Fishing in his custom-made boats may have been the only thing Merle Haggard loved to do as much as write songs. After years of priceless memories were made on it by another family, one of those boats recently returned home to Haggard’s son Ben.
Tanyalynn Cornett has fond memories of the ‘80s Ranger bass boat she used to ride along California’s Lake Shasta with her father and her children. That very boat was originally created for and owned by the legendary Merle Haggard. In fact, it still displays the plaque with the country star’s name on it.
Passed down from a family friend to Cornett’s father and then to her upon his passing, she just couldn’t see herself taking it back out on the lake without him, so she put it up for sale.
Shortly after Merle Haggard passed away on April 6, his son Ben posted an Instagram photo of himself fishing on the very lake that held all of Cornett’s memories, Lake Shasta. She offered her condolences to Ben and let him know that she owned one of Merle’s original boats and was looking to sell it.
It didn’t take long before Ben made his way to Cornett’s hometown to see the boat. With tears in his eyes he showed Cornett photos of him and his father fishing on that boat and gladly made an offer.
The ’80s Ranger is now home safe and sound in the hands of Ben Haggard and ready to make more memories. He even promised Cornett’s son that one day he’d take him fishing. When that happens, it’s sure to be a bittersweet moment for both parties. Two different generations from two different families will come together once again to continue a tradition started all by Merle Haggard’s love of fishing.