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Check Out Our Online Auction

Help support On River Time and get great deals. Starting on May 10, 2013, On River Time will be auctioning off a number of exciting trips and merchandise to bid on to raise money for our organization. Check out some of the amazing items listed below and visit our auction website to learn more.

  •     Two Fly-Fishing Trips at The Snake River in Idaho at an Orvis-endorsed Lodge with Professional Guides
  •     Four Luxury Suite Tickets to a New Orleans Saints Games
  •     A New York Weekend Getaway
  •     A Duck Hunting Lodge Trip at The Mallard Lodge
  •     A Weekend Golf Outing at Shoal Creek
  •     A Professional Financial Review

http://www.biddingforgood.com/onrivertime

 

Founder Steve Davis Inspired by Wounded Warriors

Over the weekend of January 26th, I had the honor of attending a Wounded Warrior event, hosted by Swett & Crawford, and arranged through Air Power, a foundation that supports our military and their families.

It was a weekend that changed my life. We welcomed home fifty-five men and women from Iraq and Afghanistan, many of them suffering from burns and being pushed in wheelchairs. However, it wasn’t their infirmities that touched me, but their attitudes and their character that they proudly displayed. These men and women, and their families, gave the ultimate sacrifice, and for that, we are truly blessed.

With Gary Sinise and John Ratzenberger speaking to the crowd gathered, I could feel the love of country these special Americans held for all of us at home.

And with that, I felt humbled and drawn to my knees, thanking God for these that returned, and the ones who didn’t.

Afterwards, I decided that On River Time would host a Wounded Warrior, father or mother and their child, this summer with our fly fishing adventure. To give them a smile and the experience of the river seemed the very least I could do. Help as you can.

It’s the least we can all do.

Day One

September 30, 2012
1:50pm

Robert and I are waiting at Jackson Hole airport. We’re excited to meet John, Brodie, and the two boys flying in from Big Oak Ranch in Alabama. The plane is parked and folks are filing through the main doors, one by one. John and Brodie Croyle, two men well over six feet, should be easy to spot, so we tuned our eyes to anyone stooping through the tall door frame.

After a few minutes, they step into baggage claim. Oddly, it wasn’t their height that clued us in; it was the smiles glued to their four faces like an early Christmas morning. We shake hands, hug and introduce the crew all around. The boys, Houston and Gilbert, seem excited. I actually think they might try to cast a line right in the airport lobby.

We divide up in the SUVs and start over the pass between Wyoming and Idaho. John and I lead, while the rest followed. At the top of the pass, we pull over for a quick photo op with the valley beneath us. It is a spectacular day, sunny, crisp with a scent of cottonwoods in the air.

The two boys, fourteen years of age, dash to the sign that divides Idaho and Wyoming. Standing on each side, they yell. “We’ve never been out of Alabama, and here we are… straddling two states at once.”

Arriving at the Lodge, we help everyone get sorted and settled. A bit later, we meet back at the outdoor deck that overlooks the property, gobbling sandwiches, while Justin Hays, the manager of the Lodge, gives the run-down on the Lodge history and the Snake River. The boys listened like players in a huddle.

A pick-up truck drives through the gate and parks beneath the tall cottonwoods, and a man and young boy step out.

A father and son. Our third boy for the trip.

Rayna meets them and introduces herself and ushers them to where we are sitting. Everyone stands, introduces themselves, and Rylee, the young eleven year old, removes his cap as a sign of respect.

He dons a newly cut Mohawk!

We all laugh and take turns touching the bushy tail like it might be a good luck charm on the river.

From that moment, Houston, Gilbert and Rylee became fast friends. They tangled up at the casting pond as Justin, Shade and Rolle gave casting instructions in preparation for tomorrow’s first day of fishing. Three teachers, three methods. Justin preferred the “Bible under the arm-pit” look to keep the elbow in. Shade was all about accelerating the forward cast, and Rolle reinforced the back-cast speed. All three instructors dodged the “live-flies” swirling about the casting pond. Houston pulls in the first “pet rainbow” and high-fives Shade. That particular fish grew several inches a day as Houston retold his “first fish” catch. By the time he left, that foot-long rainbow grew to a thirty-inch monster. Hey, that’s what fishermen do.

As the line from Forrest Gump reminds us, “life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get,” I watched from a distance as the dynamics of the group settled in. We learned about the challenges and the blessings of these three kids, and I felt a tug deep down inside me.

Sometimes life gives us far more than we ever expected… or ever deserved.

And for that, I am truly thankful.

3 Office Park Circle, Suite 240, Birmingham, AL 35223  |  205.382.4568