bear Sports Club that I had created earlier.

     I’ve always said that I went to the ?Fred Bear and Bob
Kelly School of Archery and Bowhunting.? Over the years they pumped me full of
their philosophies about our sport, what it brought to the conservation table
and how it helped bring healthy, productive recreation to millions of people.
When you learn from the best, a lot is likely to rub off on you. For folks who
don’t know who Bob Kelly was, he was hired to be Fred’s and Glenn St. Charles’
camp cook and roustabout on the Little Delta hunt in 1960 in Alaska. The two hit it off and in 1963 Kelly
went to work for Fred as his Sales Manager. Eventually he moved up to become
Executive V.P. of the company and then President when Fred stepped down. He was
a brilliant marketing man, but he was a wild Irishman and could turn the air
blue. You can read more about him in my book ?I Remember Papa Bear.? He was
truly a colorful, lovable character. And he, also, treated me like the son he
never had. Alice and I spent every New Year’s Eve with Kelly and his wife,
Jeanie, for many, many years.

     I think another reason Fred and I grew so close was
that he never had a son, or any children of his own, for that matter. Mrs. Bear
had a daughter, Julia, and a foster son, Mike, but they were grown when Fred
met Mrs. Bear. Mrs. B’s first husband had died before she and Fred met at Blaney Park
in the U.P. of Michigan.
So when I came along and we ended up spending so much time working on projects
together it kind of filled a hole in Fred’s life and he sort of adopted me as a
surrogate ?son.? He did the same with Astronaut Joe Engle
whose Dad had died, Dick Mauch  who had lost his Dad, and Frank Scott. He
was also starting to develop this sort of relationship with Ted Nugent when he
died. Ted’s approach was different from Fred’s, but Fred respected how Ted
could reach out and effectively turn on a bunch of people to our sport. And
Ted’s Dad also had passed away. He had been an early supplier of materials for
Fred and Bear Archery in Grayling.

     But in his later years, I was the one he was around
everyday so I sort of fell into the ?son? role, so to speak. I was very, very
fortunate to have had such a warm relationship with such a wonderful man and
mentor. A great deal of life is just being in the right spot at the right time.
But the fact that Fred took each of us under his wing when we were fatherless
says a great deal about the humanity and gentleness of the man.




Q. What was the funniest anecdote
about Fred and you that you can
recall?

     While we were still in 
Grayling, Michigan
the in-house advertising agency that I ran with our staff for the company was
in an old house across the parking lot from the main plant. We all called it
the ?Swamp.? Bob Kelly had named it that and we had a routed sign to that
effect on the outside wall. One day I was sitting with my back to my office
door banging away at my old Royal typewriter on some advertising copy for our
catalog. Suddenly I heard a loud SPLAT on top of my desk. I whirled around and
what looked like a huge rat was sitting on top of my desk looking at me!!! I
thought he had come through the ceiling of the 75 year old house. I damn near
clawed my way though the side of the building in surprise! About the time I
whirled around in my chair there was Fred poking his head in my office,
laughing his socks off, with his shoulders shaking and saying, ?You take care
of this one, and I’ll go and get another!? With that he walked off, leaving me
to deal with the ?rat.? Luckily, I realized what he had dropped on my desk was
a live possum that he had picked up along the road on his way back from
Grousehaven, our bowhunting camp an hour away. I later took ?Pogo? home with me
and put him in my brush pile in Sherwood Forest
where we lived out on Ole Dam Road.
Fred and I exchanged some funny notes about ?Pogo? after he and Mrs. Bear went
down to Florida
that winter.

     Then there was the time he and I were out flyfishing
during a caddis hatch on the Au Sable River outside Grayling, and he
graciously, I thought, let me go ahead of him around a bend in the river. I
figured the old man was letting me have first crack at the big brown trout
lurking there. But he knew full well that there was a deep hole at that spot
and with the strong current and slippery rocks I soon went swimming in my
waders with a big, old ?Bear? laughing his head off behind me. He had gotten me
again.
 

Q. What was it like to be
the sidekick to such a great man?
Was Fred a humble man?

     I’ll answer the second part of your
question first. There was not an egotistical bone in Fred Bear’s body. Yes, he
was proud of what he had accomplished with the bow, and in building Bear
Archery, our sport and our industry, but it was not in his nature to boast, or
even to draw attention to himself, unless it was in a humorous way. His mom and
dad saw to that as he was growing up. Harry Bear would not have put up with
anything like that from his only son, nor would his mother Florence.

