“Now the seats are all empty…”
Dateline: Tulsa, Oklahoma
It is the KIND, in MAN, that we,
are supposed to be.
How ever it is that we got here, the goal of us, what it is we are supposed to be, we humans,
are not savages.
The universe around us, is a savage place of fire and ice, of vast emptiness, much of it devoid of life, devoid of love,
Here, we have cobalt skies, we have seas of sapphire, land of emerald greens and golden sands,
and us amongst it all.
We get our life, from where-in we live, and for that we constantly give thanks, but sometimes, for whatever reason, we forget to give these thanks,
to all those who share this rock in space with us.
We forget that as it was meant to be, we live on,
a Please and Thank You Earth.
“…tonight the people were so fine…”
We could be dirt.
We could be rocks, we could be trees, we could be clouds, or the wind.
‘cept we came to this planet, with a soul. We came here, to care. For the planet we stand on, for the animals who roam it, and for the people we share it with.
Do good, love wins…the tag line of earth.
The greatest lesson I have ever learned came to me in the vestibule of my daughter Ashley’s day care center. A simple sign which said this:
“We Share & No Biting.”
Pretty much the answer to world peace, written in crayon.
Over the years as a reporter I have witnessed first hand, the horror caged within humans, I believe it is possible to be soulless, because I have looked into those eyes.
But I have also looked into the eyes, of goodness.
I have been touched over and over again, by the KIND found in MAN.
Listen…and you too will hear it…and this is what it sounds like:
“…they waited there in line…”
It is not the City of Tulsa I want to thank...the buildings…the sidewalks…the street…did nothing for us.
But to the PEOPLE of Tulsa, and the area around here, to you, I, WE at B.A.S.S. raise a toast.
To the PEOPLE of TULSA, to the PEOPLE of Grand Lake, WE say, Thank You.
Let me tell you about Tulsa…I’ve been here a week now…but I get this city.
Tulsa…is Buffalo, NY…is Pittsbburgh, PA…is Fresno, CA.
Not the biggest city in the state.
Not the city that gets most of the press.
A city, like many other cities in America, that is not quite what it once was, I am from a city just like this city, Buffalo, NY a city on the wrong end of many jokes, a city struggling to make the “B” list of towns, a city that wishes the Erie Canal would once again float dreams its way.
I get that in Tulsa as well, don’t know what the boom was, maybe oil, but that old boom is barely heard here now.
And Buffalo may get mad at this.
And Tulsa may get mad at this.
But free yourself from the canal…from the boom…because you don’t need it, what you have now, is what many people search for, need.
Tulsa my friends…you’ve got soul. Buffalo, too.
“…and when they got up on their feet they made the show…”
Cities of the future will be based on their PEOPLE, not the PLACE they are located.
Cities with a future, will be where people want to live, not where they have to live.
Five people, I counted, told me this exact thing during my time here, “I moved away once, but came back, and I love it here, won’t leave again.”
Tulsa…put that on your Welcome sign.
I have met people from other places that have moved here form elsewhere who told me simply this, “It’s home now, won’t be leaving.”
“…and that was sweet…”
Certainly, all those in power in this town have been wonderful to us, all the various agencies, but the greatness, has been the people of Tulsa.
From the hotel bartender, to the cops helping people cross streets, to the businesses with signs about the Classic, to the person who sweeps it all up and who THANKED ME for coming here,
Tulsa, Thank You.
Thank you for wanting us.
Thank you for helping us.
But, for me, Thank You for taking us into your family.
Thank You for the Tulsa Welcome.
‘…but I can hear the sound…”
Sometimes, as we focus on setting up, or tearing down and moving onto next, we forget,
to say Thank You.
Not because we are aloof.
Not because we don’t care.
It is because we think mostly, next, and not so much, now.
Now, the moment we stand in.
The now we face.
To us, I say, I challenge that we need to take the time to say, Thank You, more.
We need to stop and make sure the people helping us know how thankful we really are, and I know we are because I hear it all the time.
If I’m walking down the street, in whatever town we may be in, and I see a sign about us in the window of a business, I’m going to take the time to go into the place, and say simply, Thank You.
We grow the sport not only by what we do, but we grow this sport by who we are.
On a Please and Thank You Earth, we need to always be a Please and Thank You sport.
“…of slamming doors and folding chairs…”
To Tulsa, you are now on my favorite places playlist.
I hope we are on yours.
To the angler who wins this Classic shindig, as you stand on stage and life the iron into the confetti, it is not only the trophy you hold, in your hands you carry,
A sport dreamt about by thousands of people, you may walk upon a stage, but it is the backs of those who dream about us, that you stand.
They are the ones who have done the heavy lifting, for you, for us.
Every one one of us are the soul of this sport, but you, you become the face, our face.
Do good my friend.
Remember Thank You.
Remember the KIND in MAN
Because I know you will always remember Tulsa,
for the trophy you won here,
and the respect they gave us.
Pay it forward my friend, pay it forward,
for all of us.
“…but the only time that seems too short
Is the time that we get to play.”
The Load Out
PS: A special Thank You to a friend named Ed, who looked and who cared, it is through your eyes, that I am thankful for.