2007 - Atlantic Beach Male Bonding ©

by J.R. Beatty

Atlantic Beach <br>Male Bonding
Atlantic Beach
Male Bonding

It was a good surfing day at Atlantic Beach, Florida. Three associated males strolled along the soft sandy shore of the Atlantic Ocean - A man, his young teenage son, and their Irish Setter pooch.

Their beach shoes were off, a football was being flipped in the air, and man and boy were intensively talking about some important, personal topics. They appeared to be bonding well together within this beach experience. (Click on the photo to see the details.)

Looking at this photo, I wish my own father had been able to do more similar things with me back in the day. But he wasn't much into long walks or sports or beaches or music or scouting or climbing tall forestry towers - probably based on his interests, his own upbringing, and his hard work to provide for his family's financial needs.

My parents did purchase a Withlacoochee River lot ($500 down and $50 / month) as a natural, forested getaway place for all of our family to enjoy to this day.

My Dad also took the family on a fun, pop-up-camper trip to Ocala National Forest when I was in junior college just prior to my entry into THE University of Florida. I climbed all the way to the top of a forestry fire tower and talked for a while with a lonely forest ranger who sat up there for hours each day in fire season. At the stranger ranger's urging I decided to study electrical engineering instead of forestry at U of F.

Coincidentally, my first UF dorm roommate was a Forestry Major, a quiet "tree hugger" who walked around campus trying to identify the numbered trees with their appropriate scientific Latin binomial nomenclature genus and species names. Not my brand of Quercus geminate (Sand Live Oak)!

And one special time my Dad, as a TV/Radio technician, personally helped me to put together a Heath Kit crystal radio set as a boy in my Papa's garage. I have often thought that this early, successful bonding experience may have been one reason I studied electrical engineering in college and worked at it for many years now.

So with my wife's essential and influential help, I tried to give my own GOOD son some good support and bonding experiences - at the beach, in team baseball, by shooting BB and pellet guns at tin can targets in the woods, in his instrumental and vocal music training experiences, by riding his roll-barred Go-Cart together over near-to-home, back-country dirt trails, and by Sun Fish sail-boating together on the big 44 acre, fresh water lake behind our home in Miami, FL.

It also included hiking together out in the "Acreage" wetlands near Lion Country Safari and along the woodsy Florida Trail and the frozen Lem Foote Walk-In trail in Georgia. I also was "emotionally coerced" by my son and his best buddy into volunteering to be their "Den Father" for a year of Webelos "Arrow of Light" scouting fun.

The highlight was my wife and I spending time transporting him, beginning at age 14, to and from the fire stations and hospitals where he experienced hands-on, life-saving medical emergency trauma volunteer work. He assisted paramedics and EMT's and hospital nurses to consistently "help save unfortunate folks on the worst day of their lives".

Hopefully these fun efforts provided value for him as a man. I think so - for the past 24 years and counting, he has worked as a fire department explorer volunteer in emergency care, as a hospital R.N. trauma nurse / nurse supervisor, and now as a Family Nurse Practitioner in an important, longtime medical institution. He also is doing a great job at frequent family fun bonding activities with his own male and female children.

I do encourage my photo-writer website viewers and ALL other parents - Pass these important "beach bonding" concepts AND actions on to your sons and daughters and grandchildren! The dividends are AWESOME and PRICELESS!