One of my roommates while I’m on the road covering the Elites, Shaw Grigsby, had just finished Day 1 of the Bainbridge, Ga., tournament on Lake Seminole in 1st place.
We went out to dinner to celebrate, and on the 20-minute drive back to our rental house, alone in the Tundra, we had time to talk: “db, how special is it that you write a story about never letting your best days be behind you, and on the day that runs, I come in first place.”
The story: “Rabbits & Bulldogs” talked about how getting older shouldn’t define you.
Me: “You know, dude, I think it’s a message from the universe; I think we get messages like that all the time, but the speed of life is so fast we don’t take the time to step back and see it. Special happens, I think, because the hand that guides us wants us to know…”
“…that he’s still there. db, what happened today was a blessing…”
“…I know what you mean…it’s like those special moments when it seems the whole universe just lines up, and everything is going perfect, you can almost see ahead into the immediate future you are so dialed in, it’s like you are one with the universe.”
“It was special, so special, what a way to begin the season…”
“…it’s a text message from the universe dude, a text that Special…Happens.”
“… the master's hand…”
And special happened for four other Elite anglers last week…five of the Top 12 to fish on Sunday…almost HALF are 50 years of age…or OLDER.
The last time Charlie Hartley made a regular season Top 12 was in 2007…seven years ago, “db, this was SUPER special…all three days, I did not start well, and then suddenly, everything changed. It was magical, boy was it magical, got to thank the man above, just wow, just wow.”
Byron Velvick last made a Top 12 in 2010; injuries have played a big role in that so: “This week was special. The last couple of years I haven’t turned my phone on before weigh-in; this tournament I called my father, called everyone to be sure to watch the weigh-in. It was really emotional for me.”
It was only one year ago that Bernie Schultz was one of the last 12 Elite anglers standing: “It’s been profound for me…when I first started fishing, Shaw Grigsby was like a mentor to me. I learned an awful lot from him and then I found myself standing on the stage with him; that, to me, made it even more special.”
“…in every leaf that trembles…”