October 5, 2008
Listen to Life:  A New Friend Under the Bridge
My sons may be my only fishing partners, but that doesn't mean that I don't meet some interesting people while fishing.  Like Jesse.  I met him under the Kemah Bridge today.
I learned a lot about him, which is one of the great things about fishing conversations.  I know he lives in a rough part of Houston near Minute Maid Park where he has to chain down his garbage cans to keep them from getting stolen.  He cuts yards on Saturdays for extra income.  Jesse is somewhat of an entrepreneur or opportunist since he sold to another fisherman a bag of shrimp that he had found a couple of hours before ("I found it and sold it to him.  Guess I can buy me a hamburger or something today.")  I believe he believes in work and not welfare since he never asked for anything from me--not a hook or a bait or money for gas-and he spoke often about working and using his days off for fishing in Baytown, Kemah or Seabrook.  I know he loves fishing since he said so about a thousand times, and he said it was the time outside that was even more important than catching, though we also compared recipes from when we each are able to bring home some fish.
I could tell you much more about Jesse, but the really important thing is that we learned about each other by simply talking about things we both like.  We shared stories.  We shared recipes.  We shared time.  We listened.  It felt like I was four generations removed from the raw, bitter, partisan, finger-pointing world revealed in the media.
I may never see him again, but then again I might.  And when we shook hands to wrap up our time together, he said, "I might see you around here again some time."  Could be.  Life brings us good company like that, as does fishing and listening.

A free newsletter about learning and getting more from life by paying attention to our own stories and the stories of others, based on the presentations, writings, photography and workshops by Dion McInnis (www.dionmcinnis.com).  Copyright 2008 Dion McInnis.  All rights reserved.

Recent Citings of Dion 
"Sweet Sendoffs" about "sending your kids to college with hugs" in August 2008 Better Homes and Gardens Magazine

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Christian Science Monitor 
Topic: Helping New Employees Succeed

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Globe and Mail: Canada's National Newspaper

"25 Ways to Sabotage Your Job Search"
MSN/ CareerBuilder and CNN

Topic: Pixels and Photography
South China Morning Post newspaper

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Woman's World, June 16

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