Thanksgiving and The Circle Of LIfe
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Frank Addington

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

Thanksgiving and The Circle Of LIfe

By Frank Addington

Nov 24, 2005, 00:35

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Thanksgiving & the Circle of
    Autumn in West Virginia is a
brilliant time of year to be outdoors.  The fall leaves put on a beautiful
showcase of reds, yellows and oranges and then eventually fall to the ground as
the woods turns to winter shades of grays and browns.

    The crisp mornings are a perfect
time for an early walk around as the woods comes alive with the warm rays of an
autumn sun hitting the woods.   This morning from my ridgetop home I could see
several signs of deer, from rubs on the small trees to a corn feeder I keep full
so that my wife Amanda can enjoy seeing game from our windows. 
    Yesterday morning I  spotted a
buck bedded down out the ridge from our home.  The majesty of that buck against
the woodscape was breath taking.  The beauty of that scene reminded me for some
reason of the late Fred Bear. 

    Perhaps because one of my
favorite photographs ever is the one my friend Dick Lattimer took many years ago
under the golden leaves at Grouse Haven of Fred Bear as he walked along a leaf
covered trail with two teenage boys at his side, bows in hand.  One of the boys
is Dick Lattimer’s son, the other young man was Hap Fling’s son.
    The photo speaks volumes about
the circle of life, the old giving way to the young, about the wise teaching the
less experienced, and the “passing of the torch” if you will.  You can see the
tall, lanky framed man walking with the two young fellas, as they talk and learn
from the man in the now famous hat.  The golden leaves of autumn signal that as
in life and nature, man’s time here is limited and he must pass on his
experiences and knowledge with the younger generation.  As the leaves of autumn
fade, so will his time here.
    Many of you may remember this
photo from a book or one of the Bear catalogs.  It is a classic.  Dick was kind
enough many years ago to send me an 8×10 print from the original negative.  I
have it framed and on display at my parent’s retail archery store. 
    Some of today’s younger
generation may not know Fred, but they will mention “how cool” the photo is.  I
enjoy taking the time to tell them about just how great that tall, lanky man was
and what his legacy to the sport of archery has been.  Some have even heard Ted
Nugent’s song, “FRED BEAR” and this helps them to further connect to the
    Many of you know recently
(September) that I said good-bye to the man that got me started doing shooting
exhibitions, Rev. Stacy Groscup.  Like Fred Bear did with the two teens in the
photograph,  this great  man took me under his wing when I was young and he
taught me many things.  It was Stacy that taught me the “circle of life”.   Thus
the beauty of the changing seasons and the autumn giving way to winter, and then
Spring signals a new life and new beginning.   Life and love Stacy taught me is
best represented by a circle, never ending, thus symbolized in the wedding
    Little did I know as a teen
tossing targets for the white haired man that each time I assisted him in a
show, each car ride to a hunt or an event, that I was absorbing his wise
teachings.  I wish I had taped all the phone conversations, all the talks, and
all the teachings.  Now I often find myself reflecting on conversations with the
great man from 20 years ago.   
    The challenge for all of us now
is to take time to reflect on what we are going to pass on to the next
generation.   That is our duty. 
    I would hope that we can pass
along how great the sport of archery is, that it is a lifetime, year round
family sport that offers something for everyone.  Let our message be one of a
united sport, not of factions or divisions, but a unified group of
    Your legacy to our sport may or
may not be as public as Fred Bears or Stacy’s, but you can leave behind a great
legacy by promoting and passing on your knowledge, good ethics, and love for the
sport of archery to someone else.  Teach them to enjoy the entire experience,
from the woodsmoke of a campfire to cold morning’s walk through the

    The National Archery in the
Schools program,  4-H, scouts, Church groups and camps, all offer a place where
you can give back and teach the next generation about this great
    Trophy game, world championships,
and accomplishments like that fade after awhile.  Someone will always come along
behind you to bag a bigger animal or shoot a higher score.  It is what you can
leave behind with a new comer to the sport that will last and become your
legacy.  Often times in life we get the greatest reward from giving.   
    Fred Bear and Stacy aren’t
necessarily remembered for what they did as much as for those that their lives
touched.  Their legacy is that they passed on the torch for the next

Well folks, with that being said Amanda
and I would like to take this opportunity to wish all of you a safe, and happy
Thanksgiving.  Please remember to say a special prayer for our troops who are in
harm’s way abroad and for those who have lost so much in the recent
    Until next time, Adios & God
Shoot Straight,
 Frank Addington, Jr.


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