Nation: The determination of Daniel


Don Barone

Daniel Elsner on B.A.S.S. Nation Championship weigh-in stage.

“And when the night is cloudy…”

Dateline: To all the Nation members 

“The difference between the impossible and the possible lies in a man's determination.” ~Tommy Lasorda

Across the table from me sits a woman in love.

She is stirring a red drink with a white swizzle stick.

Her hair is brown, her lips are pinkish, her outfit is coordinated.

She is talking to me but she is looking to her left, my right, where sits the man she loves.

She is 45, he is 50, they have been married almost 25 years. I am not watching her, I am watching the swizzle stick in her hand.

Counter clockwise she stirs, it rotates first fast, then it starts to slow, slow, slow, and when it stops I look up into her eyes as she turns her gaze directly into my eyes.

“I got the call db, I got the horrible call.”

And the swizzle stick comes out of the drink and is placed gently on the white linen cloth covered dinner table, her empty hand reaches out, skims the linen as her head once again turns left.

I follow her hand and raise my eyes to the man on my right.

He sits quietly, soberly, he looks to her first, then to me, then back to her, what he says though is directed to me.

“I called home, told her I love you…”

“…then told me he had an accident…”

“…I told her I loved her because I thought I was dying.”

And with that one lone tear ran down his cheek and dropped into the white linen napkin in his lap.

The determination of Daniel…to live.

“…there is still a light that shines on me…”

“A dream doesn't become reality through magic; it takes sweat, determination and hard work.” ~Colin Powell

I want you to stare into the eyes of that man sitting in that boat.

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