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hairwing530 03-08-2013 08:20 AM

I Met Myself Last Night...
As the title of this posting states, "I met myself last night," a rarified glimpse into how I've lived my life and been perceived by others over the span of 50 years. Let me explain before you start wondering if I've been into the "sauce" this morning...

Late yesterday, the grandson of an elderly friend dropped off the last box of stuff that had been left for me. The late Montgomery Jackson passed on earlier this winter, leaving behind a legacy of friendship and the best kind of personal oversight imaginable. The aforementioned Mr. Jackson had known me since I was a boy.

In the box delivered to our front door were 25 journals, each the compilation of his thoughts regarding our friendship and the times we spent together on the water, 2 years worth per journal. I'm only into Journal #2, and it's amazing how quickly everything has come back to me-- in essence, the reliving of the years.

Self-examination is never an easy thing, but it's doubly hard when it's being done in an honest, objective fashion by someone else very close to you. Despite the occasional chastizing-- so far --for the frenzied pace of youth, one thing is become very clear. The late Montgomery Jackson thought me more of a son than merely a friend. And, that single bit of enlightenment has ramped up my urge to read through the journals, and then re-read them again.

I will miss Montgomery's wisdom and ready counsel when the first hatches of Spring descend on the AuSable River, more than you know... Jerry, aka hairwing530

mcnerney 03-08-2013 11:21 AM

Re: I Met Myself Last Night...
Very touching story and how fitting of Montgomery to leave those journals to you! Nice to have friends like that and now to have his journals to read and reminse makes it even better.

fredaevans 03-08-2013 12:36 PM

Re: I Met Myself Last Night...
Boy 'O Boy did this bring memories to the top. A good thing.

Man who was instrimental in getting me into fishing/fly tie/etc., 60 some years ago. Still think of Mr. Coles. A Scot who saw something in me .....

Hopefully I've never proved him wrong.

Fred Evans

axle27 03-08-2013 01:15 PM

Re: I Met Myself Last Night...
You might miss his counsel and wisdom, but I think he passed it to you. Would likely be a good memoir to be published.

jsquires 03-08-2013 01:15 PM

Re: I Met Myself Last Night...
Thanks for sharing that, Jerry.
And Montgomery Jackson, what a great name!

theboz 03-08-2013 01:44 PM

Re: I Met Myself Last Night...
WOW! You are alucky man! Very few people have the opportunity to see their lives on paper as other people have seen them. You respected this man so cherish what he has written and learn from it, I know that I would. Im happy just to have some photos and memories of mentors and friends I have had in my life I can only imagine how nice it must be to read about those times all over again!

hairwing530 03-08-2013 03:09 PM

Re: I Met Myself Last Night...
With the work week finished a bit earlier than planned, I decided to pick up where I'd left off with "the journals" last night. That is, until I read six more pages. As I turned the page, there sat a note, one dated two days before Montgomery Jackson took his leave from this mortal coil and went on ahead to scout the waters. It read:


I've always admired that "what's around the next bend" mindset of yours, even when you weren't feeling up to par. With these journals, take them as they were meant to be- a slow read. You've got the time now.

One more thing. My grandson will be back on the night before the Opener with another small box. My own journals of 75 years on the water will be inside. I hope they serve you in good stead in my absence.

Fish your seasons to come with the same respect that you always showed this old man, Lad, and you will do just fine.


I'm not ashamed to say that it took three attempts to read the note before I could pull it off with a dry eye. Once finished, I tucked it back inside the journal, closed the book and put Volume II away... for now. It was the right thing to do... Jerry, aka hairwing530

hairwing530 03-10-2013 07:11 AM

Re: I Met Myself Last Night...
Well, at 6 am this morning, I fought off my "around the next bend" urges, as the late Montgomery Jackson called them, and revisited Journal #1, reading it as he'd intended the books to be read-- slowly and giving weight to his words --and "re-discovered," if you will, three things about the younger version of yours truly. A.) I had more energy than "river smarts" early on-- a source of concern for many of my elders --B.) that I was something of a "handful" when it came to keeping track of me, and C.) I was an eager student of anything "fly" or outdoor-related.

After a bit of due consideration about today's version of "the wild child," I came to these conclusions... in no particular order. That... A.) I still have bursts of unbridled energy that sometimes get me into trouble (though tempered somewhat by age and health); B.) Some of my fly-fishing "cronies," "my girls" and my oncologists still consider me a "handful" at times; and C.) I'll never be too old to learn something new about the outdoor pursuits that drive me on.

I guess that things haven't changed all that much over the last 50+ years... Jerry, aka hairwing530

hairwing530 03-11-2013 05:40 AM

Re: I Met Myself Last Night...
Personal reflections are curious things, as the "remember when's" of one's life can be akin to the properties of refracted light, oft times bending and shaping memories in ways that defy full explanation or appreciation on our part. Nearly at the mid-point of Journal #1 again, I find myself blessed with insights that run counter to my own perceptions of "the early years."

At one stage of my life, for example, I would have described my younger self as an "enthusiastic"-- spelled "head-strong" --kid with a nose for the best kind of trouble, and would have agreed that I was the root cause for much concern among my elders. Having read deeper into the words of the late Montgomery Jackson, however, my enthusiasm among those of the "seasoned" ilk was more often than not written off-- and accepted --as a "grand curiousity" with potential.

Coming on the heels of notations made earlier in Journal #1, it was an eye-opening description for yours truly, and a pleasant one, at that! Within the content of some 12-15 pages later , Mr. Montgomery Jackson continued to hold his rightful place beside me and those who went before... Jerry, aka hairwing530

Mrtrout 03-11-2013 04:39 PM

Re: I Met Myself Last Night...
A lovely story Jerry, no doubt you will still have Montgomery at your side for years to come whilst fishing.
My late father still fishes with me, and he passed away 15 years ago. ;)

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