You know the back story on the picks by now.
“Howdy, what’s your name.”
“You a member of BASS.”
And then Louis looks down at his big belt buckle and proudly shows it to me…
“Been a member from the year on this belt…what year does that say.”
“I’ve been fishing for about 60 years now.”
Lou is 67 years old, and newly retired. Lives in Oweso, NY “south of Binghamton,” and worked 17 years at Lockheed before putting in 27 years at IBM where he retired as a VP in the Federal System Division.
Born 15 miles from where he lives he has been married 46 years to his high school sweetheart, Judy, “she reads while I fish.”
Lockheed…IBM…a Vice President, you know that drill, “I worked a lot…worked 10-12 hours a day six, maybe seven days a week, I didn’t have much time for fishing, didn’t have much time with the family, I missed a lot with my kids….”
Me too. No apology I ever give my children will ever make up for the time lost with them.
But then Lou breaks into a big smile, “Got grandkids now…”
Children of your children, your second chance to do it right.
“I take my grandkids fishing, especially my 17 year old grandson Lucas. Lucas caught his first fish with me when he was 6…boy…that’s a day you’ll never take back…you only catch your first fish once, and I was with him when he did it.”
As close to immortality as we will ever get as Lucas will one day tell HIS grandchildren about his first fish catch.
“You live and you work your ass off all your life to do those kinds of things with your grandchildren…boy…it’s special.”
“db…I’ve been on many stages in my life, my career, but never in a big event like this before, it was special being up there, special.”
Not as special though as the last thing Lou told me just before he walked away.
“Sunday db, Sunday…”
I look at him, confused, the tournament ends on Saturday, wonder if he knows that it doesn’t end on Sunday…
“…come Sunday me and the boy…I think I’ll take my Grandson fishing, just Lucas with Gramps…”
“…meet me in a land of hope and dreams…”