Letters to My Granddaughter, No. 60

By | March 10, 2024

“Hey, drink this.”  I was freezing cold in Dad’s jon boat as we puttered down the Ouachita River.  The bayou Bonne Idee was closer but Dad wanted us to go where he’d heard the fish were biting.  Off we went, my brother Philip and I were on another fishing trip with Dad.  Dad seemed to have been born with a fishing pole in one hand and a shotgun in the other.  We went fishing and hunting more times than I can remember.

I liked to fish, but my brother loved it more than anything.  On this trip, it was overcast, and the morning temperature was “chilla;” in southern speak, that means it was likely in the lower 60s.  I took the old metal cup from Dad, looked at the black liquid he’d poured into it, which was warming my hand, and took a big gulp.  It did smell good.  But I’d misjudged the hot coffee temperature – what kid drinks coffee anyway – immediately spitting it out on the side of the boat.

Dad said I wasn’t supposed to drink it so fast, but of course, I didn’t know that you know, being a little kid usually means you have only minimal training.  This was just like our Dad’s teaching method.  Like when he wanted me to learn to swim, he took me to a nearby lake and threw me straight into deep water without warning.  I survived by kicking, clawing, and coughing up water while struggling back to shore.  There you go, training over.  That coffee sure smelled good, like a cigar smells good.  Don’t smoke cigars, they’re nasty.  “Sip, just sip a little at a time,” he said.  Philip laughed but refused to drink any.

I have a strong affection for coffee.  And my first drink that day in the fishing boat didn’t discourage me from liking it.  It was those many trips with Dad that hooked me on coffee.  Whether we were fishing for bass, bream, crappy, or catfish, we had a good time.  Dad would show us how to tie that special knot on the lure so it wouldn’t get lost.  And he showed us the best live bait and to mount them on a hook.  He also taught us to cast a line so we wouldn’t get tangled in the low tree branches along the river bank or snag one of us in the boat.

If Mom came along fishing, she always had a spare jacket if we got cold and something to eat if we got hungry out on the water.  We kids were always hungry.  Philip remembers Mom saying one time that Dad likes his coffee black.  It was black because there was no room on that boat for cream and sugar.  Space was limited, and that’s how it was.  Come to think of it, Philip and I still drink our coffee black too.

After this trip, we stopped off in Bastrop at a place that served good food.  It was a greasy spoon place, with good food but questionable sanitation.  That’s what Dad told us, so it must have been.  The waitress came over to get our order, so Dad ordered for all of us.  This was the first commercial eating place I’d ever been to.  I didn’t even know they existed.  “What would you boys like to drink?” She asked.  “If I had my druthers, I’d have some of your black coffee,” I told her.  With Dad’s permission, I got my second cup that same day.  It was hard to sit still in the car going home; there must have been something in that coffee.


NOTE: See all my letters here: https://www.theleadermaker.com/granddaughter-letters/


Please read my books:

  1. “55 Rules for a Good Life,” on Amazon (link here).
  2. “Our Longest Year in Iraq,” on Amazon (link here).
Author: Douglas R. Satterfield

Hello. I provide one article every day. My writings are influenced by great thinkers such as Friedrich Nietzsche, Karl Jung, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, Jean Piaget, Erich Neumann, and Jordan Peterson, whose insight and brilliance have gotten millions worldwide to think about improving ourselves. Thank you for reading my blog.

29 thoughts on “Letters to My Granddaughter, No. 60

  1. Liz at Home

    LOVELY. Great idea keeping letters for your young granddaughter. I know that she will appreciate them all.

  2. corralesdon

    Every time that I read one of Gen. Satterfield’s letters to his granddaughter, it makes me think that there are always different ways in which to help those who follow us. There is some level of satisfaction of being there for your kids and grandkids and also for them to help you, as needed. This is what family is all about.

    1. Pink Cloud

      Thank you, corralesdon for point this out. Too many of our young people today don’t want any kids because, in their thinking, kids are too much trouble, expensive, and hold them back from having a fun life. Or that bringing kids into the world means they will suffer from climate change (yep, that is what many say). Well, I won’t address the idiocy of these claims because it would take too long. Let’s just help them change their minds.

    2. Eddie Gilliam

      Corralesdon excellent comment. My friend Gen Douglas dad’s teaching life lessons to the boys during fish and hunting we’re awesome. I am not a coffee lover. I perfect tea.

  3. The Kid

    Another letter that Gen. Satterfield’s granddaughter should enjoy.

  4. North of Austin

    A wonderful letter from Gen. Satterfield. I look forward to each one of them.

  5. Joe Omerrod

    I admit to everyone here that when I first saw the beginning of this letter series, I thought to myself that it was going nowhere and that it was just a whimsical fantasy of Gen. Doug Satterfield to even attempt such a topic. Like samuel noted below, it is typically old women (I don’t mean that in a negative sense) writing to their granddaughters and giving them some advice on how to be a lady. That is all well and good. But Gen. Satterfield has taken a totally different direction – not unexpected – and takes us on a journey of a young, naïve, little boy who grew up in a small town in the middle of nowhere, and where there were few if any possibilities of being part of an urban modern society. Thank you, Gen. S. for your persistence and exceeding my expectations.

    1. Danny Burkholder

      Good comment Joe and I think many of us think the same way about these letters to his granddaughter.

  6. Tony B. Custer

    Gen. Satterfield, my wife and I look forward to reading your blog every day but also we esp. love reading these letters to your granddaughter. They give us new hope that the crazy world of the anti-family politicians like Pres Joe Biden and his ilk will not last and that normal families will grow in number.

    1. Pastor John 🙏

      Tony, you got that right.
      👀 I hope this series goes to 100. 🎁 It will be a gift to us all. ❤

  7. Wesley Brown

    I am not surprised that these “letters to my granddaughter” have taken off and with some kind of cult-like following by so many good people here. That is because the letters that Gen. Satterfield writes are absolutely entertaining first and second, but more importantly, the letters tell us what makes a successful person who they are. Is it luck? Yeah, maybe that is part of it. BUt there is more and Gen. Satterfield shows us what that more is all about and that is being a Christian, family oriented, and a hard, honest worker. Just my thoughts for the day. Please, Gen. S, keep writing your letters.

  8. Frankie Boy

    Gen. Satterfield sure knows how to treat his granddaughter and giving her information she will need too growing up.

  9. Melissa Jackson

    Another home run with letter to his granddaughter #60. I just can’t get enough of these letters. Do you?
    I love them all …. ❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤

      1. samuel

        Yes, indeed, lots of great things are written in these letters. However, for me at least, it takes a careful second or third reading, done very meticulously and with detail precision. That is how you can dig a deeper, more moral meaning from Gen. Satterfield’s letters. If you search out “letters to my granddaughter’ on the Internet, you will find a bunch of well-meaning loving soft grandmothers writing to their granddaughters. This is a first to have an Army General writing to his granddaughter, the same person who spend years in combat and decades as part of a difficult, powerful organization that doesn’t in any way kowtow to soft emotions.

    1. Randy Goodman

      I think we all agree with you Melissa that these letters certainly have given us a new standard in learning and through humor and humility. Thank you, Gen. Satterfield for your kindness and openness in giving us a glimpse of your childhood and how that helped make you who you are today. I also ask every one to get your latest book “55 Rules for a Good Life” which can be found here.

        1. Saul McPherson

          Ha Ha, we all love these letters and will never forget them. Now, Gen. Satterfield has given me the motivation to write my own letters.

      1. Yusaf from Texas

        Of course, thanks Randy. We are all big big FANS of Gen. Satterfield overall and now especially of his letters to his granddaughter.


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