To the Editor:
I’m one of six soldiers who were invited to the Island to participate in the 20th annual flyrod striped bass catch-and-release tournament, hosted by the Martha’s Vineyard Rod and Gun Club.
When I was first informed of the invitation I was excited, then nervous. After all, we were off-Islanders, so I foolishly assumed we were going to spend a weekend treated like outsiders. This train of thought could not have been further from reality, as I quickly learned upon arriving in Oaks Bluff.
In the military, I have spent quite a lot of time away from home, and it has always felt like exactly that, but the amount of warmth and hospitality we received during our three days on-Island made all of us feel right at home. Kind smiles and words of welcome were offered at every introduction and remained throughout the weekend, even after attempting to teach some of us to use a fly rod. Even though I didn’t catch a single fish, I still had the time of my life (except when Nelson [Sigelman, The Times's fish columnist and managing editor, who was also the toastmaster at the award ceremony] had us sing).
I can’t wait for next year’s tournament and many more thereafter. I just wanted to share our great thanks and appreciation to everyone that was involved with our stay and the tournament, but especially to Ralph Norton for securing our amazing quarters, and to Bob Delisle, the Martha’s Vineyard Rod and Gun Club president for hosting our stay. Thanks again, and I look forward to seeing you all next year.