Keeping Score

Don Oliver

It’s Christmas time, again. Once, it was my least favorite time of the year. But with the creation of the Wild Bunch, it has become my absolute favorite time of the year. With the arrival of Christmas comes the invariable “want list.” I’ve discovered it is hard to ask for something when I already have so much. In fact, I told SWMBO to tell everybody not to give me anything I can wear. I already have enough jeans and fly fishing shirts. After all, they go with everything.

To verify that I already have received so much in past years, I looked up several of my previous Christmas columns to see how I made out. Those three Christmas columns, from the past, had me asking for 15 items. I divided the 15 wants into two areas, yep and nope. The count went 10 yeps, and 5 nopes. Of the 5 nopes, one will go to the yep column this coming year. I will get a fly fishing helper in 2020. And the other four will forever be in the nope column.  World peace, the end of hunger, good politicians, and Denver T.V. will forever be unobtainable. All-in-all, not a bad return on my previous wish lists.

So, what to ask for this Christmas was problematic. That was until I remembered I had fly fishing stuff that the Wild Bunch might like to have at some point in their lives. So, I decided to let the Wild Bunch know that it is time for some of them to start fly fishing. A couple of them have played around at fly fishing, but now is the time to get serious about it. To add incentive to my want list, I am suppling them with a detailed inventory of all my fly fishing gear. I am also letting them know that all my gear is up for grabs when one or all start fly fishing on a regular basis. Of course, it will help if Grumps is invited along to watch. If one of the bunch just doesn’t want to fly fish, he or she needs to remember that Grumps has a bass boat, and could use help in driving said boat. Bribery of grandchildren is a wonderful thing.

That’s all I need. So, what can I give? I need to give more of the T’s (time, talent, and treasure), to non-profits that use fly fishing in their programs. Really not just non-profits. I know it sounds corny, but I have found fly fishing to be a great opportunity to help those in need of not just the “T’s” but other wants they may have. To accomplish that all I have to do is be aware of the wants and needs of others, then dial the phone, send an email, or text someone who would benefit from a day of fly fishing. Or, if on a stream is there someone in need of a steadying hand to help with some balance? How about a new fly fisherman struggling with his or her cast, or a new friend in need of a fly. That is all doable

So, in closing, I will once again leave you with my annual politically incorrect statement. I wish everyone Felize Navid, Happy Hanukkah, a good Eid al-Adha, and of course Merry Christmas. If none of these fits your beliefs, then may whatever touches you heart with hope be with you all of 2020.

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