An Open Letter: To Dreamers

Dateline: The Hardest Tournament I Cover

“Each man should frame life so that at some future hour fact and his dreaming meet.” 

Victor Hugo

To Whom It May Concern…

There need be no names mentioned, you can look it up and figure it out for yerself, but know this, for some of these Elite anglers this last regular season tournament of the year will be the last time they get to walk across the big stage.

For some, their Elite dream ends here.

And for me, this last shindig of the year is always the hardest to cover.

I may lose friends, we will lose talented anglers, dreams will come crashing down for some, and it is for them comes this Open Letter.

Know this please, in my life I have dreamed big and I have dreamed small, and  some big, and some small have come true, and some big and some small have crashed and burned.

But in my head no matter how big, no matter how small the dream, in my head this is what I hear screaming, this is what I hear pounding on the door of dreams up there:  If you want dreams to come true you gotta dream dude.

If you dreamt it and you are here, God Bless You, going home is NOT failure.

Going home is just, movin’ on to the next dream. 

“Our truest life is when we are in dreams awake.”

Henry David Thoreau

To Whom It May Concern…

Imagine never dreaming, imagine never having the COURAGE to dream and pursue.

Courage is the difference between dreaming, and doing.

The step between dreams and doing is simply called…success.

To Whom It May Concern…

Grasp this, according to 0.003 seconds of Google searching there are about 13-million anglers in the US of A who target the small or large mouths of bass when they fish.

13,000,000 people who fish for what you fish for.

Of those folks, all of them folks there are 108 people who are considered “Elite” Bass anglers.

To Whom It May Concern…

You made the Elites and what does that mean, of all of those who fish for Bass only 0.0083076923076923% ever, EVER make it to the Elite level.

That’s a dream come true number my friends.

Names don’t matter here, not calling anyone out, but will tell you a story:

He had white hair and thick glasses, and every night at 6:20 p.m. he would come and sit on the corner stool at the bar I worked behind.

His knuckles were banged up, grease under his fingernails, his forearm wore the paint of the car fender he painted that day.  At 6:18 p.m. every night I poured a draft and shot of whiskey and had it there for when he arrived.

In the hour before the bar got jammed I would lean my foot up against the back bar ice, scrunch up against the corner of the bar and listen to his dream.

“Someday I will be a painter, landscapes you know, watercolor you know, watercolor is peaceful, not as loud as oils you know.”

And I would shake my head yes I knew even though I didn’t…I was a bartender not a debater.  I poured drinks and nodded yes.

One night the shot and beer just sat there, as it did the next night, and the next night.

A week or so went by and as I rounded the corner of the bar at 6 p.m. I saw a young lady sitting on the shot and beer stool.

When I asked her what she wanted to drink all she did was shake her head , no.

“My husband was killed last Monday going to work, car ran a stop sign and hit him broadside on his motorcycle, he told me he would always stop here after work for a shot and beer before coming home and that he would talk with a bartender named Don, are you Don.”

I nodded yes.

With that she reached down and pulled up her purse and took out a folded sheet of paper and passed it across the bar for me to see.

“I wanted you to see this…”

I stood staring at the paper…

“…it’s on you. “

There sat between me and the lady on the bar stool a painting.

There sat between me and the lady on the bar stool a watercolor painting.

There sat between me and the lady on the bar stool a watercolor painting of the face of the lady whose eyes I now looked up into.

“He told me that you told him all the time that for dreams to come true you have to dream them…”

On the corner of the watercolor painting of the lady in front of me it was signed simply, Love Always.

“…I found it in his toolbox…”

I gently slid the painting on the bar back to the lady in the painting.

“...it was the only watercolor he ever painted.”

And then she began to cry.

To Whom It May Concern…

That my friends is why to dream and to accomplish the dream is so damn important to me.

Because I know that just doing one watercolor painting…was enough.

“When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened for us.”

Alexander Graham Bell

To Whom It May Concern…

Thank You.

Thank you for showing me, showing the children, showing all who watch that dreams chased can be dreams caught.

Take with you us, as we will take with us, you.

I hope we have been a positive influence on you, I know that every time I saw you walk across the stage, with or without a big sack of fish you made a big impact on me.

I am a guy all about the “try.” 

I am a home run hitter, I am a strike out swinger.  All those wishing to cross this stage of ours has to be in that same club, it is the dreaming of stepping up to the plate, and doing so, that gets you on the stage and not in the crowd.

 “Life moves on and so should we.”

Spencer Johnson

To Whom It May Concern…and all those out there reading this.

Failure is not about trying, failure is about Lack of trying.

For those who this weekend will face their last ride into the sunset as an Elite angler, please, PLEASE know this…the sun also rises.

Never stop dreaming, dreams came true once, dreams can come true twice.

There is no limit to the amount of dreams you can have, or the number that will come true.

Be stronger knowing that you have the courage to dream and to chase the dream.

Know this my friends, that in time when you look back you will realize this simple truth, when the time came…you picked up the paintbrush.

And left us your own special…watercolor.

db

“We must be willing to let go of the life we’ve planned so as to have the life that is waiting for us.”

Joseph Campbell