Dateline: Greyhawkin' T-Bend, Louisiana I have a lucky Cross pen that is so lucky I don't use it anymore. My father gave it to me, he bought it at Sears, had one of his buds there sort of scratch db all squiggly like into it. Gave it to me the weekend before my first day of college. Said, "Here." What dad meant to say was, "Here take this magical mystical writing instrument and everything you write with it will be magic." But sometimes dad just cut to the chase. "Here." I got the rest. So I go up to the hill in Buffalo that UB (SUNY/Buffalo or The University at Buffalo depending on whether you want to be fancy or plain but they both have the same address) sits on and sign up for higher learning.
" ... 13-month old baby, broke the looking glass
even years of bad luck, the good things in your past ... "
Every Thursday, Day One of competition, we all sit around eating breakfast fixin's, anglers wives, their kids, relatives, me. With every meal comes a side order of JuJu ... Good JuJu. The anglers may be flipping and pitching out there but we are JuJu'ing at those tables. At Thursday's weigh-in if things go well for their husbands, fathers, kin, we do it all over again the next morning, Friday. I mean ALL OVER: "Last week Mike (Iaconelli) did good on Thursday so I told him, 'Mike I went to the breakfast club and then I went out shopping and spent a bunch of money ... should I do that again so you do well on Friday,' and he said YES." For the record, that didn't work on Barb when I tried it. Last week the breakfast club consisted of Julia Kennedy and her two children, Julie Roumbanis and her son, K2 (Kerry Short), Norma McCaghren, Beck-onelli and Vegas (their newborn) and the lady who txt'd me ... LeAnn Swindle. You see, I went to the Thursday Breakfast Club, but broke protocol and didn't show up on Friday, which is when I got LeAnn's text. "db, you bailed on us, I told Gerald and he said, 'Well, that explains it all.'" So if you are flipping out about your fantasy team picks, dudes, you are not as dumb as you are thinking ... the key to the B.A.S.S Fantasy league is pretty simple ... know where I am on Friday morning ... if I'm not at the breakfast club ... start thinking about next week's team. Back to LeAnn, a very pretty lady with a wide smile, but trust me she has the same strong-arm look to her this morning that my Uncle Vinnie has. "You better be here tomorrow, db, last week I made the mistake of on the first day ordering that filling big mamma French Toast plate ... and I had to eat it all week long, even shared my bacon every day with Jason (Fred and Julie's young son) just like I did on Thursday, did it on Friday as well, you know the day you BAILED ON US." "I even went to Petco the next day just like I did the day before, didn't need to be doing that but saving the good JuJu." I, of course just sort of, you know, hum, er ... slept on Friday. Which, of course, is why, except for Ike, NONE of the husbands of the Friday Breakfast Club wives made it to the top 12 last week. My bad. Sorry. But one other thing. Quick-like. One other time I did use the magical mystical writing stick. Took out the black felt lined box. Wiped the dust off the top, opened it, gently lifted the pen out, twisted it so the business end showed. Laid it on my desk for several minutes, looking at it. Hoping once again for the Good JuJu, hoping that now even while the man who gave it to me is gone, the magic he knew it contained would still be there. Picked it up. Wrote with it once again. Just used it to sign my name. On the BASS contract. Thanks, Dad ... it still seems to work. And then I put it back. Me ... superstitious ...
Don Barone is an award-winning outdoors writer and a member of the New England Outdoor Writers Association and the Outdoor Writers Guild of the U.K. You can reach db at www.donbaroneoutdoors.com.