Much To Be Thankful For

Everett Johnson

I'm going to start by letting everybody know how thankful I am for all the fine young men and women serving in our Armed Forces. I watch the news as reporters and politicians deliver politically motivated perceptions of how futile our mission in Iraq has become, how inept our Commander-in-Chief and his staff have turned out to be. Remaining objective is difficult, especially when my thoughts wander to our troops, dug in somewhere out in that harsh desert, and the enemy they face; bent on the destruction of our religions, our society, our way of life. America is founded upon free speech- right enough; but I wonder how long those same reporters and politicians could enjoy this freedom if our President suddenly lost his nerve and called all the troops home? God Bless America and God Bless all those fighting for our freedom. Remember them as you say Grace over your Thanksgiving feast.

I am thankful that we enjoyed a quiet tropical storm season this past summer. After everything we went through last year, and having witnessed so much destruction from Texas to Florida, I am truly thankful that we never had a named storm come ashore in Texas in 2006.

I next want to give thanks for a most prosperous business year. 2006 has been a dandy and it ain't over yet. We saw it coming back in January and February; there was something different in the air at the annual boat and fishing shows. It was a fresh breeze of economic energy blowing away the pall that had been hanging over our sportfishing industry for way too long.

Keeping with the business theme; I want to give thanks for all the wonderful friends we have all across Texas who contribute so much to the success of this magazine. I cannot tell you how many calls and letters and offers of help we receive every day. I had a guy come up to me at ICAST and say, "Man I can't believe the way your magazine has grown, who do have selling for you?" I looked him square in the eye and replied that we had literally thousands of dedicated salesmen, most of whom I had not yet the pleasure of meeting, but that I hoped to meet them all soon. I believe he thought I was off my rocker.

Next on my list is Texas Parks and Wildlife. I want to give thanks for all the wonderful people who make up this agency and do so much for us on a daily basis. Now this may not please all my readers, but as saltwater anglers, we really have a lot to be thankful for and TPWD helped create a bunch of it. Like I tell everybody about my travels abroad, I want to kiss the ground every time my feet touch American soil again, and I feel the same way when I get back home to fish right here in Texas.

And while we're on the subject of TPWD; I attended the Public Comment Session of the Commissioners Hearings this past August. I had to wait through what seemed like 100 or more speakers for my turn at the podium. I am very thankful that I have never been appointed to serve as a commissioner; having the patience of Job must surely be one of the qualifications. It truly amazes me that the commissioners ever get a chance to worry whether there are still enough fish in the sea.

Last, but certainly not least, I want to give thanks for continued good health and a wonderful family. Unfortunately, some of my close friends have been given some seriously heavy burdens to bear recently. I call myself blessed to be able to enjoy so much. Pam and I are in great shape and the Lord has blessed us with kids and grandkids that are happy and healthy. We have a new granddaughter coming in February and she'll be our fourth. Through the miracles of medical science we've already seen her and the doctors say she is doing fine. Honestly, I'd be ashamed to ask for more!

Happy Thanksgiving and May God Bless!