Every year since I was 7 years old, I've packed my bags and headed to St. Helen Shooting club for a weekend of duck hunting, football, and time with the men in my family.
It's the place where I drew inspiration for starting Ball and Buck. It's no coincidence that it's also the place that reminds me most of my late grandfather, the man who taught me many life lessons, including how to hunt.
I remember one time when I was hunting with my grandfather in Michigan, we went to the store to buy a hunting license before heading north to the hunting field. I had just turned 14 years old so I had changed from a minor to an adult, which didn’t mean much to me, but did to the licensing board because my fee went from $1 to $50. For some reason the clerk behind the counter misread my birthdate and issued me the license for $1. Thinking I had beat the system, I excitedly told my grandfather when we got into the car. Surprisingly to me then, he was upset with the news and told me we would make it right.
Sure enough after the weekend of hunting, we came right back to that same store parking lot before going to the airport. We showed the clerk the license, explained that a mistake had happened, and I had to fork out the additional $49. Until I was about 20 years old, I looked back to that day with utter frustration. But now, that story stays in my mind as one of the most important lessons I have ever learned: There is no amount of money that is ever worth more than your word and doing the right thing