I was on the media side of the fence as the All-Star anglers were brought up to the Bassmaster stage, towed in their boats behind the Toyota Tundras.
I was just leaning up against the B.A.S.S trailer when Edwin’s boat stopped right in front of me, Edwin sitting in it waiting to go on stage.
And there, right in my face, was a decal that said this:
In Loving Memory
I took a photo of it, said nothing about it to Edwin, asked him instead about how his day went, “Very good db; got a limit of five fish.”
Turned out he was the leader after Day One.
But after he was done with all the interviews, as he was walking away, I walked up to him, flipped my camera over so he could see the screen on the back and showed him the photograph I took of the sticker on his boat and said simply this, “Tell me about this.”
Edwin, when he saw the photo, stopped dead, put his right hand up to his face and rubbed his chin, “Oh man, db, oh man…”
And he just kept staring at the photo, almost like he never saw the decal before… until, until he tried to talk to me about it but couldn’t.
Couldn’t get the words out…just kept looking at the photograph and rubbing his chin, “db…”
Was all he said.
So I said, “Dude, go work on your tackle for tomorrow. We’ll talk tonight, if you want to…”
And then I grabbed his left arm and said, “…But if you don’t want to talk about it, that’s okay, this photograph never happened then…”
“No, I’ll talk about it. It, it just knocked me out seeing it that way.”
We worked it out so that we would meet at the dinner after the weigh-in, both of us would grab something to eat, and sit down and talk. And, frankly, with a chance of being yelled at by the bosses for writing this, if during that talk I felt like I was dragging the information out of Edwin…that if I felt he was uncomfortable talking about it…in front of him on the spot I would have pulled up the photograph on my camera, and erased it.