Did you notice the past week how civil most
folks were? A little extra courtesy? Even
a lack of road rage as we witnessed on the
freeway traffic in southern California when
traffic just stopped and people got out of
their cars to pay honor to the funeral
procession headed to the Reagan Library - on
the California Freeway! Wow.
Actually I missed the 'quiet' when the whole
week of formal events ended.
Having spent 17 years as an Army wife, I may
be more aware of military traditions than some
of you, but I know we have a lot of veterans who
read FAOL, who also value the history and tradition
the past week's events represented. A state funeral
is a huge undertaking, and the Reagan family and
the U.S. government are to be congratulated for
how well everything was done. For the week, I
was proud to be an American.
The honors given to a former President Reagan are
the same as were given to Lyndon Johnson and John
Kennedy, except for the changes requested by
each remaining family in music, burial places and
timing, stand as 'tradition' and history as to how
this country honors it's former Presidents. We
hope we don't experience another state funeral any
time soon - but for me I do find it comforting.
It was also uplifting that for a week the country
came together and put aside the petty political
bickering which I personally find very distasteful
and tacky. (Well, there were a few who seemed to
have been born in a barn, and my grandmother would
have given them a look which would have made them
wish there were turned into stone, or salt.)
I do not believe there is something called 'closure'
when it comes to death of a loved one - but publicly
showing honor goes a long way.
I know my personal beliefs about common courtesy,
manners, ethics and morality may chafe some.
Especially in a society where 'everything' is ok.
Well, everything isn't ok.
Some of our readers have commented about the lack
of common sense, much less manners, which one of
our panfish writers, Rick runs into on a fairly
regular basis. In one of his upcoming columns,
he is packing up to leave and a guy comes along
and literally tries to take Rick's rod out of his
hands - saying he isn't catching anything and Rick
should 'give' it to him.
There have also been some comments about bad behavior
on streams, walking or taking a boat through where
someone else is fishing. We have that out here too,
unfortunately it is often the guides with driftboats
causing the problem!
Why is that happening? Why do we allow people to
get away with it? Political correctness gone amuck?
People who abuse the privilege of fishing or using
our streams really know better. (I think they
really do) but they just aren't going to play by
Would a psychologist say these people have really
low self-esteem, and they 'act-out' to make
themselves more important? Maybe. Maybe they
don't have an sense of honor. You've seen it.
In fact, I stopped watching major league football
when the players were blowing big pink bubbles of
gum during the National Anthem.
Oh yes, I darn well did notice men removing their
hats, or saluting, or bowing their heads, or putting
their hand over their heart when the flag passed
by this week. Not a bubble-gum popper in the
I suspect these aren't the folks who are trashing
our streams, can't bother to haul out what they
I am not excusing bad behavior of people who
disrespect our steams or other anglers - nor
am I in any way suggesting they belong to any
particular political party or fish with worms.
(Excuse me, I fished with worms.) I certainly
am not excusing the person who runs their boat
into your fishing hole because you are catching
fish and they aren't. Or any of the unthinking,
discourteous behavior which we see. There simply
isn't any excuse at all.
My column last week had to do with Touchstones - how
we are all connected to every other fly fisher who
ever lived. And I do mean every fly fisher, we too
walk in Walton's footsteps - even 'tho we may not
have fished the north country streams he fished.
As we gain knowledge in fly fishing it becomes all
the more true how little we really know at all...and
how much those before us knew - or didn't.
As fly fishers we have available to us tradition
which has been established from almost the very
beginning of our sport. That some things are
'sporting' and some are not. In duck hunters
terms, you don't shoot a sitting duck. Part of
that tradition is following the law, doing the
right thing even if no one is watching - because
doing the right thing doesn't have to be excused.
Being an honorable person means you know what honor is.
This past week was a lesson in honor. ~ DLB
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