Bright lights, big open


All photos Don Barone

“Oh my brother…”

Dateline: Central Open No. 1, Table Rock

“The handshake of the host affects the taste of the roast.”
~ Benjamin Franklin

It takes three hours and 10 minutes to shake 398 hands.

I know, I just did it.

Every angler in the front of the boat.

Every angler in the back of the boat.

Shook their hands.

It is my favorite part of the job, this: “What’s your name?”

This: “Where you from?”

This: “What do you do there?”

And then this is the most important part…I shut up.

I smile some, listen mostly, learn from the story of the line.

Trust me, shake 398 hands, listen more than you talk, and slowly, slowly, America speaks, the America of the small and the tall, the white and the black, the wealthy and the working stiff, the schooled and still in school.

Trust me, shake 398 hands and listen more than you talk and something strange happens, something real strange, something that ain’t supposed to be anymore.

Trust me, shake 398 hands and listen more than you talk and in time strangers become friends.

Imagine that.

And all you got to do is shake hands.

And listen more than you talk.

No yelling and shouting.

Just shaking and smiling.

Shake 398 hands and one thing becomes clear, we are all more alike than we ain’t.

Don’t read that much anymore, huh?

Quit hiding behind a keyboard and typing or reading crazy stuff on social media.

Go shake some hands, and listen.

Try making “friends” for real, it’ll change things.

Just takes one handshake at a time.

“…we can start…” moving forward…”

“On this shrunken globe, men can no longer live as strangers.”
~ Adlai E. Stevenson

Bright lights.

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