2013 Toyota Bonus Bucks Owners Tournament Wheeler Lake - Decatur, AL, Sep 7 - 8, 2013

Tournament Virgin, Part 2: 1/1,000 of a second

Me right before my first launch as a tournament angler.

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.

“It's a beautiful morning…”

Dateline: Toyota Bonus Bucks Sunrise

I believe life happens at 1/1,000 of a second.

Our minds make it a movie, our hearts, make it a photograph.

Tell me this has never happened to you, one special moment in time just seems to linger, to stretch, to stop.

Freeze frame. 

Mostly, it is just random, a connection made between you and whatever you happen to be looking at.

Not Déjà vu, it is as if the universe had its finger on the shutter button and just went,


Freeze frame.

“…to see the sun rise…”

I was standing on the front deck of the boat, boat #78, 3rd flight of the Toyota Bonus Bucks Tournament.

It was 15 minutes to first safe light.

The water was calm, the sky had streaks of day mixed with last night.

With all the lights on the boats, I knew how Christmas tree ornaments on the tree feel when the tiny lights are turned on.

Out east the sun was just winning the battle with the clouds, one cloud covered the top, another the bottom, in between lived a bright orange blob.

And the national anthem was playing.

I stood there with my green Tilley hat over my heart, stood straight looking at the flag, but then, for a second I turned to my left,

and as I did, James Overstreet turned to his right at the same moment, and for just a second our eyes locked, and we both just smiled and looked back at the flag.

Freeze frame.