The photo is of my friend Teeg Stouffer and his son Goody. Teeg contributed a wonderful essay, "Free," to Fish, Frogs, and Fireflies. The book now has 26 five-star reviews at Amazon. Many readers share it with their children.
Here's an excerpt from his essay:
"Every summer Monday, mom took my brother and me to that lake, that spot I started off telling you about, and we’d meet my grandma there. We’d be both loved and free. We’d be set off on our own adventures to catch fish and frogs and turtles.
"I don’t think it’s wrong for kids whose experience outside is the grass of a soccer field or the dirt of an infield, but I think it’s a shame if that’s the extent of it for them. Those structured outdoor experiences teach important things like teamwork, dedication, and the benefits of competition. All of those values are great. But kids need unstructured playtime in the outdoors, too, with its risks, dangers, opportunities, and freedom to learn, grow, and solve problems.
I was a kid who had a red, white, and blue bedroom with an American flag painted on the wall--- no kidding. A Boy Scout, who loved the Beach Boys and knew every word to Lee Greenwood’s 'God Bless the USA.' Freedom has always resonated with me, and I think it does for most people, even folks who don’t really know what it is to be free, because they never have been. "
In no particular order, other contributors included Brenda DeGree, Randy Joe Heavin, Sabrina Thompson, Ron Presley, Steve Chaconas, Andy McDaniels,Gene Gilliland, Leonard Sonnenschein, Blake Muhlenbruck, Skyler Wiseman, Judy Tipton, and Hobson Bryan.