From Texas FlyFishers member Greg Corbett
I got a voicemail from someone at REI asking if had lost some fishing gear. Yes, I had; I lost my fly rod and reel on the Llano which is a 5-hour drive from Houston. No chance that this was my missing rod. I went to the store anyway because it's near my office, knowing it was probably somebody's reel or some lures. Sure enough there was no lost fl y rod and reel in Lost and Found and nobody had any idea about the phone message I had left.)
I was almost to my car when I thought maybe someone in the rental department might know something about the phone message. The first 2 people had no clue but the third one just asked me "What color was the kayak you rented?" I said "Red". She then peeled a note from the cash register and handed it to me.)
Here's the note
Did you flip a red rental tarpon and lose some fishing gear? Jeff found it and doesn't know who you are! (432) 528-5972)
Now everything was changing fast! I called Jeff and described my rod and reel and he said "That's it!" Then he said he'd mail it to me! He absolutely refused to discuss any reward!)
At the swimming hole at the take-out he had helped me put the kayak on the roof because I couldn't do it myself. He asked if I had rented the kayak at the REI in San Antonio or Austin- I said neither, it was from Houston. That's how he thought to contact me. Actually, this was a Boy Scout Troop on their annual outing on the Llano and one of the boys found the rod, brought it back up to camp, said "Look what I found! Can I keep it?" Jeff told the kid he thought he might be able to contact the owner. That's how everything fell into place.)
About a week later I got the long box with my rod and reel in it! Amazing! He and the troop are from Midland.)
I had written a thank you note with a $30.00 check to reimburse him for the postage so I called him to tell him the package had arrived and thanked him again. I asked him for his last name and address so I could send him my thank you letter; he said he intentionally omitted his last name and address because he didn't want me sending him anything. I finally got the information out of him when I told him that my letter was written to share with the boys how there were at least 4 separate Good Deeds that took place to get my rod back to me. He promised to share my message with the boys. (I expect he'll give me some grief about the $30 check.)A letter was written.
c/o Dawson Geophysical Company
508 West Wall, Suite 800
Midland, TX 79701-5010
I just received your package with my fly rod in it! When I review the series of coincidences and amazing follow-up by you and then by REI – seeing my fly rod again is miraculous. I count at least 4 Good Deeds that made this happen:
1. Starting with your help putting that kayak on my roof (and the brief conversation that I rented it at REI in Houston and that I had just given up searching for my fly rod).
2. The scout who found the rod and brought to you.
3. Your call to REI, Houston.
4. The REI guy who put 2 & 2 together and left me a voice mail message and also typed out a message to call you that he had taped to the cash register.
One of the men in my fly tying class that I hold each month is active in scouting and he has the Fly Fishing Merit Badge book. I will study up on it and am looking forward to meeting with the scouts next year on the Llano to help them earn this badge.
Also, I belong to a Houston group of kayak fishermen (www.PACK.org
) and I’m sure some of the guys would be glad to help the scouts earn a kayaking merit badge next year on the Llano. They all know the full story of how the rod was lost, found and then returned by you – it’s a fisherman’s dream come true when a rod gets found and returned.
I am enclosing a check in the amount of $30 to reimburse you for the cost of sending the package to me (I researched the cost at a UPS store). Obviously, I owe you a great deal more that just this postage, but what I feel I owe you can’t be measured in dollars and cents.
Please tell this tale of “4 Good Deeds” to the boys of Troop 232 and how it was a happy ending for this man who earned his Eagle Scout Badge in 1953. There’s something of a “full circle” somewhere in this story.