2008 Bassmaster Classic Lake Hartwell - Greenville, SC, Feb 22 - 24, 2008

Classic

About the author

Don Barone

Don Barone

db has been in the reporting biz for over 30 years, won some Emmys and other awards, but is proudest of his four-decade marriage, his two kids and the fact he founded Tackle The Storm Foundation to help children.

Outside (I'm really in a Starbucks but since I write about the outside and not coffee, I figure I better say I'm out-of-doors, which is mostly true because I figure I went in and out of several doors and outsides to get here to drink a caramel latte and write while escaping walking the puppy every half hour).

This here is an open email to one of the bosses that still talks to me at Bassmaster, Dave Precht, and since I don't get paid to write e-mails, but do get direct deposit cash to write blogs, consider this a blog.

And fund it appropriately please.

Dave, I accept.

For those of you reading this that don't have access to my e-mail account and therefore have no idea what I'm talking about, I've accepted Dave's invite to go down to Greenville, S.C., and cover the Bassmaster Classic through blogging, taking pictures and storytelling.

I'm saying yes public like, because it makes it much easier to deal with the lawyers and other suits after the said publication of the said documents/stories that usually, if I write it like I should, gets me damn near prison time, but I know the Constitution, and I know the courts, and I know what I can just "suppose" in print, and what I have to "prove," so when you read stuff that's a little vague, just figure I'm doing that on purpose to save the kids from having to talk to Dad with the guards watching.

I'm sending this Dave Precht guy Tums. The extra large heavy duty kind that I normally just reserve for Steve Bowman (a boss with a Fu-Manchu mustache/beard thing that is worse than a boss who just wears a suit) over at ESPNOutdoors.com.

Bowman and Precht have been hunting ducks together, and talking about me, which any of you out there who have bosses that can talk with each other KNOWS nothing good ever comes of that.

And they didn't get any ducks.

Which as the years and our relationship goes on, will come to be all my fault.

I met Bowman in person for the first time at a Holiday Inn bar downwind of Lake Champlain. And he hugged me.

I have not met Dave Precht in person yet, but I can tell you, that whatever bar we first meet up in, there will be no more hugging.

Dave, we can nod at each while saying "Howdy," shaking hands is okay, but if you go to grabbing me, I'm going have to dump the bar peanuts on you.

Outdoor Bosses guys, I'm born and bred New England via Buffalo, and I can tell you quite honestly that I have first cousins I have known for almost 50 years that I haven't held anything more than THEIR CAR KEYS.

Leave your holding to fish, and maybe some shot ducks.

My Rules for Dave Precht & The Other Bosses of B.A.S.S.

(your Tums are coming, too)

I have a magic GPS.

Somehow it knows where I am, even when I DON'T.

When I hit the "on" button, Jill, the voice in the magic GPS unit, says "Hello," and an arrow pops up that says, "You are here," and every freakin time I look outside the minivan window, I am in fact where that damn arrow says I am.

That's magical in my book.

Now, whether I'm chasing Bass or Bigfoot, the one steadfast writing rule I have is that I have to be within sight/smell of donuts/Starbucks/and that smooth Ice Cream that comes out in twists in cones.

You want all these blog things and story lines, 1,000 words this, 2,000 words that, well Dave Precht, THIS is how my word count goes: 3 jelly donuts per thousand words of blog, 2 caramel lattes and 1 Dilly Bar (that pouring ice cream rounded and covered with Chocolate that hardens and gets a stick stuck into it which cuts down on the typing since I have to do it one handed which adds to my writer's grief) per actual story that needs a beginning and end.

Double this if you're insisting on FACTS in the story.

Since you have been on the B.A.S.S. tour way longer than me and you may know of some places coming up that won't be able to handle my writer demands, you might want to be thinking of latching on to a big cooler to bring with you, and not to hold stinky fish.

And when I GPS'd Greenville, S.C., with those set waypoints, Jill said I could go there.

