Do Unto. . .Do Unto. . .
"There's nothing you can do that can't be done…"
By Don Barone
For the better part of 15 ½ hours yesterday, for the better part of 774 miles yesterday, for way too long yesterday, I drove, shaken.
As I drove through the wounded countryside. As I drove through flatland where towns used to be. As I drove through miles and miles of an inland sea where farms used to be. As I drove through miles and miles of concrete steps, where homes used to be.
I never left America.
"…nothing you can sing that can't be sung…."
Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, Mississippi, Arkansas all beaten by Mother Nature's wicked stick. Let me tell you, if you have not driven through this part of the country, don't even think of coming here and just looking at it. If you come here, you best be bringing some help for these people with you. If you have not looked out from your air conditioned vehicle window, you need to know these people have been THUMPED.
Don't be sitting back and thinking, "Not my state, not my problem, those folks can take care of themselves." Normally yes, these are some of the most God-fearing, neighbor-helping-neighbor-we-got-this-thanks, people on the planet.
But not this time.
Neighbors can't help neighbors when neither ONE of them have anything left. You can't take care of kin, when none of your kin has anything to give.
I saw a path where the violence from the sky seared the earth, took Mama's house first, then the oldest boy’s house next, then the sister’s house, even Grandpa's place was scattered over a mile from where he last left it.
But nothing has touched me as much as a nine year old child I met in Cullman, Alabama.
I will not name him. I will not show his face. Even if his parents tell me it is okay. I will do neither until HE tells me it is okay.
By God if everything has been taken from him, I will not take his dignity as well.
"…nothing you can make that can't be made…"
This child and his family have lost about everything they once had. I'm told that the schools are now open once again, but that sometimes while there, he just breaks down crying.
I thought about that over and over again for over 700 miles.
And I'm going to tell you the exact thought that kept going through my mind: "Almost everything the child once had, once cherished…IS GONE. Clothes, books, toys…but know this as well…so is everything of the thing he loved to do most.
All his rods, all his reels, the tackle box his parents gave him, the lures his Grandfather passed on to him, the reel of line he saved up for and bought at the local general store, which is also now gone as well.
Violence sprang from the sky and took with it his childhood; took with it the one activity he had to escape.
And we need to give it back.
To this child.
To all the children of the area who grew up with a love of fishing, but who now can't.
Help me put a rod back in their hands. Help me put a reel twirling once again under their thumb. Help me bring the children back to the lakes, and away from the destruction behind them.
Help me dry their tears. This one young child's tears.
If you have a rod you are not using. If you have a reel you are not using. Lures, string, or a few extra bucks to spare - help me put a Bass back in the hands of the children.
Hang with me a bit as I talk to some people on how to pull off the logistics of this, but my goal - and if you fish with your child, should be your goal as well - is to give back to the young angler what the tornado took away.
You may think I have no dog in this fight. I don't live where the violence took place. I don't fish with a child. And on those counts, you would be right.
But I am a dad, I am a human…and if you are those...
Help me get the kids back to the peace of the lake, and away from the violence from the sky.
I'll be back with details soon.
"…no one you can save that can't be saved."
All You Need Is Love
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