     I had three people I looked up to when I was growing
up (outside of family members, of course). One was World War II overseas
correspondent Ernie Pyle, the second was trumpeter Louis Armstrong, and the
third was the sage Will Rogers. Ernie Pyle was a humble man of tremendous
talent. He was a native Hoosier, as am I, and had attended Indiana University
where I went to school. Matter of fact, the I.U. Journalism
School is named after
him. Louis Armstrong also had terrific natural musical talent, a smile as big
as New Orleans
and a warm, sunny manner about him. I was lucky enough to meet him one evening
after he had played for a dance at I.U. He was as warm and friendly as he could
be, and I got to see that famous smile close-up. Will Rogers was a talented showman, yet down to
earth and dry-witted as they come. There was a bit of all three of my boyhood
heroes in Papa Bear. He was a talented writer and cameraman, he was a natural
in front of a camera with a homespun manner, he was a gifted storyteller, and he
was an inventive genius.

     To discover over the years that I was actually working
closely with such a man turned my professional and personal life into what the
stage hands, grips and gaffers on a film crew all call ?Golden Time.? I don’t
know how I was so lucky to have fallen into such a position, but I’m sure going
to thank ?The Man Upstairs? when I see him for allowing it to happen.

Q. What do you think Fred would
think about today’s technology and promoting
archery? (The internet, websites, etc.)

     Fred spent his career striving to
keep on the technological leading edge of archery, to always push the envelope,
as our Astronaut friends liked to say. His patents and inventions speak for
themselves. He was still alive when computers came to our sport with all they
brought to the business of design and testing capabilities. I know it
fascinated him. Having said that, though, I know he would not like the
esthetics of our modern compound bows. You must remember, he was a craftsman
and artisan who thought in terms of wood grains, color, feel and composites. He
even resisted our getting into the production of compound bows when they first
hit the market. And it took us a year or two to catch up with that burgeoning
trend in the early 70’s. He strongly preferred the beauty of recurves. Finally,
someone he respected as a creative man, the poet and college professor, James
Dickey, reacted so strongly positive to a compound bow that was sitting in
Fred’s office when he came to visit, that Fred realized we had to get into
their design and production. James Dickey, by the way, wrote the book and movie
?Deliverance? that you may have seen. We provided all of the archery equipment
for that film. And when Dickey first pulled a compound bow that day in Fred’s
office, let it down and said, ?I want one for me, one for my son, and one for
my wife? it really got the old man’s attention.

     Fred would have loved the internet capability for
promoting and publicizing our sport, just as I do. Right now, for example, my book
?I Remember Papa Bear? is running here on Rich Walton’s Bowhunting.Net. It is a
fantastic tool for reaching people to grab’em and turn’em on to becoming
bowhunters and target archers. I could not believe Bowhunting.Net the first
time I discovered it. What a fantastic site! My other new book ?The Jesus
Digest? is for sale on Amazon.com, so that gives me appreciation for the
technology as well.

     I just wish we had such technology available to us in
the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s when I was working with Papa Bear. Back then we did not
have personal computers, video cameras, or cassette tape players. It was only
during his last few years that such began to come into popular use. And
websites would’ve blown him away.

Q. You have written or helped
write many books. Can you list them
and tell us about each?




?All We Did Was Fly To The Moon?
by the Astronauts as told to Dick Lattimer.
Foreword by James A. Michener
(The Whispering Eagle Press, Inc. – 1985)

     An illustrated history of the
Mercury, Gemini, Apollo, Skylab and Apollo-Soyuz spaceflights. With input from
28 of the Astronauts that made these historic flights. Paperback. 164 pages,
356 illustrations, 85 in color. Autographed copies are available for $10.95 +
$2.00 S&H from The Whispering Eagle Press, P.O. Box 344, Cedar Key, Florida 32625.

?Space
Station FRIENDSHIP?
Foreword by Eugene A. Cernan, the
Last Man To Walk On The Moon
By Dick Lattimer
(Stackpole Books, Inc. – 1988)

     Written while the International
Space Station was in the planning stages this is a fictional account of what
life would be like for the crews who flew aboard her. Now out-of-print, but a
limited number of autographed copies are available from The Whispering Eagle
Press, Inc. P.O. Box 344, Cedar Key, Florida
32625. Hardcover, illustrated. $14.95 + $2.00 S&H.

