Life is full of disappointment and joy, as Ray Hanselman’s sons experienced recently. The first turned into the latter when dad was able to show all the kids at their school what he does for a living.
“They were jumping up and down wanting me to do it,” Hanselman said. “We had that tournament scheduled (that) week, and they were heart broke that I wasn’t going to be able to do it. It turned out it got canceled, so they were pretty excited.”
Hanselman and his visual elements were a big hit among the 762 schoolchildren grades K-5th at Buena Vista Elementary for Career Day during the week of the canceled event. With his Skeeter/Yamaha in tow, Hanselman joined about 20 other parents telling kids about their jobs.
“We tried to put on a pretty good display for them, explain everything,” he said. “I briefly kind of explained what a tournament was, how you win a tournament with cumulative weight over four days. The goal is to make the championship at the end of the year, the Bassmaster Classic.”
Standing 30th in the Toyota Bassmaster Angler of the Year points, Hanselman is in good position to accomplish both. Working to impress the kids was taken seriously as well. With an early arrival time, Hanselman had a friend bring him a couple keeper bass from Lake Amistad, and he had one front and center in a tank and another in his livewell.
Hanselman also had a mounted bass, a framed article and a map with pins at the lakes he’s competed to show how far he travels. He passed out all but about 30 of the 800 B.A.S.S. decals he brought.
The event started early in the morning, and classes of about 20 would come by for his presentation, which he altered for age.
“The kindergarteners, you talked to them a little different. The third-, fourth- and fifth-graders, they understand,” he said. “The little kids, they just liked the fish in the tank, and I had a mounted fish there. I let them look in the boat at the one I had in the livewell.”