Happy, ever after

Note: See more photos of Happy's wedding here.

“But more than anything…”

Dateline:  Family

I hope that in your life there is,


That your life ain’t all bill payin’, forced overtime, dictator bosses, and used cars with bad trannies.

Seems, joy, is a moving target lately.

What with planes carrying 200 people can just flat out disappear, what with We The People seeming to mean, people that ain’t us.

What with cancer, a disease we can’t beat and one normal working stiffs can’t afford a fighting chance against.

What with supermarket sticker shock and the unexplainable, damn near criminal, never ending gas price increases.


Come-on-man, hey Mr. Buffett, hey Mr. Microsoft, come down to living in my poorly built tract home, my double-wide, come-on-man.

Where there be JOY!

Let me ask you this: In the last year, how many times have you said the word “Joy” out loud…and if you’re named Joy or who have someone named Joy in the family/friends…you don’t count in this experiment.

You been saying “Joy” much lately?  Been thinking it?

When my mind goes to doodling, the doodles are all thoughts of JOY.

The doodles in my mind are the faces of my children, the face of my wife, the faces of my friends,

and the Family B.A.S.S. I have out here on the road.

I hope that in your life there are,

brain doodles of,


Because if all that is bad, if all that is mean, if all that is nasty, if all that we can’t seem to control takes away joy…crappy wins.

This weekend here at this Table Rock though,

JOY won one.

Kicked some serious butt actually.

Uh-huh, you can take our dollars.

Uh-huh, you can take our votes.

Uh-huh, you can live in castles behind stonewalls and drive fancy cars, charge double digit dollars for steaks during layoffs and furlough days,

but we got something that ain’t for sale,

got something you can’t take away or tax,

we got something given to us by a hand bigger than yours, a hand that gives and doesn’t ask for handouts,

we got LOVE.

Hey you up on the hill,


“…my wish, for you…”

Happy ever after happened right here at Table Rock this weekend.

In the B.A.S.S. family, it has been a sad couple of weeks with the passing of Donna Menendez, Elite angler Mark’s Menendez’s wife.

And we will forever miss Donna, and will grieve with our friend and family member Mark.

But this weekend, Joy knocked, and we let ‘er in.

One of our own, a beloved member of the service crew, David White, married Crystal Morehead; both are from the Table Rock area and they thought it would be cool to get married here during an Elite tournament.

And cool it was.

I have known David White for the past 6 years, but it was only a short time ago that I found out that his name was in fact, David White.

To everyone on the tour, David White is known simply, and thankfully as….Happy.

And has always, and will ever be, Happy…Ever After.

None more so than this weekend when he said, “I do,” to Crystal.

“I met Crystal 5 years ago at a walleye tournament in Green Bay,” Happy is telling me as he sits holding his new bride’s hand.

I knew that because the next time I saw him, he told me, like a little kid, “db…I met this lady…she’s real neat, db.”

A few weeks ago, at our first Elite event, and after not seeing Happy since last season, as I drove into the service yard and got out of my Tundra, he came straight up to me and the first thing he said to me was exactly this, “db…Crystal and me are getting married at Table Rock. You’ll come to the wedding, won’t you?”

And in my brain there were doodles of,


“…is that this life becomes…”

And if you don’t think we are family out here, check this out, after launching barely at dawn and fishing/competing all day, then weighing in, the Elites still came out in force for Happy’s wedding.

The reception began at 6 p.m., but out in the parking lot at 5:45, after just weighing in and jumping up to 3rd place and having to fish the next morning, sat KVD in his boat getting his tackle ready.

At 6 p.m., he was at Happy’s side.

“Happy, by far, is the best support person that I have ever seen. He makes sure all of our equipment is 100%. Happy will give you the shirt of his back, or the tire off his truck if you need it.”

The reception to me was special, it was nice, good food, not massively fancy, it was something all those new bridal/wedding shows seem to lack, seem to forget to bring to the production,


The wedding cake was homemade, and featured a NITRO boat on it.

The bride helped serve some of the food.

In the crowd, suits, camo vests and Elite jerseys…a wedding planner’s, a fashionista’s nightmare.

To us, though, it was all just fine.

Just family.

Kevin VanDam bused tables.

Mark Zona brought his whole family.

Rick Clunn, Davy Hite, Ott DeFoe, Timmy Horton, Fletcher Shryock and other Elites came off the water and straight here, for Happy.

Here’s why, just one story, but this story will tell you why we all came:

Kevin VanDam: “db, I was having trouble with my boat alarm back at Lake Seminole. I told Happy about it but didn’t think much of it. One night I walk outside and hear what I think is a boat alarm beeping; I see my boat is covered and fine, as all the other boats are so I go back inside. It’s about 9 p.m., pitch dark outside but Davy Hite goes out to see what’s up, hears the boat alarm, too, and then sees that my boat cover is moving, that something is under it. Well, he runs up to it about to put some whoop-arse to whoever is in the boat and he lifts the cover up and there is Happy underneath it in the boat with a flashlight trying to fix my alarm. That’s the kind of guy he is.”

“…all that you want it to…”

I hope that in your life there is,


Please, have joy in your life.

Seize Joy.

Embrace Joy.

If we working stiffs are going to win, we will do so with love, we will do so with joy.

We will do so as a family.




That’s what We The People means.

You and me, just working Joes, six-pack and salami, steak and mashed potatoes, be it grits or donuts, we are all, David White, we are all Crystal Morehead,

all looking to get by,

all looking to do good things,

all looking to help others,

all looking for love,

for joy.

And at Table Rock at this tournament, all that happened.

To Crystal, welcome to our family,

may you find love,

may you find joy,

may it be for you,

Happy, Ever After.

“…this is my wish.”

“My Wish”

Rascal Flatts

See you in a couple weeks,