We all read the stories about what a wonderful mentor, fisherman, and Bro Jose was. I want you to know about the man that sat at my bar at the Square Grouper almost everyday for lunch, with his right hand man Mikey, and laughed. We would laugh so hard sometimes we would cry. I want to tell you about the man that would stop eating his lunch or dinner and talk to anybody that introduced themselves to him. Jose often ate a cold meal, because he was so polite and kind to his fans, and he never wanted them to feel slighted. About the man that brought me pink hibiscus out of his yard everyday when my mother was dying. About the man that picked up the phone one random night and called to see how I was doing because my mother had died, and he happened to have his mother visiting him. Little did I know, at the time, that we would lose him less then two months later. I planted a pink hibiscus in my yard to honor him.
I, like a lot of people still think about him everyday. Still miss him everyday. Still wish we had had more time on this earth with him. I often wondered what I could do to be a better person, to make a difference even if it was just a small contribution to society. I started to pick up trash on my morning walks. There is a lot of trash if you open your eyes and look. I think to myself, "What if everyone picked up a bag of trash a day?" "If everyone picked up a bag of trash just because it is the right thing to do, not because they were going to get something for it, just because they should?" I thought that this might be a way to honor a man that did good things not because he was going to get something for it; he did it because it was the right thing to do.
So, I challenge you! I challenge you to pick up one bag of trash from Good Friday (Jose died on a Good Friday) April 18th, 2014 to Easter Sunday, April 20th, 2014. More than one if you want, I won't stop you. Don't do it because you are going to get a t-shirt, money, or a prize. Do it because it is the right thing to do. Do it to help the oceans that Jose loved so much. Clean up your favorite fishing spot, boat ramp, shoreline, and hiking trail or just down the road from your house. Do it and then take a picture of you and the trash, go to the "Jose Wejebe Spanish Fly Memorial" Facebook Page and post the picture, or email it to Krissy (Jose's daughter) at email@example.com. It would be awesome, if at this time, you also gave a donation to the Foundation. They are doing great things with Make a Wish and Veterans from the Recreational Department of the VA Hospital in Miami.
I can't wait to see all the people that loved Jose and want to honor him take up this challenge. Because of him, from this day forward, I strive to be a better person, to have more patience, be less selfish and more selfless ... To see the beauty in the simple things ... To be more adventurous ... To smile and laugh more ... To hug longer and to tell my friends I love them ... To be more like Jose. Let's see how much good we can do in one weekend. Please take this challenge. Share this challenge on your Facebook pages and lets see if we can get it around the world.
-- Lenore Baker