godspeed william chandler,    Writing

William Chandler: Husband, Father, Superman

By Tom Chandler 5/9/2008

When you're young you believe your dad is invincible, and then one day you realize he's human, and then comes the truly horrible period where you wonder if he's your dad at all because he's hopelessly unhip, and then you arrive at the stretch where you finally get to know your father as an adult, which is by far the best part.

After that (usually a lot of years after that) you realize that living through a great depression and surviving front line combat in a terrible war -- and then slipping into harness and doing the supremely hard work of feeding and raising a family (and making sure there's enough for everyone to go to college) means – cape or not – your dad actually did have super powers, and not the flashy comic book kind, but the badass real life variety (though if it ever came down to a contest, he'd kick Superman's ass every damn time).

Of course, even Superman had a weakness, and my father's was his heart, and it finally gave out, and he passed away this morning.

When the call comes, you sit down right where you are to a jarring mix of emotions, and you don't know whether to simply stop breathing and melt into the ground or stand up and shake your fist at the sky, though the sense of someone kicking out a corner of the foundation you've built your life on prevents you from doing either.

You know you'll eventually find some perspective on all this, but at the moment, you realize you can no longer feel the phone against your face.

Rest in peace, Superman. Know that your sons finally came to understand what you were and what you did, and that we loved you for it.

William Chandler, 1931-2008


Tom Chandler

As the author of the decade leading fly fishing blog Trout Underground, Tom believes that fishing is not about measuring the experience but instead of about having fun. As a staunch environmentalist, he brings to the Yobi Community thought leadership on environmental and access issues facing us today.

We're sorry to hear it, Tom...I'm sure your father was proud to have a son capable of writing such a moving eulogy. May you and your family be given the time and space needed for a proper fairwell. Peace, Will and Abby
God bless you Tom.
Tom, May I add mine to the sincerely felt condolences here from r your friends. I lost my own father 3 years ago. He was only in his fifties, but he's given me the finest inheritance possible - a sense of wonder and a love of the river. Your old man must be looking down with wonder and pride, though, to see what a diverse crowd you've already inspired yourself, and I trust you'll have the chance, ... more before long, to remember him out on the water, where it all makes at least a little more sense. Best wishes to you and your family. James

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