April 2020 President’s Message
Back in December 2019 I did my last of 53 monthly articles called My Two Cents. I took this over for Ed Rapisardi who did over 50 articles for the club called Lessons Learned.
Now that I am president and have other duties I thought it would be best to pass this on to others. In January Art Palmer did a great article on bamboo fly rods. This month Mike Carragher sent me
his article which he calls Random Thoughts. His article really describes what our club is all about. After I read it the only thing I could think was, Mike you really hit this one out of the park.
Because of all that’s going on over the last few weeks and in the world I wanted to make sure everyone who looks at our website can read his thoughts. That is why I put it in my president’s message. Remember when you read this why we all need to be
extra cautious because we have a number of great members who are at high risk for this darn virus.
Random Thoughts by Mike Carragher
Coronavirus and Back from the Brink
Upon taking the reins as president of the Tri County Fly Fishers, Dr. Bob Heinbach asked if any
volunteers would like to take over his monthly column My Two Cents, which Ed Rapisardi and
Bob wrote over several years. I told Bob that I would be happy to contribute a column or two,
but not under the My Two Cents heading. I do not have the knowledge or technical skills to
attempt what they so easily provided. So, with Bob’s agreement, I’m going to attempt columns
under the heading of Random Thoughts. Somehow, these thoughts will be within the realm of fly
fishing but may also drag along subjects such as nautical adventures, Civil War history, U.S.
presidents, fly fishing literature and wherever else my mind may wander.
This Coronavirus scare has got me thinking, which my wife Chris sometimes says is not a good
thing for me to do. Just ask her about my recent dumpster-diving adventure if you’d like
Four years ago, I was facing a severe health crisis. My liver had failed due to a hepatitis
infection, encephalopathy had set in, and my brain had shut down. In short, I was a mess. By the
grace of God, an unexpected donor liver transplant became available to me while I was at UF
Shands Hospital in Gainesville for a scheduled checkup. As Dr. Bob likes to say, right
place…right time. I came out of it with a healthier liver and a very compromised immune
system. I tell you this only for a little perspective and not for any sympathy. As my dad would
always tell us growing up, “Quit your crying and rub dirt on it”.
Recently, when the TCFF board was deliberating shutting down all activities for April and May,
I was not a big fan of it. I even volunteered to come to the gatherings in a bubble-boy inflated
outfit, which I don’t think was well received by the other board members. I selfishly made that
offer because of what this club means to me, and how I feel joining it was instrumental in
bringing me back, and keeping me back, from the brink.
Shortly after I came home from my transplant operation, I was having lunch with an old college
track buddy of mine who is the Oregon regional director for Wounded Warriors. We hadn’t seen
each other since college; after graduation, he went to Vietnam with the Army and I went
yachting in the Middle East with the Navy. CLICK ON MIKE'S PICTURE ABOVE TO READ MORE