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February 26, 2012

Paddlers provide virtuousness deed

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It is unfortunate we live in a sometimes disgruntled world, with so many people caring only of themselves. So I always enjoy learning of good deeds done by good people.

We are fortunate living where we do because of the abundance of generous, caring individuals who call our area home. It’s been proven many times that those who possess a devout love of the great outdoors show respect, not only for our natural resources, but to others as well.

It was just last week I learned of an effort made by Greentown’s Garry Hill and his friend Jeff Mathews to help a family they did not even know. Hill is one of the original founders of the Wildcat Canoe Club and one of our area’s staunchest conservationists. His deep-rooted love of paddling our states many rivers and streams is legendary. With Hill’s permission, I would like to share his recent letter with readers of this column.

The letter

Our rivers and creeks provide us with many memorable experiences. From the beautiful days of spring, summer and fall to the wildly lovely days of winter. From a sunrise filled with fire as we chase bass and catfish to the blaze of sunset as we end a paddle-to-dinner. From the laughter that follows a buddy’s “flip and swim” to the high-fives of a brilliant move in fast water. Then there are the days, those encounters, you wish you could forget.

Jeff Mathews, a retired police officer, called me last week to relate the story of a missing person that might have possibly fallen into our Wildcat’s south fork near Lafayette. The lady never returned home. Her car was found at the Monitor public access site. There were tracks in the snow leading to the creek, but no tracks leading back.

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