I had the privilege earlier this month to spend a couple days on a shoal island in the middle of the Laguna Madre with Brandon and few other folks. The idea was to chase redfish and speckled trout and generally chill under the coastal Texas sun while enjoying a group of new friends, throwing down some adult beverages and generally dropping off the face of the earth for a time.
All the missions were accomplished--some more completely than others. But Brandon rolled with some late changes, served up some outstanding food and made a host of new friends feel like old friends over the course of just two days.
The highest praise? I'd fish with Brandon any time. And I hope I get the chance--the dude is a full-on fly fishing addict, and his heart's in the right place. He's the kind of fly fisherman the world needs so that one day, there'll be more fly fishermen.
Thanks for the hospitality, Brandon... There's a guest room in Idaho with your name on it, my friend. On with the questions:
What is your idea of perfect happiness?
|The dream girl|
Which historical figure do you most identify with?
I am not sure that I identify so much as respect and admire. For that, I turn to Audie Murphy, dude is the definition of badass. When Chuck Norris dreams of Audie Murphy, he wakes up breathless in a shivering sweat.
Which living person do you most admire?
This is a very hard to answer. I admire a lot of people for a myriad of reasons. Ivan for his shooting and editing skills, Erin for the magic in my brain when I read her work, Cam for the initiative to single-handedly bring back a style of fishing that was all but lost, or Kugler for her networking skill… among others. I think my Dad comes out on top though, what he did as a Father, and the personal ethics he quietly lives by make him a man on a level we should all be aiming at.
What is the trait you most deplore in others?
Hypocrisy. Trailing behind in a very, very close second is whatever trait causes people to glorify trashy/tacky/ignorant behavior.
On what occasion do you lie?
I REALLY try not to. I think I do pretty well, although there are times where I know people wish I would.
|Is this so tough, people?|
Whatever person left the toilet roll upside down. In this modern society, who doesn’t install a new roll with “over-the-top” distribution capabilities?
What is your greatest regret?
Regretting things just drags you down, but whenever I hear about someone who discovered fly-fishing in their ‘teens (or earlier) I feel a slight pang of jealous mixed with a little sadness that I didn’t discover this earlier.
What or who is the greatest love of your life?
The greatest “What” in my life currently is fly fishing, it’s an all-consuming pastime that blurs the line between hobby and lifestyle; I really dig that aspect. The greatest “Who” in my life is a bit tougher… Rebekah is the proverbial “one that got away," Erin and Whitney were strong high-school crushes that I never had a shot with... Paula was the first girl I thought I was going to marry… Actually, I hope that I haven’t had my greatest “who” love of my life yet; I don’t want to have a life that reads like a Nicholas Sparks’ novel.
Which talent would you most like to have?
I would almost kill or make a scratchy deal near an intersection in Clarskdale; to have the ability to play the Dobro.
What do you consider your greatest achievement?
Making it through a Nicholas Sparks’ book? All kidding aside, my Military service is the shoe-in on this one. I joined pre-9/11 and served with some of the finest people this country has to offer. It is a huge part of how I identify myself.
If you were to die and come back as a person or thing, what do you think it would be?
Sandra Bullock’s bicycle seat?
Where would you like to live?
Next up is Colorado, they have warm-water fishing, and enough people fly fish that I won’t be an oddity. (Colorado? It's nice... but Idaho... that's what Colorado was like 30 years ago. -ed)
Who are your favorite writers?
Erin Block, Larry McMurtry, and Louis L’amour.
|The infamous Circus Peanut|
In fly-fishing it is Kelly Galloup; this is solely based on his flies. He has big streamer fishing figured out, and I like that. In the rest of the world, my heroes are all United States Military Veterans. With special reverence to the Vietnam Veterans; welcome home guys.
If you were a pet, what would your name be?
What would your profession be if you couldn’t do what you do now?
I think it would be fun to work in or own a fly shop. I have zero desire to guide, but interacting with customers and making friends that are as entwined by the possessive devil that is fly-fishing as I am? That sounds like a good fallback.
In three words, how would your closest friends describe you?
Funny, caring, and cheap. Not cheap like, “That guy somehow always forgets his wallet”, but like “That guy would totally be interested in a $20 fly rod.”
|The rich man's Cutlass...|
My Dad’s ’87 Cadillac Coupe DeVille. I totaled it, it totaled my nose, but I truly loved that car. Just don’t tell my Jeep… She gets jealous.
What’s your favorite guilty pleasure?
Romantic comedies. I can’t help it. Especially ones with Sandra Bullock in them.
What’s the closest you’ve ever been to dying?
Any time I approach a pretty girl in a bar. Other than that, I have not really had a “near-death” experience, but I have made some stupid choices. Storm-chasing in Wichita Falls is a good example of that. Dating a LtCol who was also JAG Staff is another.
BONUS QUESTION: If you could go back in time, what year would you visit first?
Toss-up. Either I would go back to see the Southern Appalachians before whitey spoiled it or back to high school to tell my younger self that the girl who came to visit me after my car wreck did-in-fact have a crush on me; before I blew it. Nope, screw that. Back to the Appalachians; guaranteed if I managed to hook up with that chick I would have NEVER discovered fly-fishing.