So I'm coming.

In my used Toyota Minivan.

With a Hula Girl on the dashboard.

And 263 songs on my iPod playlist (If I figure out how to do an attachment to this blog stuff I will attach my playlist so you can see if I forgot anything, while also giving you an idea of the kind of mood I will arrive at the Classic in) which is mainly Rock-n-Roll, but with some slow songs that I can hear the words that I play throughout NJ because they have lots of speed traps there and songs with words I can hear slow me down.

If I don't have a playlist, I can't write either. I picked up my son's Nano one time and saw he had a playlist he called, "Old 90's songs." Couldn't write for a week after that.

Now I saw that Countdown to the Classic clock you got running on www.bassmaster.com and I get that since I have a Google countdown clock that is ticking down to when I have to write the last college tuition check, which as of the day I'm writing this is in ONLY 718 more days.

Your countdown is much shorter, a month or so, depending on when you recover from reading this and actually run it.

So I'm hurryin'.

I got that e-mail you sent to me about the Classic Dinner, and how I should show up looking as good as I can, which dude, ain't much, and how since it's not just "eats" but a real dinner I should have (which I take to mean have ON ME) a Sportcoat and Tie, you need to rest assured that I am currently the high bidder on Ebay on 3 Sportcoats, 2 of which says that if I win, and pay for Priority Mail they will throw in, "an almost matching knecktie," which I have also budgeted for.

Now since I'm assuming it's a sit down meal, I don't expect that I have to wear any socks since no one I'm aware of will be under the table, but my wife being the smart one of this marriage, says I better ask to make sure.

So?

I have bookmarked some socks on Ebay for emergencies though.

BTW, is dessert included?

Dave, I'm glad we're having this blog, I have lots of experience with people meeting me for the first time, or telling me they are my supervisor (while simultaneously rubbing their forehead) so since I figure you to be a nice guy, I thought I would prepare you ahead of time, you know, to save on the medical co-pays.

Remember when you had kids the first time, and you told everyone, who said congratulations (while also rubbing their forehead) and how you better "get yer sleep now, bank it now you're going to need it," ask Bowman because that advice may still apply.

If you get my drift.

Now, I'm also looking forward to my "Pee Blogging," which I will do for you as I drive to the Classic. Jill, the magical GPS lady says it is exactly, "855.58 miles to destination, turn left..." which means I will be able to "blog" at least 17.111 times (bladder size divided by speed limit {Bl / Mph x Coffee=Blog Stops} or at least once or twice on the way so expect something Datelined: Trout, VA where I will drive to the first night because I timed it out and I can get there and into the Sleep Inn room in time for "American Idol."

Also, as per your instruction to "start fishing," you'll be happy to know that I wrote that quote down when you spoke it, and took the paper I wrote it on and filed it in the third metal drawer next to the dinning room table in the file that I have labeled, "1st Ammendment vs 1-800-law-yers."

And you might need to fix your B.A.S.S. leaderboard to show, "#1. Barone, Don 111 Fish 931 lbs."

Because that's what I've caught so far, as per your instructions…

...and my son's Wii game.

Got the kid the game for Christmas, came with some bowling/baseball/tennis games and a guitar game that I ROCK at but that I have promised him I would not do when his friends are here, and a fishing game that had BASS swimming around.

And frankly, I'm pretty damn good, and could probably kick Skeet's arse at it, all things being equal which means me sitting on a leather couch casting over the coffee table with Hot Pepper Cheese and Pepperoni Slices snacks.

If my son lets me, or is asleep when I leave, I may bring the game with me, so there might be some yelling coming out of Skeet's and K-Pinks Classic hotel rooms as we double-down on some Master Bass video game.

So Dave Precht I'm hoping I make The Classic, classic for you and the basses for the masses. There's just one other thing: I'm all for doing that story for the magazine about WINTER BASS FISHING, no problem.

But do you think I could do it in ...June.

db

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