When Paul and I first started talking about the possibility of me writing a weekly Front Page, I honestly had no idea where this would all end up. In fact, a lot of days I still don't! I wasn't even sure that I could come up with enough content to hold anyone's attention, or keep you folks even remotely entertained. I will say however that after over two decades of being involved in the outdoors industry, writing these weekly Front Pages has been one of the most enjoyable experiences of my "other" career.
Just last week I was discussing with some colleagues the fact that by far, the most rewarding aspect of my career in angling has been the friends that I have been fortunate to make. When I think back to what life was like in 1996, I simply can't imagine what my life would be like now, had I not decided to allow my career path to take a 90 degree detour into the world of fishing. Granted it hasn't always been pleasant...sometimes it's been frustrating, and sometimes it's been downright damned difficult. But, when I think of the people I now have in my life because of the opportunities I've been given from fishing, any bad memories I may have simply dissolve into thin air.
A perfect example of this happened earlier in the year. Recently I got back in touch with an old High School friend of mine named Kent McCaslin. Its been close to 30 years since the last time I saw Kent, and I am pretty sure neither of us really remember much about that interaction. Not necessarily because it wasn't eventful, or because of the amount of time that has passed since then. Highly more likely it is because it involved an obscene amount high octane adult beverages consumed on both of our parts under circumstances which arent really fit to discuss in polite company. Anyway, we recently figured out that unbeknownst to the both of us, we both have shared a passion for fishing since we were young men. And ironically enough, neither of us were aware of this during the four years we spent together in high school. Kent sent me a message through social media recently that said "I have so many great memories of hunting and fishing growing up. You're writing often stirs those memories and I really appreciate that". I don't think I adequately expressed my gratitude to Kent at the time, so let me say now Kent how much that means to me, and how much I appreciate you being willing to say that. Words like that are what every writer wants, and needs to hear.
Writing for Sexyloops this last year has been a very cathartic experience. Not only has it been a lot of fun revisiting so many of the great experiences I've had in my life because of this sport, but also very gratifying because I am able to share them with such a wide audience with such varied backgrounds. And, the fact that you guys enjoy reading them, and in some way can relate to them has been rewarding in a way that I simply can't express. I am really looking forward to seeing what 2020 holds. I have a lot more I want to share with all of you, but in the meantime, I just want to say how much I appreciate Paul giving me this opportunity, and all of you for making 2019 such an epic year for me.
I hope you all have a great week, and a wonderful holiday season!