Hello 2022 and goodbye to 2021! Last year was a rollercoaster of emotions both good and bad for the world from the continuation of Covid and its variants to political discord and economic turmoil. There was also positive news in our chapter from the birth of Jonathan Reynolds first child to the marriage of Jonah Duran and his new bride. Some members have lost family members or have experienced their own physical issues and our hearts go out to them.

The one constant I always try to keep in mind is that the sun will come up every morning as it has for millions of years and will continue long after we leave this earth. My mantra has been for decades the only permanent thing in life is change. You either adapt or you become the next exhibit at the La Brea Tarpits. How we use the day is the difference maker not just for ourselves but those we come in to contact with during the day. I was watching the CBS Sunday Morning show today as long time reporter Leslie Stahl showed an interview from a while back with the great actor Sidney Poitier, who passed away this week at the age of 94 years old. What an extraordinary life he led not just as an actor who performed Academy award winning work but was a humanitarian and contributor to many projects behind the scenes.

I was struck by one segment where he described being a 16 year Bahamian child of immigrant parents moving to New York to be an actor. After a failed audition he was working as a dishwasher in a restaurant struggling with a heavy accent and little prospects. An older man also working at the restaurant asked him what was up in the newspaper and the embarrassed Poitier confessed he could not read. At this point Poitier had to stop in the interview as he was overcome with emotion as he retold the story of how the man every day for weeks after the restaurant closed and everyone had gone home helped Poitier learn to read.

It was a humbling and moving story for me as I thought of how one person’s action to help and mentor a young man shaped unknowingly the future of a man who later walked literally with kings, queens and world leaders. Our chapter and its members have this opportunity every time we interact with people whether on the water or with our partnership with groups like “VOLS on the FLY”. We often forget how these moments which seem at the time like inconsequential events can shape and influence people years from now.

The Great Smoky Mountain chapter has one of these moments coming up on Thursday January 20th at the “IRON MAN FLY CONTEST” 2022 being held at Dead End BBQ. This annual event while a fun night of food and laughter helps us send a deserving boy or girl to Trout Camp each year. We have seen young campers and fly tiers that night go on to be chapter members and work in the field of outdoor careers like conservation. Please join us as a competitor, spectator or even a donor that night and help make a difference. See the article below for all the details and information.

 In closing we want to thank you for your continued support as we adapt and adjust to holding in person chapter meetings. As always you never have to be a Trout Unlimited member to attend any Great Smoky Mountain chapter meeting or event.

Remember to follow us on the GSM TU Facebook page and the chapter website. The Great Smoky Mountain Facebook page is the best way to follow us for the latest chapter information and any changes.

GSM TU FACEBOOK: https://m.facebook.com/GreatSmokyMountainTU/


John Reinhardt



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