A Toledo Bend love story

I need to tell you a love story. For the good of you. For the good of me. For the good of all of us right now. Found it on the shores of Toledo Bend Reservoir between fiberglass replicas of 10-pound bass and the 17th golf green at Cypress Bay Resort.

I’ve done a lot of work for the Elite with Darold Gleason. He’s a 32-year-old fishing guide here on Toledo Bend, and he’s also scoring very well as a Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Central Open tournament competitor.

Mostly, he’s Randi’s faithful husband and her biggest fan.

Smokin’ hot cute with an absolutely infectious personality that operates in 5th gear – Randi Gleason sells as much moisturizer as Strike King sells “Sexy Shad” colored lures.

Thus, Mary Kay awarded her a pink Cadillac. To say she’s a “go getter” would be like calling Kevin VanDam a decent angler.

She was also a huge and hilarious help to me as we worked to secure all the photos I needed for my stories.

After photos last week, she made me a salad and a baked potato; she also cooked a rib eye for me. She knows beef – she was The Louisiana Cattleman’s Queen during her senior year of high school. Likes her steaks rare.

Oh, and just as a sidebar, Randi was also a contestant on The Price is Right game show last year.

But each night, Darold cups his hands and beats on her.

First, on her chest, just south of her collar bone, then she rolls over, and he beats her on the back. Every night. Nonstop. For 30 minutes.

Beats on her chest and back so that her lungs won’t clog up with mucus and beat her.

Her “want to,” career success and magnetic energy are the reasons why physicians invite her to speak to other cystic fibrosis patients.

To motivate them. To inspire them. To kick butt. Take names. And rock on. Despite a genetic enemy that tries daily to still their oxygen and healthy body weight.

Darold told me, “I knew exactly what I was signing up for. We’ve known each other since high school. I dated other girls – but Randi was the one I loved and knew I wanted to marry.”

And so, 10 years ago at the end of one of the hundreds of rounds of golf the two have played together, he dropped to a knee and proposed marriage to Randi on the 17th green at Cypress Bend Resort on the shores of Toledo Bend where he now catches 10-pound bass on a regular basis.

Witnessing them interact Tuesday night was like watching two 17-year-olds on their third date. Nonstop teasing of one another drenched in hilarity, respect, trust and … obviously … Love.

She calls him “my best friend and partner for Life” – and some weird mushy gushy nickname, too – “Schmoopie.” 

Whatever …  I do know Schmoopie’s fishing talents are absolutely deserving of the exposure he’s received these past weeks on various bass fishing websites.

I also know he’s a better husband than an angler.

For the good of me. For the good of you. For the good of all of us. Darold & Randi’s story is proof of True – true as I’ve ever witnessed in my 43 years – Love.

As we blazed along in the golf cart, they told me they loved Chesney’s 2006 song “You Save Me.” So, of course, I end with those lyrics.

I don't know how you do it,

I'm not sure how you know.

The perfect thing to say, to save me from myself.

You're the angel that believes in me like nobody else.

And I thank God you do.

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