My Dad made his living as a construction worker. Vacation days and expendable income didn’t come easy.
But in the summer of 1990, when a bass fishing obsessed kid begged his parents to take him to the Bassmaster Classic in Richmond, Virginia – they did.
We had a great time.
Actually … a Life changing time.
So the next summer, there was no doubt we’d go back to the Classic. It was in Baltimore – and my mentor, childhood hero, and a former groomsman in my wedding – Ken Cook – became the 1991 Bassmaster Classic Champion.
This afternoon – I got credentials to my 19th Classic as a fishing industry marketing dude, and then I walked across the street to the hotel sports bar for a late lunch.
I ordered a Miller Lite – that’s what Dad drank around the house growin up. And then I called the landline 1,345 miles away at the House That Built Me.
I said, “Dad, I just wanna take a minute to thank you. I just got credentials to my 19th Bassmaster Classic – and I’m certain I’d have never become a part of the fishing industry if you and Mom hadn’t agreed to take me to that first Classic as a fan back in 1990.”
Dad will turn a spry 81-years-old this weekend.
And still, the best piece of advice he ever gave me was this – “I Don’t Care What You Do for a Living, Just Promise Me You’ll Do Something You Love.”
“To everyone who helped pave my way. If it weren’t for you, I wouldn’t be here today. To all my friends, the girls, the broken hearts. All the critics, cynics and doubters. Y’all know who you are. Mom and Dad, and all your prayers. And those looking down from up there – I Didn’t Get Here Alone.” – Kenny Chesney