Like a lot of folks, I've contributed to a few fund raising efforts in the past. I've donated time, money, goods and services to some deserving, at least in my mind they are deserving, causes including:
- Vanderbilt Children's Hospital
- St. Jude Children's Research Hospital
- Ronald McDonald House Charities
- Goodwill Industries International
- Salvation Army
- Casting For Recovery
- The US Youth Fly Fishing Team (Hello Weston) and even
- The Rialto Theater Restoration Project in Deer Lodge, Montana.
On The Road Again-Montana. Montana is where this idea was born. Wait, that's not true. This idea was actually born in New Mexico, when I stopped at my father's little place there on my way back to Tennessee from Montana.
I spend the summers in Montana working as a fly fishing guide. Sometime, before Thanksgiving, I get in the truck, point it southeast and head back to my other home, just outside of Nashville, Tennessee to spend the winter with family and friends.
When I pulled out of my driveway in Montana this year, instead of driving straight southeast as possible, I took a detour and headed mostly south first. I stopped along the way to see family and friends scattered about New Mexico and Texas before I made a sharp turn east and hightailed it for the Rocky Top Territory.
Stop To Smell The Roses-One of those must do, very important stops in New Mexico, if I'm passing through anywhere within a day's drive (which is just about everywhere in New Mexico) is always a stop to visit with my father. I always look forward to it, even though the closer I get to his place the more the anxiety seems to pile up.
Once there I relax and am glad I'm back in those familiar surroundings, talking to him, asking questions, catching up best I can. You know, all the stuff you talk to your Dad about when you haven't been around him for a while. I was talking to him like there was no tomorrow. Running off at the mouth about 90 to nothin'.
I'd been there for an hour or so just going non-stop and somehow the subject of the charity work came up. I was telling him how I wanted to work on a fundraiser during my winter in Tennessee.
I was telling him that some of my fishing friends and I had been talking about having a weekend on the Caney Fork River in Tennessee. We'd spend it fly fishing and camping with campfires and cookouts and live music and poets and storytelling and somehow we wanted it to benefit some charity that we could all get behind and support.
I looked down at him and that's when I knew. Standing right there, I looked him in the eye and knew that I wanted the beneficiary of our efforts to be Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing Inc.
Born Identity-In the coming posts you'll learn about the many others that are joining this project. Some family, some neighbors, some friends. Some neighbors and friends that are like family. Some Nabours that are family.
Some ideas take a long time to develop. I guess we could say this idea was born in 1944. Thanks for the idea, Dad, it was good talking to you.
Post Script-Like Kevin Welch said in a song (and I can't, for the life of me, remember them exactly but it was really close to this) "There'll be two dates on your tombstone, and all your friends will read 'em, but the only thing that matters is the little dash between 'em"
I hope you'll join us during our dash on this project.