Grandson Questions ‘Bobo’

Published 10:08 am Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Commentary by Dr. Don Newbury

Tim Skaggs is a bible-totin’/believin’/preachin’ parson in Brownwood, TX. He’s been caught up in God’s Holy Word for nigh onto a half-century, given high marks for interpreting scripture and its implications.

However, four-year-old Pascal–his and wife Jamie’s first grandchild–fired a question at him a while back that set Tim back on his heels.

Seated in the living room beside his grandfather, Pascal studied wall trophies Tim admits might easily be compared with Cabela’s. On the walls are numerous heads of deer and other game, along with full body bobcats, pheasants and ducks.

Staring at a deer head, Pascal asked, “Bobo, did you kill that deer?”

Tim saw this as a teaching moment, quickly answering, “Yes, I did, Pascal. Your grandmother and I want to do our part in wild life conservation, and that involves thinning the herds. We do not waste the deer, though. We enjoy eating the venison, as I know you and your family do.”

The answer seemed to satisfy Pascal, a little guy first encouraged to call Tim “Grambo.” It comes out as “Bobo,” though, so what’s not to like about that?

Tim prizes time with Pascal, who lives with his parents Luke and Miranda Dodson in Austin. Skaggs is counting the days until Pascal comes of age to accompany him on hunting trips, and he’s eager to show him how to stalk game with bow and arrows. (He admits, however, that his wife is the better bow hunter, but, what the hey. It may be years before Pascal finds that out.)

“Bobo” figured his explanation defending hunting was over for the day. He made a mental note where to resume if the topic comes up again on another day.

Uh oh. Pascal wasn’t through.

His eyes, still darting around the walls, came to full focus on a mounted duck. “Bobo, did you kill that duck?”

Again, Tim admitted doing so, explaining the order of things from the standpoint of conservationists, and that many people enjoy feasting on duck meat. There was no pause this time. Pascal, his sad face on, fired back, “But Bobo, they have families!”…

Pascal’s innocent response set Tim to thinking.

“I’ve followed Jesus’ instructions about his followers becoming ‘fishers of men’ throughout my ministry,” Tim said. “Since there was considerable fishing going on during His earthly ministry, I’ve always assumed ‘fishers of fish’ is also permissible.”

Now, he figures Pascal’s next question will be, “Bobo, who caught that fish?”

And Bobo wants to provide a satisfactory answer for what probably will be Pascal’s predictable and unavoidable query–the one with deep penetration–augmented by a sad face–about a fish and its family.

Such is the quandary for a man new to grandfathering. It’s a bit more complicated that it might appear, since he and Jamie live in an area replete with wildlife and fishing holes.

He even teaches a class in sports science at Howard Payne University. “Introduction to bass fishing” meets weekly. The class fills quickly, and other students notice members of his class learning to cast on campus lawns. Pascal sometimes accompanies them when they fish for crappie, bass and catfish in lakes and ponds. And the other day, he caught one “THAT long!”

“I hope Pascal will come around to appreciate hunting and fishing,” Tim said. “If he doesn’t, I may have to prepare an ad for Craigslist: “Boat, canoe, tent, wading boots, firearms, fishing gear, deer stand and fishing lecture notes for sale.”

Two members of Skaggs’ flock “flew the coop” from chapel services at Howard Payne back in 1960. David and Loretta Bullion had a different priority that day, choosing to get married instead of attend chapel.

I trust it turned out to be an excused absence.

At the church’s senior adult Valentine banquet this year, they were congratulated on the occasion of their 56th wedding anniversary.

Pastor Tim and Pascal dropped by the banquet, where “Bobo” chowed down on barbecue.

The four-year-old, however, chose a fruit plate.

Seems to me the preacher may have his work cut out for him if he’s to steer the youngster toward hunting and fishing.

   Dr. Newbury is a speaker in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex. Inquiries/comments to: Call: 817-447-3872. Web site: Columns archived at, newbury blog.