“If I was a sculptor, but then again, no
Or a man who makes potions in a travelling show
I know it's not much but it's the best I can do
My gift is my song and this one's for you”
Dateline Friday before Memorial Weekend.
Elite pro Kevin Short may be the first bass angler to have had direct contact with writer Don Barone. Don worked for ESPN and they had sent him to the 2003 New Orleans Classic to write an article on a Classic competitor.
We hooked him up with Short on a practice day. From the sound of his story it must have been hell for Don that day. He had never been in a bass boat before or even a bass fishing situation. The high winds and rough water tore him up. I remember thinking what a shame we get a non-angler writer and he has a bad experience. Probably won’t see him ever again.
“Hold your horses now, Jerry.”
Seems as though I was mistaken. I met db a couple of days later in the hotel lobby. In a very short time, he had been taken by the drive and passion for bass fishing that Kevin Short possessed. Don has covered every major sport out there, but he hadn't seen that kind of heart before. He would come to realize that all the Elite anglers were like this, and from that point on he spent the majority of his time writing about their lives. Things you might not ever hear about.
It was during our first conversation, I found out he too was a baseball nut. We bonded and have been close ever since.
“But the sun’s been quite kind while I write this song
It’s for people like you that keep it turned on”
Now I have to be honest, sometimes I won’t read Barone’s stuff unless I’m in the right mood. His stories can tear your heart out and crying gives me a headache.
Our Bassmaster writers tell us how Davy Hite won the Pickwick event.
db tells us about the tragic ordeal BJ Haseotes and his wife were going through with their beautiful newborn daughter. The ordeal had lasted over a year and ended with her passing.
Our bassmaster writers, and rightly so, talk about spinner baits and Alabama rigs. db tells us of the struggles our many Elite Angers deal with, and how their love for the sport and desire to succeed many times is all that keeps them going. By reporting on personal stories we catch a glimpse into their lives and learn about situations we might never have know about. A good example of this was when he broke the news that Kelly Jordan had a bout going with skin cancer. I nearly panicked over that one.
Now don’t get me wrong, our “normal” writers are great, but db comes from a different direction.
How about his story about the tornados in Alabama and the foundation he started called Tackle the Storm, which raised money and collected fishing equipment for people that lost everything in those tornados.
And then there’s his latest articles dealing with our young bass professional Brandon Palaniuk.
Well, here comes the point of my story. Don Barone is tackling a storm of his own right now as he battles cancer and needs all of our prayers.
You know folks, if you went to an Elite Event and wanted to find Don, it would be easy. Just look around for the most un-fisherman looking person on the grounds and that would probably be your man.
Let me tell you something. This un-fisherman looking guy is a big part of the B.A.S.S. family and normally he’s looking out for all of us. Right now we’ve got to be looking out for db.
“And you can tell everybody this is your song
It may be quite simple but now that it's done
I hope you don't mind
I hope you don't mind that I put down in words
How wonderful life is while you're in the world”
We love you db.