?I
Remember Papa Bear?
By Dick Lattimer
(IHUNT Communications, Inc. – 2005)

     The untold story of the legendary
Fred Bear, including his ?Secrets of Hunting.? A sampling of the 25 chapters
include: The Creation of Fred Bear; Fred Bear Showed Me How; Fred’s Secret
Hunting Camp; Fred’s Last Alaskan Hunt; Fred’s Final Days; and much, much more.
368 pages, includes 140 photos. Special Limited Edition of 500 signed and
numbered deluxe leather-bound collectible volumes are available for $84.95. The
regular hardcover edition is $24.95. Available from IHUNT Communications, 9457 Woodland Circle, Amherst Jct., WI 54407.

?The
Jesus Digest?
By Dick Lattimer
(The Whispering Eagle Press, Inc. – 2005)

     What you never knew about the
everyday life of Jesus. Learn what it was like to live when he did. Learn what
his real name was. How he practiced his Jewish religion everyday. What life was
life around the Sea of Galilee. Where the town
was that Jesus and Joseph may have worked in together as carpenters. What the
houses were like when Jesus lived in Galilee.
And much, much more. Autographed copies available for $14.95, plus $2 S&H
from  The Whispering Eagle Press, P.O. Box 344, Cedar Key, FL 32625.

?Hunt
With Fred Bear?
By Dick Lattimer
(Currently at a publisher, printing date not yet set-2006)

     Go along on Fred Bear’s most famous
bowhunts around the world-Canada, Alaska, Africa, India, South America-as he
sought the world’s toughest game. Also learn what was going on behind-the-scenes
at Bear Archery and in his life when he made these legendary hunts. Stories
from Outdoor Life, Life Magazine, True Magazine, Archery Magazine and other
sources as well as some of Fred’s previously unpublished field notes.

     In addition, I  created, produced and/or worked
on the following Fred Bear books and other special promotional material during
my career at Bear Archery:

Books

The Archer’s Bible
By Fred Bear

Fred Bear’s Field Notes
By Fred Bear

Fred Bear’s World of Archery
By Fred Bear

Fred Bear
The Biography of An Outdoorsman
By  Charles Kroll

Hunting With The Bow And Arrow
By Saxton Pope
With a Special Introduction by Fred Bear
(This was a reprint of a long out-of-print book that was influential in Fred Bear’s start in bowhunting)

Records

Fred Bear’s “Secrets of Hunting” Record (With Sportscaster Curt Gowdy)

Films & Videos

Rural Route One, Grayling Michigan (A “How We Build Recurve Bows & Arrows” Film)

The Good Earth
(A Film with  Fred Bear & Astronaut James A. Lovell,
Commander of Apollo 13, Lunar Module Pilot of Apollo 8, Mankind’s first
voyage out to the Earth’s Moon.)

The Restless Spirit
(A film about Fred Bear, with Producer Don L. Higley)

The Fred Bear Hunting Video Series
(Conversion & editing of Fred Bear’s Hunting Films to Videos)

Fred Bear Oral History Video Series
(A series of 5 videos – 3 covering the history of Bear Archery, 2 featuring Fred and Astronaut Joe Henry
Engle, Commander of the Space Shuttles Columbia & Discovery)

American Archery Council Film Series
(A series of 5 instructional films produced by our AMO/AAC Film Committee)

Bowhunting in North America
(Served as the Producer for the American Archery Council & the Archery Manufacturers Organization)

Television

The American Outdoors Television Series (Producer Don L. Higley with Wally Taber)

Sports Afield Television Series
(Conservation segments produced for the International Association of Fish
& Wildlife Agencies while I was chairman of their Television Subcommittee.
Producer Glenn Lau with Selda Gibbons)

America’s
Wildlife Pilot
(Produced for the International Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies. Don L. Higley, Producer.)

     In addition, I created, produced and wrote all of
the Bear Archery catalogs and advertising from 1972-1989. From 1966-1971 I
helped create and produce all of their catalogs and advertising at their
advertising agency in conjunction with Tom Blee.

