2013 B.A.S.S. Nation Championship Lake Dardanelle - Russellville, AR, Oct 24 - 26, 2013

Tell me, about America

Don Barone
The dream flies here.

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.

“Bring us your foreign songs…”

Dateline: B.A.S.S. Nation Championship, Russellvillle, Arkansas

I am, the grandson, of cattle.

I still have the taste of freedom, on my lips.

I am, 2nd generation, here. 

Born in America, me, but my family had to knock on the door to get in.  On my grandparent’s wall there hung 3 framed pictures, one of Jesus, one of the Pope, and one cut out of the pages of LOOK Magazine…a photograph of the Statue of Liberty.

Tread very softly around me when you speak of immigration.

I am an immigrant’s, grandson.  Ellis Island to me, is sacred ground.  To this day I remember sitting as a very, very young child on the lap of my grandfather, Sylvester Barone, born in Italy, but now a citizen of America sitting in Buffalo, NY, who would tell me over and over again about, “Liberta.”


Grandpa talked of his faint memory as a child right off the boat from Italy of standing in long lines like “bestiame.”


And he would wipe the tears from his eyes, crying not of standing in the lines, but to what those lines lead to,


I write that now, with tears in my eyes, because I know those lines also lead to the love of my life, my wife, lead to the loves of my life, my children, and will someday lead to the children of my children and their children as well.

I am proud to be the grandson, of cattle.

Back at my house hung up on the living room wall are the framed actual immigration papers of my grandparents.  I hung them not so much for me, but for my children, and when they have children, their children, to see. 

The papers are framed in museum archival frames and mats, because I want those papers to last long past me so that all the descendants of me know this, my ancestors, their ancestors, CHOOSE to be here, in America.

Choose to go through all they did, for us.

And in doing so, gave us the greatest gift imaginable,



“…and we will sing along…”

On this planet there is one melting pot, and it is us.  Like that, or not.  No one is banging the doors down trying to get into Russia, China, or all the other countries that yell at us.

To me, the B.A.S.S. Nation Championship is the melting pot of this sport.  We have here competitors, anglers from, Italy, Spain, Mexico, South Africa, Japan, Zimbabwe and Canada.

Next year, Australia and the African country of Namibia will be the newest members of the B.A.S.S. Nation melting pot.

The B.A.S.S Nation is on 6 of the 7 continents of this planet.

I don’t know for sure, but I hope that you and I, have pretty much the same ideals, not talking politics here or the AFC vs NFC, Blonde or Brunette, half filled, half empty.

Talking simply ideals…our core values.

And for me those core values are family, faith, freedom.

Again, I’m not talking politics here because frankly I don’t have much faith in ANY of the political parties, but as of late I have lost a bunch of enthusiasm for our elected officials over there in that D.C…..ah…thing.

So in the backdrop of furloughs, filibusters and fibs, I thought it important to speak kindly of one of our core values, case some of us seem to forget that there thing our founding father’s quilled together.

Also thought it important that all of us standing inside of America who may seem to think the whole shebang is falling apart, for you, for me, to hear from those standing on the outside of this land and looking in.

So I sat down with several of the foreign anglers in this here our melting pot, and I asked them only ONE question, and then sat back and listened to what they had to say.

Here’s my question:  “Tell me, about America.”

And here’s what they said.