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  #11 (permalink)  
Old 06-08-2013, 09:17 AM
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Default Re: A Book And Its Cover... Reconsidered...

It's always hard to Judge a Book By it's Cover as many of us have Also done & out of Character however it's good to know everything has worked our Fine.
Sometimes we don't realise the stress lots of people are going through.
Brian.
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Old 06-10-2013, 06:55 AM
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Default Re: A Book And Its Cover... Reconsidered...

I think that the "judgment of a book" philosophy is a direct spin-off of the old adage about "first impressions." It's only natural to harbor a poor opinion of a man whose "introduction" included the tirade we all witnessed on the river.

And, while a very small part of me still reserves "final judgment" for later on, I'll go with our daughter Jesse's opinion and my own observations. For someone so young, she's a great judge of character, as she's been around the sport of fly-fishing all of her life. So, I'm hopeful that the "father" will leave his worries and troubles at the landing, and truly enjoy his "river hours" with his sons in the months/years ahead.

After all, a good trout river is akin to life itself, in that the currents are a constant, and that the waters are ever-changing. The reality of it all is that a river angler-- any river fisherman --never does fish the same water twice...
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Old 06-10-2013, 08:33 AM
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Default Re: A Book And Its Cover... Reconsidered...

Hello, Jerry,

I have been staying out of this conversation but have been following it closely. I am really happy the man showed his children what a "man" really is and how he is supposed to act, especially when he has done something terribly wrong. He taught them that your pride needs to take a backseat sometime but, if and when you are able to do that, others are proud for you.

The biggest reason I have taken a backseat is that I know how job pressures can have that sort of affect on you. It certainly depends on the which "season" of your life you are you are in at the time.

About ten years ago, I had two young kids, a wife who worked part-time (so she could be there for the kids as much as possible), a mortgage, and a second mortgage because we added onto the house--amongst other expenses. Then my company outsourced a large portion of their IT and I was one of the ones who had six months to teach the replacements my job so they could do it and I could collect unemployment. Believe me, it was a hard thing to go thru. It was bad enough knowing my time was up but whenever the job wasn't going away AND the fact that I had to teach the foreign person everything about my job so he could flourish was extremely stressful.

My family said I changed during those few months--a lot--and I still have scars to this day. I honestly sent out 450+ resumes for all sorts of jobs. I got less than ten rejections and the rest never contacted me at all. I was going nuts and it showed. I was short and snippy at home. The littlest thing set me off. Where I once had patience, I had none. Where I once had compassion, I had none. Where I once had nothing but good thoughts, I had none.

So I had walked in this man's shoes. It was not a good time. We got thru it alright and we all all better for it but while the dross as burning off, it can be a painful experience for yourself and the people around you. It is a horrible thing that the people you care about the most are the ones who get the brunt of your angst.

I am not saying that the things I did during that time were right because many were not. I guess I am saying that everybody has a limit to what they can endure--we are not all made of the same "stuff" even though we like to think we are.

I am glad the gentleman you spoke of was able to do the right thing in the end. And I am sure it took a lot for him to do it--much more than people may realize.

And kudos to you and your daughter to accept his apology and to take the unprecedented step of going beyond forgiveness and actually help him and his children.

I am sure the kids have learned a whole lot more than how to fly fish.


ray
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Old 06-11-2013, 06:05 AM
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Default Re: A Book And Its Cover... Reconsidered...

Ray,

I admire your courage and your honesty in speaking up and baring your soul, so to speak. It takes a good man to admit to past faults, correct them, and then work to improve upon those "dark moments in life." And, such bravery is only compounded when he serves up those lessons as a warning of sorts for others to learn from. You and yours have my utmost respect, and my hopes and prayers for smooth sailing ahead...

Personally, I guess that I've been blessed to have had a fair number of "intervention specialists" throughout my lifetime, men who never failed to step in and "intervene" when they thought me wandering a bit too far from my normally "even-keeled" path in life. They all were men whose thoughts and opinions mattered a great deal to me, and because of them, I was able to avoid many of life's "potholes."

Example. When diagnosed with my first brain tumor while in my mid-40's, I was hurt, angry and resentful, moreso after the surgery to remove the tumor. Suddenly, I had gone from a fully-functional guy who was experiencing headaches and blurred vision to someone who couldn't do the simplest things for himself. Ahead of me was nine or so months of intensive rehab and more challenges than I ever imagined.

