Our friend Mike Lapiana sends us this almost surreal picture of a recent great catch landed with Mike’s custom G. Loomis IMX 10 wt, 9 ft switch rod and an Opti Speedrunner reel. Mike did a great job landing this prize, but he gives a lot of credit to his gear. Well done, Mike!
You would think at my age there would be very little that would surprise me. Last week was the exception.
As people get older they usually begin a process of simplification. My Mom did that when she was around 80. She called all of the kids and grandkids together and asked us to tape our name on her things so when she passed on we would get the items we wanted “to remember me by” as she put it. First blush this seemed a morbid idea, but like Mom assured us “just because I talk about it doesn’t mean I’m going to die any sooner.” 2 points for Mom.
At the time Dixie and I were already in our 50’s, so accumulating an assortment of Mom’s stuff wasn’t that appealing to either of us. We had a larger-than-we need house after the three girls moved out that was stuffed full of things accumulated over 30 years or more. If anything it was time for us to consider some simplification of our own. So we went through the motions with Mom, but really didn’t tape our name to much of her stuff.
When Mom passed away 14 years later I took one thing for my “memento”. It was a Christmas card from my Dad to Mom that was signed “Love, Jack”. It was special then and it is special now as my Dad was probably one of the least sentimental people I have known. Not that he didn’t have a big heart, but like many World War II vets kept his feelings close to the belt and was not prone to displays of sentimentality. That one card was special and reminded me that my Mom and Dad really did love each other even if displays of affection were rare.
So where am I going with this? Last week we had an older customer come in and ask us if we could use any used fishing gear. At first we thought he was interested in our rod and reel trade-in program, but as the discussion progressed it became obvious that he was in the beginning of his simplification mode. I say the beginning since he appeared younger than me. And I’m still mulling over just what I need to get rid of and what I need to keep. And keeping is a hell of a lot easier than getting rid of, especially for a “hoarder”, as Dixie describes this side of my personality.
Soon enough this fellow came out with what he had in mind. Seems he had loaded his pickup truck up with all sorts of fishing gear. Rods, reels, and probably 10 or 15 tackle boxes and bags, many with assortments of lures, spinners, you name it. Now there weren’t any Loomis rods nor even “better” Shimano or Daiwa reels, but folks, there was a LOT of stuff! We unloaded the booty in several freight carts and offered to give him some trade-in value or something in return. He politely refused.
So here we were. A huge lot of fishing gear in several carts, all in what could best be described as “pristine” condition. Nothing exotic, but functional and in great shape. Since this very nice man didn’t want to trade them in or sell them, just what did he have in mind? Was this gentleman sick? Did he have some sort of terminal illness that dictated he dispose of worldly goods including his fishing gear? Had there been some sort of traumatic event in his life that caused him to abandon fishing? It’s a delicate situation. How do you ask someone personal questions about such a generous donation? How can you avoid being intrusive if you persist questioning such a sincere and kind donor?
“Give it to some kids so they can fish,” he suggested. “I have been upgrading my equipment and just don’t need this anymore.”
There you go. A healthy hoarder who has seen the light! Someone who instantly is my hero! “Oh Lord, please give me the wisdom, strength, and fortitude to take on such a mission”, I thought.
With age comes wisdom. Obvious here. This very nice gentleman was ahead of me in all three. Maybe he wasn’t fully involved in simplification, but he did realize that this stuff would never be used again by him. He also realized that it could provide years of fun and pleasure for young fishermen. He was miles ahead in motive. And light years ahead of me in compassion.
This last week we’ve been sorting through our donor’s stuff and soon will be making it available to as many kids as we can. Whether Boy Scouts, underprivileged kids, or another group of youngsters who will benefit, we now have a wonderfully clear mission thanks to our friend who put enough faith in our judgment to entrust us with his gear.
Me? Well, I’m going to be rooting through the garage very soon. I know I probably have as much stuff and it’s only a matter of time before I can assemble an equally impressive lot. It just takes some motivation and a willingness to toss some stuff. I’ve got the motivation. Our generous friend provided that, no questions about it. Now I just need the willingness. I know it’s here somewhere. “Dixie, have you seen my willingness?”
WOW! Do we have a heck of a Special for Everyone this issue! Whatever you do, be SURE to take a look at our First Ever “SALE ON A SALE”! Some of the Best Deals We Have Ever Had will come from this sale. See all of the details below. This issue we’ve also got a great Costa sunglasses special that’s just in time for early Christmas shopping. The supply is limited, so be sure to check out the details below. Great “stocking stuffers” for one and all.
This issue of our newsletter marks the beginning of our holiday issues. Most of you know we have some definite ideas about the holidays, not the least of which is keeping Christ in CHRISTmas. We continue that tradition and remind all to keep in mind what CHRISTmas is all about. But we also recognize that this is a time of year for good will and a wonderful time to share gifts that tells those special people just how much we love them and appreciate them. We’ve got some great items that will certainly help you do this.
Thanks again to all of you for your wonderful support and friendship. Without you we would not be here.