Few things in life are as satisfying as making a major decision correctly. It creates a kind of inner peace that can’t be duplicated by anything else. And so, as I look back on 16 years tomorrow, I have that inner peace. You see, I made a major decision correctly. That’s the day I married Tracey.
Most of my day today will be spent thinking about tomorrow and what it’s meant to me over the years. There was a time when my whole life was consumed by Signcom and fishing. It still is to some extent, but now I have someone else to think about, someone who’s much more important.
I can still remember our first date. We went to German Village here in Columbus to a little restaurant and ate cheeseburgers. That might not sound all that romantic to some of you, but to us it was really fun. I still laugh when I think about the expression on Tracey’s face as she watched me eat a sandwich with a knife and fork. It was somewhere between amusement and horror.
It’s the neat freak thing in me. I can’t help it. There’s no way I can dress up in a suit and tie and then dribble grease and dressing from a cheeseburger down my chin and onto my shirt and tie. I can’t do it. I’d die. I eat everything with tools. It’s better that way, or at least it’s better for me.
When we left the restaurant there were big, gaudy-looking snowflakes dropping straight down through the street lights. In a strange kind of way they were beautiful. We took the long way home just so I could spend more time with her. You know I’m serious when I do that. I don’t burn gas (read: money) very often unless it’s absolutely necessary. This was absolutely necessary in my opinion.
Anyway, I did my relationship with her right. She agreed to marry me. I’m better off for it. I hope she feels the same way.
While we’re on the subject of making good decisions I want to congratulate everyone who had a good season and tell everyone who didn’t to keep their chin up. There’s always another tournament and another year. No one else will believe in you if you don’t believe in yourself.
The thing with Brent Chapman is really great. He won that Open early in the year and the only thing the rest of us saw after that was his taillights. What a performance. Under pressure from the best anglers around, he put his head down and produced. Not just once, but over and over again. He’s one of the nicest guys out there, too. That makes it even better.
Boyd Duckett’s Oneida performance was interesting, as well. Going into the tournament, he was looking at sitting out another Classic. Realistically, he had to win to claim a spot. He knew that. He stepped up his game and brought home the bacon. By any standard, that’s the mark of a professional.