The Adventures of Gray Wolf
A few years ago, when one of his grandkids asked Don Butcher (Donna King's father) to tell him one of his hair-raising stories of flying up to sportsman's Canada, his wife said that it would save a lot of time if he'd put them in a book. The idea stuck, and he decided to act on it. Now he's almost through the 1st printing (1362 books) and is making a few changes before bringing out the second edition.
On Saturday, July 27th, he appeared at a book-signing party at the Beaver Boat-Tique and sat out a brief rainstorm under a sheet tent rather than retreat inside and disappoint his many fans. There's something about flying a seaplane into the northern wilds, which he did for over 40 years, and catching a pike too large to wrestle into the canoe, or having a moose that should have stayed down from the first shot rise up and charge, that excites almost everyone.
In a sense, Don's full career as a sportsman was a lucky break. In 1947 he was working as a machinist in Hamtramck when his doctor gave him the glum news: a year and a half to live, if he was lucky. Deciding not to spend it in the city, he bought a resort on Lake Otsego outside of Gaylord and moved north. His business took off; he now has 14 employees.
He began taking friends across the border to enjoy the little time he believed he had left. Maybe it's true that the days you spend fishing don't count against your allotted time, but for whatever reason, he's still going strong. And, perhaps more importantly, he's still happily married. The secret? Here's his smiling wife's version: "I never once told him he couldn't go fishing.
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