Mitch hated me the first time I met him. I was positive of that. I returned a scuba diving video the owner of the dive shop had loaned me back to the dive shop that Mitch managed. When I handed it to him, Mitch went into a tirade about videos going out without any documentation. I thought all of the anger was targeted at me, but no it was at the owner of the shop. Mitch intrigued me. He came off as aloof and solicitous at the same time. He acted like he really cared what the customer wanted or needed and at the same time held himself detached from the situation. I made it my mission in life to make him like me and in the process I fell in love with him.
As our relationship developed, I listened and watched and memorized everything about him. One of his passions was pheasant hunting. Once a year he would go to western Kansas and spend a week hunting upland game birds (pheasants). I was jealous of the time that he spent with family and friends that week while I stayed home waiting for him to come back and hear all of the stories of the past week. In an effort to spend more time with him I decided that I wanted to learn to pheasant hunt, even though I’d never been hunting for anything in my life and had no idea what that entailed. The very thought of sitting in a deer stand or a duck blind for hours waiting on a passing victim bored the hell out of me. I’d rather clean the bathroom and I hate cleaning the bathroom.
Mitch was amused when I asked that he teach me to hunt. But he dove head long into teaching me. put together the gear I would need. Mitch gave me hand-me-down shirts, ammo belt and bought an army surplus field coat for the cold. He showed me how the hunters carry the gun in the field and how to wing shoot.
My first trip I carried a camera and watched and learned how the hunters would line up in a vee shape and work a field hunting for the very elusive pheasant. When I came back, I was hooked. He even bought me a shotgun and modified to fit me.