Best Supporting Roles: Scenes From What I Consider to be Some of My Finest Work To Date

"A fishin’ boat cap’n,” that’s the cheery reply you’d get if you were to ask our son what he wanted to be when he grew up.

Only three years old at the time, Tim landed his first ever bluegill whilst on a family camping trip, and from then on there was no looking back. The kid was hooked.

Soon thereafter we found ourselves hittin’ the water nearly every weekend, from local lakes to some of the more popular landings in and around Orange County. And before long we were boarding cattle boats and setting sail for Catalina, driving down to San Diego for multi-day trips into Mexican waters, all of which was uncharted terrain for this lifelong landsman. This, along with the fact that I was about to seal the deal on a brand new 20’ Center Console, is why I felt it prudent to bone up on my seamanship by enrolling in a 12 week boating safety course.

At this point Tim’s ten years old, and suffice it to say, fishing has become a pretty big deal in the Lange household. Which is fine by me, because fishing is clearly his thing, and on top of that he’s damn good at it. So much so that by the age of thirteen he earns the name “Hot Stick,” and is receiving potential job offerings from industry VIP’s.

Of course as a father, I couldn’t be more proud.

That was twenty plus years ago, and although Tim’s boyhood dream of becoming a fishin’ boat cap’n never came to pass I look back on our days together on the water as some of the most gratifying of my entire adult life, and am forever grateful to have had the opportunity - the privilege - to lend my eternal support.


 In a letter addressed to me was the following postscript:

 Always remember that old upholsters never die, they always recover.

This letter was sent to me by my brother Ron who at the time, and by his own admission, was having a bit of a rough go at pursuing his interest in upholstery. And understandably so, as he was working mostly with bare-bones tools and recycled materials. During one of our many conversations on the phone I asked how things were going. He said they’re coming along, slowly, due in large part to the fact that all the fabric being used needed to be affixed by hand with a hammer and tacks.

Later that year my wife Cathy and I went to visit my brother and his family in Washington State. When we arrived I popped open the trunk and handed him an unwrapped compressor and nail gun. The surprised look on his face was priceless, as was the overwhelming delight that immediately rushed over me.

Truthfully, I’m not sure who the real beneficiary was that day. In any event, it was most definitely a win-win.

In the letter, Ron again expressed his thanks, and wrote, “Let the dream begin.” I still have that letter, on which I penciled, “Sponsee #1”

 So, why am I telling you this?

Because I wanted to put my best foot forward, to share with you what I feel are some of my finest moments. These stories get to the heart of who I am, it’s where I do my best work, in a supporting role, and is merely a reflection of that. It’s a way to potentially extend my reach if you will, to connect with folks outside of my immediate circle of family and friends.

As I’ve said many times over, few things are more satisfying than doing the work you love, and for me it just so happens that some of that work includes helping others pursue theirs every now and again.

It’s really that simple.

See ya soon, till then, keeep it up.

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