The Beat Goes On

First of all let me say Happy Holidays to all. The Reese family had a nice relaxing week at home! My reason for writing is to inform the world of a really cool program and really great person.

I just recently received an incredible gift from a gentleman named Duane Calkins. Duane is a woodshop teacher at a middle school here in California as well as an avid bass angler. After winning the Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Angler of the Year title, I got a phone call from Duane. He asked if I would like to have a custom guitar.

Duh! Of course, I said "yes" though I didn't have any idea what he had in mind. About a month later Duane showed up at the house with the coolest bass guitar I have ever seen. When you take a look at the photos, I think you'll agree.

Now, I thought the guitar was really cool, but when Kim (my wife) and I sat down and started talking to Duane about his woodshop class, we realized that his program was even cooler. Several years ago Duane got bored of building coat racks, key racks and all that other stuff that we built in woodshop 20 years ago (for some of you, it might be even longer ago than that), so he decided to do something different — build a guitar! Little did Duane know then that one guitar would turn into a whole class then to two and eventually into

Through Duane's classes he has helped hundreds of kids build guitars. But better than that, he's helped many troubled children find paths in life. He's given some of them a passion to move forward in the music industry and has given others something that will help to bring their families back together.

Being a professional fisherman, I totally understand passion. If it wasn't for the passion I have for fishing, I would have gone down a very bad path. So it doesn't matter what it is that you have a passion for, I think it helps you through life.

Duane has a passion for helping children in his classes. So much so that he funds a lot of it himself. (It seems the state doesn't think it's very important). And to be perfectly honest, he's cool with putting his own money into the class to help the kids. He has given up a lot of his fishing time to work with the kids after school and even on the weekends, because his passion is helping young people.

So when Kim and I where talking to him, we asked what we could do to help out. He didn't want money. All that he asked was to help spread the word about

Duane is not looking to make money from the site. His goal is to help other teachers around the world learn this art. Then those teachers will be able to help other children. He can give other teachers the guidance to build guitars for their students.

So I'm writing to do my part to help a friend and fellow angler. Please help me (and Duane) in getting the word out to the world about — a really cool program that helps a lot of kids, whether they fish or not.

You can contact Duane at or

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