It’s always an adventure when I pull up to a gas station to fill up my boat. Half of the time, maybe even more, I’ll see someone slowly gravitate to my boat, eyes fixated, as the light in their eyes grows brighter! You can clearly see that a boat, and fishing, means something special to them, something they want to talk about in most cases.
The conversation usually begins with them saying something like, “I sure like your boat!” or “Are you going fishing?” Since the poles are sticking up in the boat, I’ll typically go with something like, “Naw, I just carry all those rods around to impress other fisherman!” Of course, they laugh, and then it’s on! It’s their turn to share their story with me, and I try to listen and ask some questions about the real story behind the story to learn more about why they came over to talk.
They usually always want to tell you, since it’s the chance they have to be appreciated and to relive their dream with someone who cares. It may be just a brief encounter at the gas station, but I find that for most folks it’s an oasis of hope – a brief, but important, escape from day-to-day reality. It represents better times from the past or a dream for the future they are drawn toward!
We had connected far deeper than you would ever guess was possible in just a few moments of a chance meeting.
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“Yeah, my father and I had a small boat and you should have seen the big trout we caught out of it! He passed away last year, but he always loved fishing! I intend to get back out there someday soon. I loved it. We had a great time!” He gushed!
Yes, over time I have come to understand that my boat represented something bigger and much more special to that man than just a mere vessel. Talking about my boat was never about how nice it was; it was all about reliving something precious to that person they carried deep within.
After these brief conversations, I could see that the person was usually more relaxed and smiling. They had successfully shared a precious nugget of their life with someone who appreciated and affirmed their dream. Maybe we didn’t know each other and never would beyond this chance meeting, but one of the great mysteries of life had just occurred; we had connected far deeper than you would ever guess in just moments.
People are looking for someone, anyone, who they feel understands their dreams. Be that person.
I knew pretty closely what made him tick, and he had shared a fragile but important part of who he was with a complete stranger! His friends probably didn’t know any of this about him, but I did! I’ve had the chance to encourage many of these folks, too.
I’ve met some incredible folks at the gas pumps who I can see are hurting from life’s problems. They want to have someone lift their burden just a little bit so they can go on with life and a dream. We have so much dissension, political correctness and bad news lately that it’s an incredible thing when we are able to serve others that need our touch and attention and share a dose of excitement.
I’ve said it before, we take what we do for granted, but we shouldn’t. My random encounters have shown me that people are looking for someone, anyone, who they feel understands their dreams. Be that person.
I watch folks walk away after we talk and I can see that they have been lifted up by talking about their dreams. I’m always amazed. Who would have thought that the gas station, of all places, would be where we could help folks. Our sport is special. Share your blessings! Never give up!
“Striperfest” coming – I’ll be doing two seminars (downrigging basics and striper set-ups lures, tactics ) along with local expert Don Kellogg on aqueduct fishing at “Striperfest” on Oct. 21 at Sportsman’s Warehouse on Friant Road in Fresno.
Lowrance expert Edd Allen will cover correctly using and reading sonar. Preregistration for seating is available through sportsmanswarehouse.com or call 261-2900. There will be giveaways and vendors at the event.
Roger George is The Bee’s fishing expert. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org,