Merry Christmas, some big announcements, and please remember our troops!

Everett Johnson

Unbelievably, another year has somehow slipped by and Christmas is only a few weeks away. I can remember back 50-years when 12 months seemed like a century. I wish they still did; just think how many more fishing trips we could cram in!

Christmas is such a special time. All the family and friends and food and gifts; it is no doubt the happiest time of the year. I wish somebody could invent a potent that would keep everybody in the Christmas spirit for 365 days. That would be truly awesome.

Pam and I have big plans for the festive season; we've got everybody coming in for Christmas and cast and blast adventures here on the bay, and then we'll head out to Sonora because rumor has it there are deer galloping all over that big pasture we leased. It should be a lot of fun.

I would like to encourage everybody reading this to do something a little different this year. I was chatting with Capt. Lynn Smith the other day and he said he was planning to give himself a Christmas gift unlike any he had ever received in his life. Lynn said his gift to himself this year would be to make the Christmas holidays extra special for the family of a Texas serviceman serving in Iraq. Now in case you are not aware, the pay that an enlisted man receives is barely better than what he would get on welfare.

I thought about Capt. Lynn's plan for a couple of seconds and the beauty of it overwhelmed me. What a wonderful and thoughtful gift. And what makes it even more special, as you are enjoying your holiday feast and unwrapping gifts with loved ones, you will experience the joy of knowing that you are helping the family of some brave serviceman walking a patrol out there in the desert enjoy theirs a little better too.

According to Lynn, all you need to do is contact your local Texas National Guard Armory. They keep a list of service families who have requested assistance and will coordinate your donations. I like the idea so much that I'm going to sign up myself; I want one those for Christmas too!

And now for the big news about this publication your January magazine will be sporting a completely different look we're upgrading to slick paper and a brand new printing process. The newsprint pages on the inside of the magazine will be a thing of the past. It has taken us 45 months since we made the jump from free issue to single copy sales, but we're finally going to take the big plunge. We hope you enjoy the upgrade in quality.

Drum roll please we have one more announcement. You have no doubt noticed that our cover has been changing. The old title, Gulf Coast Connections has been shrinking, being replaced a little at a time by Texas Saltwater Fishing. So come January it will be official, our old name will be laid to rest. This is the only 100% saltwater fishing magazine in Texas, and its name will soon reflect that fact. I want to say many thanks to all our wonderful supporters without whom this would not be possible.

So there you go folks; you are now up-to-date with everything we have going for the Holiday Season and I've given you a super gift idea that you can give to yourself and the family of a serviceman. Please remember that freedom comes at an awful price these days, and some of our Nation's finest will sleep on cold sand this Christmas Eve as they make that purchase for us. Remember them in your thoughts and prayers.

Merry Christmas, and May God Bless Us Everyone!