Sunday, December 21, 2008

I will miss Dick Cheney, Part II

Part I


Webutante said...

I too will miss Dick Cheney.

A while back, before he was VP but after his tenure as Secretary of Defense, I had the pleasure of having breakfast with him early one morning in Jackson, WY. We were both fishing in a contest called the JH One Fly and it was the morning of the second day (of two days.) With the two of us was one of my tea mates named Joan Wulff one of the finest and most famous female fisherman in the country.

Anyway, it turns out that Joan had unwittingly broken one of the most stringent rules of the contest the day before (all participants must debarb his or her hooks to make it harder to catch and play a fish.) Joan had thought her guide had done the debarbing for her and the guide assumed that she was such a professional that she had done the debarbing herself.

The upshot was that Joan had caught several big fish the previous day on a barbed hook and they needed to be disqualified. While we ate breakfast, the head of the contest, a man named Jack Dennis, came running up to the table bowing and scraping and telling Joan he had heard about her blunder and thought her score the day before should be left alone and not disqualified. Joan protested. But Jack was firm that she didn't need to worry herself with a little rule like that.

When Jack walked away, Joan turned to us and said, "What do you think? Should I count those fish I caught on a barbed hook yesterday or not?"

Dick and I both nodded our heads in unison and agreed that she could not count her yesterday's fish. He, Dick, was adamant that there was no reason she should be exempt from the rules of the game just because she was well-known. I concurred and told her she must make sure as my teammate that we didn't scored those fish.

I always liked Cheney after that and thought he was unflinching in his right call.

He's a top notch man will be greatly missed when he leaves his command in January. I hope he'll have many great days of fly fishing. Lynne takes great care of him and so I bet he does.

gcotharn said...

Thanks for sharing that.

When I was a younger adult, I began playing golf with a friend who followed every rule and counted every stroke. I'd never played with anyone who did that. I was ignorant of all but the very most basic rules. However, as I was bound by my own code to not take scoring advantage of my playing partner, I began to learn the rules more thoroughly, and I began to count every single stroke which the rules stipulate. In the very beginning, counting every single stroke was almost physically painful. That phase soon passed, and I came to enjoy golf more than ever before. Rather than playing my skewed version of golf, I was playing actual golf. The game is a pleasurable exercise of skill and strategy and integrity. The full game of golf transcends the weak imitation which I had been playing. The integrity of golf leaked into other areas of my life, to my fortunate benefit.

Anyway, the story of the barbed hook reminded me of golf, and of my friend. He is dead now, but he still lives on through the people he touched. Including me.

Webutante said...

What a wonderful analogy; it's the same thing. We certainly do take our inner game with us whatever we do, and are ultimately better or worse for it. Thank you for sharing that, Greg.