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Vickroy: Dads hand down wisdom, support and fun

(left right) Dan Glenn Dave HortHortInsurance Wednesday June11th 2014 OrlPark. | Gary Middendorf/for Sun-Times Media

(left to right) Dan, Glenn and Dave Horton at Horton Insurance, Wednesday, June11th, 2014, in Orland Park. | Gary Middendorf/for Sun-Times Media

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Updated: July 16, 2014 6:40AM



On Father’s Day, we celebrate all that Dad is, from bug slayer to problem solver to duct tape wizard.

While there are many ways for children and fathers to bond, some dads and kids are lucky to share a hobby that becomes a lifelong passion.

Dan and Dave Horton were hooked on their dad’s favorite pastime early on. Both sons remember fishing with their father, Glenn Horton, first at local ponds and later at the family’s place in Florida. Over the years, their love for reeling in a catch has grown in proportion to the sizes of their trophies.

Dave, 23, holds the family record, as well as a Junior World Record, with his catch of a 77-pound, 15-ounce cubera snapper when he was just 16. He caught it on a live squid and only because he defied his father’s advice.

“We were trying to catch a fish to eat and there were all these very large garbage fish around,” Glenn said. “When I saw he had a big catch I thought it was one of the garbage fish. I told him to break the line. Fortunately he didn’t listen to me.”

While all three men have impressive catches to boast about — the evidence lining the walls of a conference room inside Horton Insurance in Orland Park — they point out that trophies and bragging rights are not the reason they do it.

“It’s a way for us to be together, to do something together that we all enjoy,” Glenn Horton said.

“I think it’s the only way they’ll hang with me. The joy of fishing is greater than the displeasure of me,” he said, joking.

They fish for sport and release what they don’t plan to eat. If they’re going after a big catch, such as a swordfish, they make it a team effort.

“We’re all on the same level,” Dave said. “Everyone together makes it more special.”

Because Dan, 32, and his wife Kate now have two small children to tend to, the New Lenox couple don’t get to go to Florida as often as Glenn and the rest of the family. But all signs indicate once Claire and Jay are older, the Hortons might need a bigger boat. For now, though, 3-year-old Claire is content to fish with her dad for bluegill in Wisconsin.

The men share other interests as well — skiing, hockey, the White Sox. Dan works in the family business, and Dave, a recent graduate of Marquette University, likely will do the same soon.

Glenn’s wife, Debbie, and the couple’s daughter, Lisa, join the crew on the boat from time to time, Glenn said, “only because Debbie says that’s the only way she gets to spend time with her husband and two sons.”

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Ron Moery played the tuba with school bands from fifth grade through college. He also played with the U.S. Steel mill’s band in Gary while he worked there part time through college. But after graduation he pretty much gave up playing — but the music never quite gave up on him.

Years later, while his daughter was playing with the Central Middle School band in Tinley Park, Moery felt a renewed longing to pick up the tuba. So he did.

“It was like becoming reacquainted with a dear old friend,” he said. As a way for them to play together, father and daughter joined the Tinley Park Community Band, then called Arts Alive.

Moery and his daughter, Janet, now 29, both still love it, even though the two constantly battle over whose instrument is more difficult — his unwieldy tuba or her intricate French horn.

“There is something very unique about having an activity you thoroughly enjoyed as a kid and now being able to enjoy it with your kids on the same level,” Moery said.

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Don Mueggenborg first learned how to canoe when he attended Camp Delavan as a Boy Scout. When he got out of the service, he reprised the pastime, and after settling in Lemont, became involved with canoe racing and the Voyageurs, a group of re-enactors who retrace the travels of French fur traders.

“Besides the paddling aspect, I like teaching people about that period in history when the first Europeans were in Illinois,” he said.

There’s no one he’s enjoyed teaching more than his own son and daughter, both of whom embraced the pastime while growing up and continue to do so today.

Don frequently canoes with his son, Rich, daughter-in-law, Kathleen, and their children, as well as his daughter, Karin Peraino, and her children, Ryan and Rebecca, all of whom live in Lemont.

Rich said canoeing is a peaceful way to enjoy nature and wilderness.

“I’m fortunate that I became interested in a hobby that my dad also enjoyed. And now my daughter is enjoying it,” he said.

“And I enjoy the camaraderie of the Voyageurs, who were the equivalent of modern truckers, delivering goods from traders to destinations,” Rich said. “They were the common man, no big names or celebrities among them.”

Earlier this month, Don competed in a 10-mile race with grandson Ryan, followed by a 5-mile race with granddaughter Anne.

“It’s a way for all of us to be together doing something we enjoy,” Don said.

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Jim Tomaszewski, of Harvey, has been an avid cycler since 1995. When his son and daughter came to live with him around 2000, the roofing estimator vowed to not give up his hobby.

“I got both of them bikes and we started out slowly,” Jim said. By the time Allison was in her mid-teens, she was hooked on riding and the two were doing 60-mile trips.

“I just like getting out there and taking it easy, seeing a lot of things and being able to stop and check things out,” Jim said.

Allison, 20, a student at South Suburban College in South Holland, echoes the sentiment.

“I’ve enjoyed it since I was a little kid. Lately, I’ve really gotten more into it,” she said.

Both belong to the Bike Psychos club, of Oak Lawn, and Folks on Spokes in Flossmoor. Jim is also a member of the Active Transportation Alliance in Chicago, a nonprofit that advocates for safer cycling, walking and public transit.

“We volunteer at Bike the Drive every year,” Allison said.

The two also lead trips for other riders on weekends, from Wicker Park in Munster, Indiana, to Crown Point, Indiana, as well as around Wolf Lake and along the Old Plank Trail.

Once a year, Jim and Allison take their Rally Detours on a father-daughter road trip, cycling to far-off destinations in northwest Indiana or Michigan.

“We’re not in a hurry,” he said, pointing to the plastic turtle horns on their handlebars. “We like to take our time. We ride one way, spend the night and ride back the next day.”

A lot of people are into speed, he said, “but for us, we just enjoy the ride.”



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