B.A.S.S. 2012: Showed Me...

This season I have been treated for Prostate Cancer, they may have caught it, they may have not.

Recently, the docs found a tumor growing in my head, a Pituitary Tumor that is affecting my vision, that may, or may not be cancerous.

Soon, they will drill into my head to remove the tumor.

I know, why, the last leaf, lets go.

Life, is melody, and rhythm.

Health, is the harmony.

I don’t take myself very seriously, I do take what I do VERY seriously.  I will lose me, if I lose the ability to do.

A doctor recently asked me this, “Will you still be able to write if you lose your ability to see, if your eyesight fails, will your ability to write fail as well.”

I had no answer then, but to that doctor I have an answer now.

Showed me.

I won’t stop doing what I love because of failure of something, you only fail when you stop doing what you love.

But I know why, the leaf lets go.

“…showed me what its like to be…”

It is not a fight I have fought alone.

My wife Barb, holds my heart, holds my hand.

The tears of my children stain my shirt.

You…and your comments, emails, prayers have been read and felt.

Don Barone
And then, amongst it all, I have my B.A.S.S. Elite tour roommates…Paul Elias and Shaw Grigsby.  Two guys also battling health issues.

Show me.

That any day without zest, zest for family, zest for faith, zest for life, any day without that zest, is a lost day.

Both Shaw and Paul have showed me that never be happy with living life in the middle, be provocative, curious, passionate about what it is you do.


Learn…to do.

Do, stuff.


Think, deep, thoughts.

But above all, laugh.

Laugh with your loved ones.

Laugh at your roommates.

Wake up smiling, and you will know why the last leaf, hangs on.

“…put my hands across the table…”

Judgment, will not be on what we have taken in our life, but what it is we have given during our lives.

To serve, instead of being served.  We are put here to share, and to care.

Showed me.

To serve…at the last event I was at, The B.A.S.S. Federation Nation Championship, a young soldier/angler, Mark Pierce, brought with him two American Flags that had flown in Afghanistan and he gave the flags to two employees of B.A.S.S.

Both of whom were taken back by the gift.

Mark went on to qualify for the Bassmaster Classic and will be fishing it in 2013.

Don Barone
But I ask of Jon, of Tyler, the two people who got the flag gift, to do me a favor, bring with them the flags to Grand Lake, Oklahoma, bring with them the flags to the Classic arena in Tulsa, and hang them somewhere.

Because without those flags, because without those men and women soldiers who unfurl and hang them, hang them for democracy, hang them because they serve instead of being served…without them THERE WOULD BE NO CLASSIC.

Jon…Tyler…hang those flags in that arena…for freedom…and for those out there who protect our freedom.

Hang them for that gift those men and women in the armed forces…give us all.

Freedom, found in the soul of the last leaf, that refuses to let go.

“…gave me knowledge of myself…”

Showed me.


B.A.S.S. 2012, showed me…me.

176 days on the road.

Thousands of miles.

Thousands of faces.

Showed me.


In the long run, being decent wins. 

You may not know it by watching the news or reading headlines, but if you leave your home for 176 days, drive all over this land of ours, see America up close, the people of it, not the P.R. of it…we are a nation of decent folks.

Folks, who given a chance, by and on their own without any government doings, will do the right thing.

Showed me.

That the only thing I’m an expert in…is myself.

And that more, less stuff, leads to happiness.  Simplicity, makes room for the imagination…personal growth is in the space between the words.

The beauty is not in what I write…but in how it makes you think…you being the expert, in you.

Showed me.

The Elite anglers.

The Opens anglers.

The Federation Nation members.

And you the fans,

showed me this,

Love something.

Open your heart, and the universe will show you the way.  To love.

B.A.S.S. 2012…season in the books.

Season in my heart.

To you, all of you out there who ain’t me.

Meaning all those who I’ve come across this season, all of those who I have connected with, all of those who have touched my heart, know this, it is you who have,

showed me,


Live the way you want others to live.

Find your own inner peace, if everyone finds the peace within them, then, and only then, will peace come to the world.

And that my friends, is what the last leaf,

is holding on for.

“…gave me very clear instructions

when I was in the dark night of the soul.”

Tore down a la Rimbaud

Van Morrison