Enter the late "Doc" Holship-- my grandfather's lifelong fishing/hunting partner --and my own "Doc"-- my chief oncologist. Together, they came up with a quick solution to my anger and helplessness-- they dared me to "beat the odds" and get better, knowing that I'd re-direct my anger and put it into my rehab, pushing harder than most would consider. "Doc" Holship knew that my grandparents had raised me with a strong work ethic.

I finished my rehab in six months, helped along by my family, my love of fly-tying-- it gave me back my hand-to-eye coordination more quickly --and an anger channeled in a whole new direction. But, cancer still wasn't finished with presenting its challenges, both fiscally and physically.

In late 2004, a second brain tumor rendered me blind until the "miracle surgery" of 2009, when my eyesight was finally restored. Then, as it was in the late 1990's, "Doc" H. and my "Doc" pushed the right buttons, daring me to beat the disease and the limitations of being totally blind again. And, it worked to a great degree, in that my anger at not being able to do this or that was re-directed into figuring out ways to cope and learn a new approach to the "everyday things." The "helpless" feeling was harder to shake, especially for a man-- me --whose way of making a living depended heavily on his sight.

Less than a year after my sight restoration, cancer threw down the gauntlet once more when our youngest daughter was diagnosed with a rare form of leukemia. She passed away in 2010, and her loss still haunts me and mine.

It was a month or so after her funeral that another "intervention specialist" stepped forward, a man I'd known most of my life. The late Montgomery Jackson offered up a heartfelt suggestion that rang true in my grief-- "Mourn the passing of your daughter, but celebrate her life as well..." I hold onto that thought even today...

The bottom line for yours truly is that all of the above is my long-winded way of saying that I've become more curious about most "books" these days, and a heckuva lot less judgmental of their covers. Like any good book and its pages, a man's life is one of "paged" layers. I'm hoping that I'll enjoy the future writings of the man and his two sons, as much as I've come to respect his courage in owning up to any short-comings. It took guts, as did your posting, and I can't help but respect that...
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Last edited by hairwing530; 06-11-2013 at 08:18 AM.
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Old 06-16-2013, 06:13 AM
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Default Re: A Book And Its Cover... Reconsidered...

Late yesterday afternoon, as the day was getting on toward evening, I answered a somewhat hesitant knock at our front door. There again was the man whose actions started this posting, and whose subsequent conduct has proven to be grounds for hope. With him were his two sons.

After the usual pleasanties, his question was simple and direct-- "Do you and your daughter have a little free time open tonight?" A quick consult with The Speaker of the House and daughter Jesse got the nods of approval, and plans were quickly put into play.

As a rule, I don't normally serve as a "guide" these days, with the exception of the rarest of occasions. In this case, however, I was willing to "invest" an hour or two, as it was clear that the man had things on his mind. And, I had just the perfect place in mind for both fishing and conversation, a somewhat remote woodland cabin known as "Trail's End." (See the post "I Met Myself Last Night..." for more about the cabin...)

We split off into two groups when we met up later, "Dad" and I going in one direction, and Jesse and the boys heading downriver to an area that's easily waded and fished before working their way back upstream. The man hooked up with two decent fish rather quickly, releasing both before asking a question that I knew was coming... "Do you mind if we go back to the cabin and just talk?" At that point, we climbed out of the river and headed back up the hill to the cabin porch.

The next hour or so was enlightening, to say the least. Mostly, he talked and I listened, and for all intents and purposes, I believe that was enough for him. His father passed on years ago, his death taking with it the only other person who truly understood his growing interest in fly-fishing. In "his" world, impressive titles and "keeping up with the Jones" were more the norm and the priorities rather than the gentle art of fishing with a fly. And, it frustrated him to no end, one of the reasons behind his former outbursts...

The sound of the boys and Jesse approaching from the river brought the conversation to a close, but not before he thanked me for taking the time to serve as a sounding board. Duly acknowledged, we listened as the boys laid out stories of fish caught, fish missed and the fact that they'd had a great time. In the approaching twilight, the hatches had been good to one and all.

