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It Was Fate

with: Jamie Spencer

I recently came up with a new workout routine. It is somewhat refreshing and doesn't require much skill. You only need a 2017 PA Fishing License and a pole. Say what? I call it EXTREME WADING and it's the perfect exercise FORE me. Fishing has always been a passion and I take full advantage of what North Central PA has to offer. I am on the water a lot and usually head out after dinner or when my chores are complete. Some of my favorite holes are just a short drive or walk from the house. I rarely stay in the same spot and cross the stream whenever I can. Yes. I am always on the move and the world would be a better place if more folks followed my lead. Some like to jog or head to the gym, but I prefer to wade to keep trim. 
  I own two fly rods but seldom use them. Okay I admit it. I stink at it. I have neither the patience nor the touch that is required. So I chuck metal instead — that’s what my purist chums call it. My goal is to get some exercise and to catch and release as many fish as I can. Many of my plain front SIMMS wearing, bug-throwing friends think less of me. More from them later. #FOREshadowing. 
  If I am not wading in a stream, I am in my kayak or wandering in the woods. It's what I do. So I guess you could say that I am an avid outdoorsman. No. I don't hunt. It never intrigued me. I don't own a gun either. My choice kids. I wouldn't say that I am against them. I like to call myself a peaceful metal chucking hippie who lobbies for more control. Forgive me friends. This is not a political forum. I am simply providing a backdrop for the rest of the story. 
  Baseball season is right around the corner and many of our area leagues are now getting geared. Fundraising plays a huge part nowadays to help defer the outrageous costs. Some folks sell candy. Others try bingo. But the boys and girls of Hepburn Lycoming Little League recently hit a home run with their 2017 SPORTSMEN'S RAFFLE.
  "We wanted to try something totally different," my former best friend now demanding boss Robert Spangler Jr., said. "There is a major lull between hunting and fishing seasons and we thought we could bring folks together for a night of fun. The overall response was superb."
  So I was one of the two hundred and fifty or so locals who purchased a ticket hoping to win a gun. Wait. What? Don't worry. It's cool. It went viral. I was already ‘removed’ from many of my advocacy groups. Yes. Our little fundraiser attracted a huge crowd. I was a bit nervous when I pulled in because I didn't have a NRA sticker on the bumper of my car. Yes. It was standing room only at the Hepburn Lycoming Volunteer Fire Hall. 
  I had a ball reconnecting with several of my outdoors chums who were also in attendance. We talked fishing while drinking foamy warm beer. The ladies had a ball too. They were busy ripping tickets and buying raffles hoping to win some meat. It was a festive night and lots of money was raised for a great cause. 
  "We netted close to $7k in just three hours," explained Marc Hess, our league treasurer. "It felt like Black Friday when we brought out some of those guns. It was insane. Tonight was a great event and these funds will go towards new lights and our third field that was devastated by the fall flood."
  So lucky number 163 was never called and FORTUNATELY the Spencers didn't go home with a gun, but I might have been the night's biggest winner. So do you remember those pleated front, ORVIS-wearing, march brown chucking friends? One of them bought me a $3 ticket as a joke for a new SPINNING rod combo. It was the only item raffled of its kind. The rest were guns. So I had a 1 in 60 spin wheel chance to win. WHO GOES TO A GUN RAFFLE AND WINS THE ONLY FISHING ROD? This guy. It was fate. You can't make it up. 
  Congrats and thanks to my mates for thinking out of the box. Well done Hepburn Lycoming. Cheers.