Noreen Clough, Goodbye

Don Barone
Noreen Clough at her last B.A.S.S. event in La Crosse, Wis.

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.

“Be not selfish in your doings…”

Dateline:  Goodbye

There is no greater act than caring for something,

that doesn’t care back.

There is no greater act than caring for something,

that doesn’t even know what caring is.

There is no greater act than caring for something,

and dedicating your life to that care.

Noreen Clough, I have no idea how many fish you may have saved during your career, fish can’t talk, but I can, and I will, on behalf of all those fish, I say this,

Thank You.

You know, Noreen, that there is no future, in only taking.

Only taking, runs out.

Only taking, empties.

Only taking, ends.

Only giving, is what you do.

“…live for yourself and you will live in vain…”

Noreen Clough is retiring from B.A.S.S. at the age of 70, her last day working the gig will be August, 9…you can read all the details about that, and the retirement of Don Corkran from his position as National Director of the B.A.S.S. Nation by clicking hereabouts:  http://www.bassmaster.com/news/clough-and-corkran-retire

Now I have to be up front here, I’m not much of an environmental dude, have done my fair share of messing it up some, don’t contribute to environmental issues (so don’t be emailing me that stuff), pretty much always take plastic and not paper at the supermarket, don’t try to be mean to the Earth, just frankly, lazy.

It was B.A.S.S. though that made me realize that we live on a planet of water, a baby blue planet floating in black space.

We, are creatures clinging to the rocks, between the oceans, between the lakes, between the rivers and the drops that fall from the sky.

So imagine this, dedicating your life to something, that for most of the time, you never see.

Noreen has done just that, 36 years in natural resources protecting the Earth, from me, and others like me.

“A fish, db, is the canary in the coal mine, for the planet.”

I’m sitting in a golf cart with Noreen at the B.A.S.S Elite tourney in La Crosse, Wisconsin.

It is Noreen’s last Elite event.

“Our health, our lives, depend on the aquatic systems of this planet.”

I smiled when she said that, smiled because at an event about bass fish, this lady sitting next to me in the golf cart is seeing in her mind not only the fish all around her but also whales, dolphins, sharks, swordfish, and quite possibly, even catfish.

If you are a fish, Noreen is your friend.

“…live for others…”

Caring for the easy stuff, is you know, easy.  Can’t tell you how many checks I’ve sent to those poor puppies and dogs on TV.

Bunnies, seem to be easy to care about.

Cats, for me, not so much, but very easy for a lot of folks.

But I have to tell you, I’ve had plenty of Goldfish and those tropical Angel Fish things.

When the goldfish croaked, didn’t hit me real hard, ‘cept maybe for the 99¢ that just went down the drain.

But trust me, if this was the GoldfishMasters, Noreen would feel exactly the same way as she does about caring for bass, caring for all the fish.

“I’m passionate about the resources and I care deeply that we care about the resources as well.”

As I’m scribbling that last quote up there down she slips this quote in, and it’s the slipped in quotes that really get to the heart of things:

“db I came out of retirement to help care for the fish.”

 “…you will live again…”

It was at her last B.A.S.S. Elite event where I believe, the universe thanked Noreen for caring,

for those who don’t care back,

for those who know not what caring is,

for the fish.

And Noreen, for you, I took this picture of the universe saying thanks.

The thank you came by way of two-year-old Vegas Iaconelli.

On Noreen’s last Elite event, a young child, a two year old stood with his dad, Michael, and the other professional anglers, and walked through the holding tank line, “with my fish.”

The fish he held was only a toy, but Noreen, thanks to your caring for the fish, for the “canaries of the planet,” someday, years from now, Vegas will hold a real fish.

Someday, years from now, Vegas will stand with his child and his child’s first fish.

Someday…

Retirement does not mean someone stops caring, it just means that they will have more time to care about what it is they love.

Immortality, comes to no one,

but save a fish,

save hundreds of fish,

save thousand of fish,

and as long as fish swim in the seas, your caring will live.

Retirement,

I think not.

“…we're not here to judge what's good from bad

but to do the things that are right.”

Pass It On

Bob Marley

Thank You Noreen,

db

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