As we cleared out and made toward the vehicles, I stopped and reached into the back seat of the ol' "Fish Truck," pulling out three good rods that I'd cleaned up and refurbished from the "loaner rod bin"-- an old umbrella stand --at "Trail's End." They were given as they were intended to be-- reminders from a special place that there's so much more to the art of fishing a fly than what some perceive there to be.

While Jesse and the boys loaded their "new rods" into the man's car, he reached into his pocket and handed me a beautiful old tobacco pipe that once had been his father's. And, in a flash, he and his boys were headed back down the two-track trail leading back out to the main road.

Early this morning, I cleaned up the pipe, filled and lit the bowl before sending the man an e-mail with the names of friends and a fly-fishing club not far from where he lives. Among those chosen as contacts, I know that he'll find some like-minded souls who will help the man and his sons author some new pages in the book of "their" days astream, chapters that I hope will gift them with everything that my own history with fly fishing already has given me...

The book continues...
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Old 06-16-2013, 08:13 AM
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Default Re: A Book And Its Cover... Reconsidered...

Jerry: Another great story with a beautiful ending, you are so generous in the way you live your life, giving those folks those reconditioned rods will provide them with memories for a lifetime, I just hope they play it forward!

That gift of a pipe was a very special thought! Reminded me of a pipe my son made a few years back, the bowl section was made out of damascus steel and the handle was some sort of gorgeous hardwood. It probably didn't smoke very well with a stell bowl, but it made it for his elderly neighbor as a gift, so it is the thought that counts.

I found the statement by the late Montgomery Jackson, when he said "Mourn the passing of your daughter, but celebrate her life as well..." very inspirational, well said. I wish I had had the chance to meet Mr Jackson, a true friend indeed!

Good luck this week, just know you will be in good hands and you will be in my prayers my friend!!!!!! .......and most of all HAPPY FATHER's DAY!!!!

Larry
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Old 06-16-2013, 09:30 AM
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Thumbs up Re: A Book And Its Cover... Reconsidered...

GREAT READ!!!!!

Fred
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Old 06-22-2013, 06:18 AM
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Default Re: A Book And Its Cover... Reconsidered...

At about 5:30 this morning, I made an "executive decision"-- I'm sure that I'll catch a ration of "it" later from both the Speaker AND my doctor--to go through some of the mail that piled up during my short "surgical" absence. Among the letters rested one thick envelope on which the address was obviously hand-written, something you seldom see much these days.

Without going into great detail about the actual content, let's just say that it was a "Thank You" note from a man who once gave me cause for many misgivings, especially while astream and moreso when he was with his sons. After reading his letter-- also hand-written, by the way --I now hold to the promise of good things from him, and much better days ahead for his adventures with his sons.

I have no doubt that the letter had been difficult to write, as he gave me more insights than expected, and I learned more about him, his past and how he'd come to lose his way in life so badly. He included as well how he intended to make some of the changes necessary to get back to the basics of enjoying his time on the river, and the hours with his boys.

As the letter drew to a close, he asked but one last favor of yours truly, and that was to be able to call on me in some way if he felt his path in life taking another turn in a wrong direction. It wasn't within me to say "No." After all, it takes a great deal of courage to leverage it all, so to speak, and open oneself up to scrutiny by an objective "third party." Besides, I see great potential for the writing of new chapters for this trio in the years ahead, and I'd like to be around to help the man and his sons author a few new "river pages" as the years unfold...
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Old 06-28-2013, 05:26 AM
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Default Re: A Book And Its Cover... Reconsidered...

This morning, I received a very long photo-heavy e-mail from the man who inspired this post. Nearly 2 mb in size, it was worth waiting for it to download. Within the e-mail were a number of what we used to call "Kodak moments," memorable shots of the man and his sons astream-- releasing fish and enjoying their time astream. The smile has yet to leave my face!

Obviously, the trio is well into the process of adding a few new chapters to the pages of their "book," and I'd like to think that the members of this household had a little something to do with that, especially our daughter, Jesse...
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Old 06-28-2013, 10:02 AM
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Default Re: A Book And Its Cover... Reconsidered...

When humility and repentance crash headlong into forgiveness, amazing things happen. It is not the way our culture teaches us to react to conflict. More men need to have the courage to swallow their pride and be willing to admit their wrongs and to have a deep desire to change. More men need to be willing to give forgiveness whether it is deserved or not. Without men (and women) like this greatness will cease to exist.

Thank you so much for writing these words.
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