I have been the recipient of several rods and reels that people have handed down to me over the years. These are not just rods to me; they are also holders of memories of the people that gave them to me. Recently I was given a rod and reel by the widow of one of the Outer Banks Anglers Club members who passed away. Her husband was Reynolds “Reyn” Smith Jr., who passed away last September. Mrs. Smith said she knew her husband would want me to have it. There is a story behind this rod and reel that began many years back when I was a freshman in high school, and I attended the annual Outer Banks Anglers Club Award Banquet. At every banquet there is a Rod and Reel Combo that is raffled and the number is drawn at the end of the evening. My Dad bought me tickets that night, and I really wanted to win that rod and reel. However fate was not with me that night,and Mr. Smith was the winner of the rod and reel. Mrs. Smith said she remembered me coming up to her and her husband and me admiring the rod and reel. While I was disappointed I didn’t win it, I was glad someone won it who shared the same passion for fishing as I did.
As fate would have it, this would not be the last time I saw this rod and reel. My Dad called me at school in Raleigh and said he had a surprise for me. He told me that he was contacted by Mrs. Mary Smith who was coming down from New Jersey to pack all the things in their condo in Manteo because she was selling it. She told Dad she had something she wanted me to have. He met her at her condo and she gave him the rod and reel along with a nice note for me. Later that week when I arrived home, Dad presented me with the letter from Mrs. Smith and then the rod and reel. I remembered it as soon as I saw it, and I was so honored to be entrusted with it. Everytime I use that rod and reel, I will have the memory of Mr. Smith and how he loved and enjoyed fishing. As you see, a piece of fishing equipment can be more than just that– it can be the gateway to a person’s memories.
This national situation we have been dealing with over the past few months has altered the way we all live. One thing that has been a constant is that we are experiencing things we have never experienced before. One of the annual events we usually have on the Outer Banks is the Annual Fritz Boyden Youth Fishing Tournament. This year was going to be the 50th anniversary of the tournament but that will have to wait until next year. Let us all hope we can get outside and get back to fishing very soon!
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