Q. Didn’t you write a book about
Space? How did that come about?

     During World War II my uncles in
the service sent me their patches that they wore on their uniforms. The war
broke out the day after my 6th birthday, so these were pretty special to me.
Fred and I got to know most of the Mercury, Gemini and Apollo Astronauts at
sporting goods dealer trade shows in Houston.
To many of them, Fred was their hero and they flocked to our booth to meet and
talk to him. At their invitation several of us would go out to what was then
called the Manned Spacecraft Center
south of Houston
following these trade shows to be shown all of their Moon landing training
equipment and to have dinner together. On one of these visits I noticed Frank
Borman’s Apollo 8 spacesuit on display. He was the cousin of one of my college
dorm buddies, so it was of special interest to me. I was fascinated by the
design of his Mission patch. Apollo 8 was our
first flight out to circle the Moon and included Borman, Jim Lovell and Bill
Anders. I would later produce a short video in Grayling with Jim Lovell and
Fred Bear about hunting and fishing that I titled ?The Good Earth?, a term from
something the Apollo 8 crew said after their Bible reading as they circled the
lunar surface on Christmas Eve, 1968.

     When I asked Cy Baker, the civilian administrator of
the Astronaut Office there, where I could find more information about all of
their Mission patches up to then, he said that
no one had ever put it together. So with Cy’s help and encouragement I
contacted all of the guys and 28 of them provided me with letters or other
material regarding what their Mission patch
designs meant and why they named their spacecraft what they did.

     Then I boldly asked the famous author James Michener
to provide the Foreword to the book and he agreed!

     With the help of our art director, Mike Haller, we put
together a paperback book that is still on sale at space and science centers
around the U.S.
I spent many days at the NASA History Office in Washington, D.C.
digging out information and photographs for use in the book. It is 164 pages
long with 356 illustrations, 85 of them in color.

     Many nice things have been said of the book, but two
of my favorites are what Arthur C. Clarke, author of ?2001: A Space Odyssey?
said: ?Splendid book?I’m recommending it to my friends.?

     Les Gaver of NASA headquarters said: ?All you did was
publish an award-winning space book?I really think it is the best on the market
about the U.S. Space Program!?

Q. What was Fred’s take on promoting
archery to the next generation?

     Whether we’re talking a sport, a
church, or any other kind of activity, few things are more important than
focusing on the future. And Fred always had a very strong commitment to
reaching out to young people, not only in talking to them, but also in
providing inexpensive products that they could use. Those familiar with our
Bear Archery product line in those days will remember the Little Bear recurve
bow. This was a small version of our regular recurves scaled down for young
arms and hands to learn our sport on. We also had a less expensive line of bows
that we called the Fox fiberglass bows. My Bear Archery catalog from 1946 shows
the Ranger bow. This was a one piece bow made of Lemonwood, five foot two
inches long, and was built for ladies and juniors in draw weights of from 20 to
45 pounds.

     With Fred’s encouragement I also placed a strong
advertising campaign in Boys Life magazine for many, many years directed our
youth, in that case, primarily Boy Scouts who were already predisposed to the
outdoor life. We also did photography in Fred’s back yard in the early 70’s for
some of those ads. At that session we also took a photo of a young gal from
Grayling with Fred showing her how to shoot a bow. I was able to place this as
the cover photo on American Girl magazine to reach out to teenage girls.

     In addition, we published a special catalog directed
at Schools and Camps with a full offering of archery products at special prices
to reach youngsters at those exposure points.

     We made films (before the days of videos) of Fred
showing young people how to shoot the bow and arrow. And we spent a ton of
money distributing these films to schools, camps, church groups, 4-H and other
youth groups through Modern Talking Pictures, a film distribution house.

     Fred asked me to help him put together a list of who
he should donate money to in his Last Will & Testament. Among that list was
money donated to the 4-H Archery Program in the name of our Astronaut archery
friend Ellison Onizuka, who died aboard Challenger.

