Indulge me in a little nepotism…
David Farbman had a brilliant idea. Or what he thought was a brilliant idea. He proclaimed it at a press conference a few years ago. Burton and I attended. National media converged on the lobby of Detroit’s Fisher Building, decked out with camouflage and netting and leaves. David announced the creation of a televised, no-kill, pro-hunting tour called the World Hunting Association. He pronounced himself commissioner.
The idea seemed like a no-brainer, he writes in his new book The Hunt: Target, Track, and Attain Your Goals. But the results weren’t what he expected. The hunting world objected. Both the NRA and PETA excoriated our son.
The two “gut-wrenching” years that followed took every skill David had learned in the woods and then some. He turned disaster into success, creating OutdoorHub, an Internet aggregator site representing 600 small publishers and viewed by millions of outdoor sports enthusiasts. OutdoorHub has since become Carbon Media Group. It produces outdoor video for many sponsors including Chevy Trucks and the Pure Michigan campaign.
Wise parents know we can’t choose our children’s passions. I don’t and never will relate to David’s love of deer hunting. But I do admire the skill and respect with which he pursues it. And the insights he has gained. He distills them into principles which benefit men and women on any sort of quest–for a job, a business deal, a relationship. He peppers his new book with human interest stories about luminaries like writer Mitch Albom and entrepreneur Dan Gilbert as well as with funny, self-deprecating stories of his own.
Readers who’ve known David since he was a child recall how hyper he was, unable to sit or stand still. (Ask his numerous teachers. When he matriculated from elementary school, we hosted a barbeque for them and presented them all with keychains I had trimmed with plastic purple hearts. One teacher called him and his buddies a “tidal wave.”)
We bought our house in Charlevoix when David was about 10. Down the hill was a wooden dock. David was standing on that dock, fidgeting, when we put his first fishing pole in his hands. He threw the line in the water and stopped fidgeting. Burton and I watched in silent amazement. Fishing was the magic that enabled our son to settle down. It was the portal to his love of nature.
David writes, and speaks, frankly. (Where do you suppose he got that?) The Hunt is an entertaining and enlightening read. (Or that?) And oh, by the way, did I tell you it made #8 on the New York Times Best Seller List, in the advice and how-to category? Not that I’m bragging!
Got any great turning point stories about your kids? I’d love to hear them.