2014 Bassmaster Elite at Lake Dardanelle Lake Dardanelle - Russellville, AR, May 15 - 18, 2014

db: Elite hearts

Don Barone
Just some of the Elite rods & reels given to support families in Arkansas.

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.

“And in the end…”

Dateline:  Lake Dardanelle, Arkansas

When our judgment comes, will it be the size of our bank account,

that counts.

When our judgment comes, will it be the number of Facebook friends,

that counts.

Will it be our diamonds, the number of cars in our garage, our diversified 401K,

that counts.

Will Gucci, get you into heaven.

I think not.

Hope not.

It is my personal belief that when judgment time comes it will be based on not what we took, but what we gave.

Don’t think we will be asked what’s in our wallet, pretty sure we will be asked, what’s in our heart.  Did you just take from people, or did you give to people as well.

Were you the Kind, in Man.

I do not cover millionaires.

This is not a sport of the wealthy, or the ruling class. We are a bunch of working stiffs out here. We’ve got mortgages, bank notes, financed cars, boats and 21% credit card interest.

Mainly, month to month guys. Some of us cash checks, some of us don’t. Some make the cut, some get cut.

We are the same people as the crowd who watches us. We look like them, we smell like them, we act like them, we pray like them.

Them’s us.

In all the sports I have ever covered, this sport, these anglers are the closest match to the their fans, of any. These anglers are the guys next door, the guy ahead of you in the Walmart line.

They are also the guy who will stop on the highway and help you change your flat tire, will loan you their truck when your kid moves out of the house, will pick up groceries for the old folks down the street and shoot hoops with the neighborhood children.

So it wasn’t a surprise to me that the Elite anglers started to reach out to me and Tackle The Storm Foundation with the desire to do what they could to help the young anglers who have lost all their fishing stuff to the recent tornadoes that have crushed many towns in the South. Not a surprise that they wanted to help get the kids back on the water, not at all.

But how they were going to do it, floored me.

Let me tell you a story.

“…the love you take…”