Q. What was Fred’s favorite hunt?
Who were his favorite hunting companions?

     Every hunt was special to Fred. He
liked everything about ?the hunt? and often said, ?Anticipation is often
greater than realization.? Meaning that while you might not come home with meat
for the table, just everything involved in getting ready for the hunt was
special to him. I often stood and watched him waterproofing his hunting boots
at the small workbench in his house. For his more strenuous hunts he would
begin walking and doing physical activity many weeks or months ahead of time.
And he would begin his archery practice every day in earnest leading up to the
hunt. Next to his home alongside the Au Sable River in Grayling that sat behind
the Bear Archery plant he had a field course set-up of life-sized cardboard deer
that he practiced on. The fellows from the plant would make these targets for
him out of shipping cardboard that they saved up. They did not have a target
drawn on them, they were simply a profile of a deer. He did this long before a
better known and more popular form of archery and bowhunting practice came
along known as 3-D. Again, he was a leader in this area. Even back in his days
with the Detroit Archers in the 30’s and 40’s he had made a life-sized
mechanical deer for him and his friends to shoot at that he called ?Oscar.?

     When I tried to nail him down one day about what his
favorite trophy was he admitted that it was his World Record Stone Ram. This
was due to the rough mountain terrain he hunted in and the unusual shot he made
on the critter. He lobbed an arrow over a ridge and made a perfect hit on the
ram even though he could not see the entire animal. This was in British Columbia in
1957. He said he normally would not have made such a shot, but felt compelled
to do so when his Indian guide urged him to let loose an arrow at the critter.

     His sidekick on most of his hunts during the 60’s and
70’s was Bob Munger. Munger was the owner of a hardware/sporting goods store in
Charlotte, Michigan and was a stockholder in Bear
Archery. Bob and Fred really enjoyed one another’s company. Munger always
teasingly called Fred ?Blue Eyes.? They endured many testing weather conditions
over the years together, from the Arctic Circle to the jungles of South America.

     But Fred really enjoyed just about everyone he was
ever in camp with and reveled in telling them the tales of his hunts during the
evening cocktail hour after the day’s hunts were over. And in hearing their
adventures of that day’s hunt. Anyone who was fortunate enough to hunt with Fred
at our Grousehaven camp near Rose City, Michigan will know what I mean.

Q. I want to thank you for
not running a skinny, 12 year old
kid off from the Bear booth at
all those sports shows in the old
days. I appreciate it very much and
hope I didn’t bug you or Papa Bear
too much?

     Don’t forget, Frank, I was once a
skinny 12-year-old kid, too, as was Papa Bear. We both really got a kick out of
your visits. And we both knew that with your determination and interest in our
sport you would go far, whether it was in archery or some other activity. As
the old saying goes, no one stands as tall as when they stoop to help a child.
Our future depends on committed, motivated, healthy-living young people like
you were in those days and like the fine man you have grown into.




Q. Highlight of your time in
archery?

     Selfishly I’d have to say that my
favorite time in archery was when I was able to spend quality time alone with
Papa Bear. Whether it was in the small two man tarpaper cabin we slept in on
the Alaska peninsula; the cabin he sometimes
invited me to share with him at Grousehaven; or on the evenings when we’d
follow one another down the Au Sable River at twilight just as the evening’s
caddis hatch came on. These were the best times I ever had in our sport.

     Also at the top of the list, but for a very sad
reason, was the evening Jim Hatfield and I walked through the woods in our
waders to an isolated spot next to the Au Sable River, accessible only by canoe
or by foot, and placed Fred’s ashes there about two months after he died. It
was at sunset just before the evening’s hatch.

Q. Any last minute advice for
a newcomer to our great sport?

     I guess the most important thing
I’d tell a beginner is to develop patience with our sport. Whether it is in
your first session shooting a bow when muscles can become tired and the flight
of your arrow can be affected, or whether it is in getting your first deer with
a bow. Fred Bear went bowhunting for the first time in 1929 near St. Helen’s, Michigan and
did not take his first deer with a bow until 1935 at the Blaney
Park area of Michigan’s
Upper Peninsula. I started bowhunting in 1966
and didn’t take my first deer until 1972. That doesn’t mean that some folks
can’t down a deer on their first bowhunting outing, but more often than not
they will have to put in their time learning their woodland skills before they
score.

     So be patient, do not rush your self, whether you
prefer target archery or bowhunting. My favorite saying is ?sit like a rock,
think like a tree.? In other words, when bowhunting, sit still like a rock, and
be as aware of the wind and other of nature’s conditions and critters as is a
tree.

          Dick Lattimer
          Cedar Key, Florida

    Thank
you Dick for your time, energy and your devotion to Papa Bear & the sport
of archery.  You were sidekick to the greatest member of our archery
fraternity, Papa Bear.  

Until
next time, Adios & God Bless

Shoot Straight,

Frank



 

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