The Ugly Stick

Griffin and his favorite fishing pole.

Griffin and his favorite fishing pole.

It’s not what you think.

If you had to guess – chances are, you still would not know.

It’s actually just a marketing ploy, a clever, memorable name for an affordable fishing rod, but in the hands of Griffin, one of our children at the residential treatment center in Rhinebeck, its a mark of normalcy, a souvenir of childhood, like old football helmets, Legos and in-line skates that will probably wind up in his attic when he’s grown, to be found and wondered about by his own kids.

A Wand to Claim a Bit of a
Huckleberry Finn Summer

Griffin showed us his Ugly Stick the other day with all the excitement only a kid can muster for an extruded piece of plastic. But in his hands it’s a wand to tame the Landsman Kill, lure the rainbows from their eddies and claim his small chunk of a Huckleberry Finn summer.

Griffin fishing at the Residence in Rhinebeck.

Griffin fishing at the Residence in Rhinebeck.

We looked around his room and it could have been any kid’s, anywhere. But this room was lit with his joy at spending a balmy summer in the Hudson River Valley and decorated with his trophies of fun.  He told us about his love of fishing and the catch he had snared. And we realized he was telling us and showing us something we too often forget, that the children that Astor serves are very basically and very fundamentally just kids and that the overarching goal of Astor is to give them – to guarantee them – the childhood they so well deserve.

Why we Support the Children at Astor

And we thought this is why we support the children at Astor—the simple joy of a child like Griffin and his Ugly Stick, delighting in the summer and able to experience the simple everyday pleasure of being a child.