Lloyd "Barney" Barnhart is one of my favorite writers. He's a true outdoorsman in every sense of the word. Many of his works center around his life in the Beaverkill Valley in New York’s lower Catskill Mountains with his family and friends.
No matter where you grew up you'll be able to relate to the recollections of his youth in his book "Rambling Outdoors". I've read that book several times and consider it a classic story of life in a simpler time.
Barney and his family maintain traditions that were once a part of many of our lives and he is a master of weaving that thread through the years.
I really like this short poem of his and with his permission, share it with you.
HOLD MY HAND
My six year old grandson and I
Were walking through dark woods
On an early morning turkey hunt years ago.
"Kinda spooky out here, ain't it?" he said;
"Hold my hand....!"
I did; things became less spooky.
My elderly fishing partner was stumbling
As we crossed knee-deep river rapids.
I moved closer to him and said, "Hold my hand."
Macho, ex-Marine that he was....
He just glared at me, and
Refused my hand.
So, I extended my bait net toward him,
And said, "Grab on!" He did and we crossed safely.
"Hold my hand"..."Grab the net"....Same effect!
My youngest grandson was attempting to cross a creek
On a log that I warned was far too slim for a safe crossing.
"Just hold my hand," he said.
That's all it took......
He crossed safely, and said
"Told you I could do it!"
It is amazing the support and security
That can be gained
By just holding someone's hand.
I find great comfort in knowing that....
Getting older, and far less nimble on my feet,
I'll soon be saying......
"HOLD MY HAND!"