The Three Cousins
By Wayne Selfridge

Once a year I write an article about Aroostook kids. A short piece so that the pictures can speak the volumes I can't, because there are no words that can replace the photographic memory reminders of our kids growing up in the manner of nurturing parents epitomized by dads like Steve and Harold Cyr.

My son, Justin, just turned 17. In another year there's graduation and college--not to mention the empty-nest syndrome. When he was old enough to walk, he accompanied me on upland game hunts with his make-believe toy gun. He spent hours arranging and rearranging his tackle box, and would fish so hard out of our bass boat that by the end of the day he'd be napping in the bow on the return to the boat launch.

Justin has two cousins who are being raised by their fathers to hunt, fish, enjoy the outdoors and above all to be sportsmen. Andrew Cyr is 9 years old, the son of my brother-in-law, Steven Cyr. Andrew is Steve's constant outdoor companion. The always smiling youngster is already wood's savvy and has the sense of a direction of a homing pigeon.

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Six-year-old Devan Cyr, son of my other brother-in-law, Harold Cyr, would rather dress in a camouflage coat than an in-style sports-logo jacket. He's at that age where he believes that his Dad can beat up your Dad, and if Dad can't, Devan will, with that beagle-like, I'm the toughest dog on the block character.

The brothers live next to each other, so Steve and Harold have built their budding sportsman youngsters a miniature log cabin in a grove of pines near home. This rustic looking playhouse is the place of hunting and angling daydreams and a tiny version of adult deer camp where the boys already share their own outdoor experiences, or embellish tales their Dad's have told them.

Wayne Selfridge is a seasoned outdoorsman who has hunted and fished throughout the world as a military veteran. He works in law enforcement, is a member of the New England Outdoor Writers Association and serves as the Journal's Northern Sales Manager.

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