"Every day we try to find…"
Dateline: Here & There
Last week, I went back in time.
Me and my wife Barb.
Rode a time machine , south, I-95.
Started out in 2011…took a highway exit, ended up in 1745…thereabouts.
Colonial Williamsburg. Virginia somewhere. The trip, a Christmas gift from our son, Jimmy.
So you know me, know where it is I come from: I'm a history buff, yep. Not all history of course what with me having trouble remembering where it was I put the 4Runner keys.
While I think all history is important, ancient history, pre-history, The Big Bang, yesterday…no history is more important to me than OUR history.
The history of us.
Or to be more correct…the history of us…A.
United States of America. The soil beneath my feet, your feet.
And of this communal history we have together, none of it is more important to me then the history that began when just regular old arse us picked up rifles and stood at a bridge and faced an invading army…and said no.
Said enough already.
Said, none of us are kings, and all of us are kings.
Everyone one of us.
Said, The United States of America…begins right here.
North Bridge, Concord, Massachusettes.
About 500 of us…just regular us like you and me, town folk, rural folk, working dudes, tradesmen, merchants, farmers, teachers.
Me & you.
All of us stand on the backs of those 500 who faced down the most powerful army on the planet at that time…Three companies of soldiers who were paid by a King.
Know this…not a one of those 500 were paid.
They just did what they knew to be right…knew that if this new thing that was about to be a country was going to work…it could only work one way.
It could only begin one way.
Unique in all the world, this new country.
Knew, that for it to be really new it could only be started one way, with one simple, enormous word.
"We The People…"
"…search our hearts and our minds…"
Know me from where it is I come, from where it is I am: I live 2 hours and 8 minutes from North Bridge.
I live in a town founded in 1645.
A town here in America 142 years before "We The People…" hit parchment.
There are homes in this town built in the 1600's…and they are still being lived in. There are people in this town who are direct descendents of the folks who shoved off one shore looking for freedom and who found it on this shore.
Great, great, great somethings of the Pilgrims live within a few blocks of me. And not just one dude…several.
Once a year I always try to drive the 2 hours and 8 minutes…park in a gravel parking lot and walk across the street…and walk over the North Bridge…and imagine.
Imagine the fear, try to ingest that fear.
Imagine the courage, try to ingest that courage.
Hallowed ground, this to me, certainly for the battle that took place here, the US who fell here, but also hallowed ground because of the idea that took root here…freedom.
While walking the real and make believe streets of Colonial Williamsburg, part history, part Disneyesque, Barb asked me why it was I was so enamored of Colonial American History.
We were waiting to have dinner in a tavern built in 1745, all around us people in 18th century clothing walked the streets, homemade Christmas wreaths were hung on every colonial home door, a town meeting reenactment was being held down the street, during a candle light dinner we could look outside through wavy panes of glass as the Fifes & Drums of the Field Music of the Virginia State Garrison Regiment marched by in 1775 uniforms, their way lit by torches.
After thinking about what Barb asked, I told her, "Everything we have is based on what the people in Colonial times did."
"My career…Fredom of the Press…thanks to them."
That's what I told Barb but in the days since that question has been banging around up top, you know one of those things you can't get out of your mind.
Today though, alone, at 4:45AM EST…this morning I realized the real answer, the answer I should have told Barb.
The answer she will get the first time she reads this.
The answer you will get when you read this.
The answer you need to know me.
The answer came while writing a check.
A check to Wright & McGill Company out of Denver, Colorado for massively discounted kids fishing rod & reels.A check for 40 cartons.
600 Rods & Reels.
For 600 children affected by the next storm.
My answer to Barb should have been this…there is a Freedom we have not much mentioned…a Freedom so unique, so special that Norman Rockwell's series of paintings, "The Four Freedoms," should have been Five Freedoms.
It is the Freedom to Serve.
It is the Freedom To Serve…each other.
It is the Freedom To Serve…We The People.
Instead of serving, Me The King.
"…have no envy and no fear…"
Very shortly, 40 boxes, boxes just like these being unloaded last July in Cullman, Alabama, very soon 40 boxes, 600 kid combo rods and reels, will be unloaded in warehouse space donated by my friend Jeff Martin, the head dude at Viscous Fishing.
Those 600 magic wands of childhood will join another 200 kid combos donated by B.A.S.S. Emcee, and host of "Facts of Fishing," Dave Mercer.
Add to that another 200 or so combos donated by my friend, Bassmaster Classic Winner, B.A.S.S AOY Winner, Skeet Reese (also a Member of the Board of Tackle The Storm foundation).
Add to that another bunch of the combos donated by Wright & McGill.
Add to that a bunch of tee shirts donated by Costa Del Mar.
Add to that dozens and dozens of other donations by bait companies big and small…dozens of donations by just regular folks…a box here, an envelop there.
Add all that up…and it is not we who have done this, but YOU…you who have purchased Tackle The Storm Decals…you B.A.S.S. Elite anglers, you FLW Pro Anglers, you College Fishing Team anglers, you Weekend Series anglers who graciously donated your signed tournament jerseys to be auctioned on Ebay, you anglers in Bass boats, you anglers on docks, you anglers on the shore who bought the jerseys, who just hit the donation button on the foundation website…you did this.
Because of you, if, or unfortunately, WHEN the next storm comes from out of the sky…this time we will be ready…we will at least have a head start.
Because of you, all of you, when the time comes after the storm, you have provided the rainbow.
One Thousand One Hundred Rods & Reels.
For ONE THOUSAND ONE HUNDRED kids.
Some 225 years ago in Colonial Philadelphia…1787 to be exact…a bunch of us sat down and talked about a bunch of stuff…fought amongst ourselves…much give, much take. Brand new ideas, whispered, brand new ideas shouted.
Talk of government, talk of land, talk of property, debate, this and that.
And when the dust settled, with all the words in the English language available to them, with all the ideas of a new land in front of them, with all the new ways to do things about to be put to paper, with all that they began us with just three simple words…
Not "Those People…"
The Family, Of Us.
"…some are scared to fly so highwell this is how we have to try."
No Envy No FearJoshua Radin
Find Don on Facebook