Jacob Powroznik was about to fish for $300,000 and a Bassmaster Classic title, but he seemed more concerned about the burnt-out headlight on my Tundra, than the cold, muddy, water conditions he was facing.
“I’m serious, dude – you gotta get that fixed,” he told me three times prior to launch at the Grove, Oklahoma’s Wolf Creek Boat Ramp.
Rest easy, J-Pow, I’ve got a mechanic I can trust. A wrench-turner in denim Carhartt britches that runs a Makita screw gun faster than you crank a 6.2:1 Quantum Speed Freak spinning reel.
His name is Bill Hughart- and he’s my friend with dry, cracked, greasy hands, attached to a mechanical mind that humbled me as it dismembered the panels of my truck’s front face to reach the dead bulb with the elegance of those bass fishing freaks I’ve met from Matt Kenseth’s pit crew.
“You couldn’t have googled this on the youtube and figured-out how to change this bulb?” he challenged. “No. Not so much, dude. My youtube isn’t attached to the wrenches I don’t have,” I jabbed back.
He asked about my Mom and Dad while the Makita worked its magic. He knows our closeness. “My dad is having his second cataract procedure today – but he’s seeing like an eagle out of the first one – and was eating pizza 90 minutes after the last surgery – so I expect more success this time too.”
“Cherish ‘em, Guck. My dad’s been gone 4 years now,” emphasized Hughart.
Then talk turned back to last week’s Bassmater Classic, and the anglers I work most closely with. “Oh, The Lee Brothers, huh? – that’s cool,” said Bill. “I dated the Lee Sisters – Ug-Lee and Home-Lee.”
A new headlight to make Powroznik rest easy. Heart for parents here and gone. And humor too.
Thanks, Bill. My mechanically stupid self is dang amazed by minds like yours. And your friendship is deeply appreciated too.
“I’m for wildflowers in the window. Mechanics you can trust. I’m for crackers in my chili. And leavin’ grudges in the dust. I’m for drive-thru order takers, who can muster up a smile. I’m for takin’ in that stray dog, that’s been hangin’ ’round awhile. I’m for turning off the TV. Gettin’ off the internet. I’m for learning all the words to the Gettysburg Address. I’m for dusty pawn shop guitars. And boxers past their prime. I’m for soakin’ up the wisdom -When an old man speaks his mind. I’m for laid off factory workers, when the wolf is at the door. You don’t have to guess what I’m against – If you know What I’m For.” – written by the incredibly talented Allen Shamblin (House that Built Me) for one of my Top 10 favorite artists of all-time, Pat Green. The song “What I’m For” (2009)