I have mentioned our Youth Fishing Program before and have encouraged folks to check it out and get involved, http://outdoornebraska.ne.gov/education/programs/youth_fishing/ . So, yes I am going to be redundant and do that again here. I also want to say a big “THANK YOU” to those of you that have become part of our Youth Fishing Program already.
I realize that many of our youth fishing instructors are just as committed to our fisheries resources and the sport of fishing as those of us who have careers in fisheries management and fishing. An example of that was recently brought to my attention, http://www.starherald.com/news/local_news/community-philanthropist-passes/article_5ebc5d7c-aa14-11e1-ae7a-0019bb2963f4.html :
Community philanthropist passes
By CHABELLA GUZMAN Staff Reporter | Posted: Wednesday, May 30, 2012
A man many remember as a teacher, community activist and fisherman passed away on Sunday.
Jerry Tallmon of Mitchell had lived in the Panhandle most of his life, graduating from Mitchell High School and then teaching music at Kimball High School.
Tallmon taught in Crawford, Kimball and Grand Island. In Kimball, he taught vocal music and had a gymnastic team, as he was known to be an excellent gymnast in his younger days.
He was also known by many as a teacher even though he left the school system in Grand Island to go into the jewelry business with his brothers, Ralph and Bill, and father George.
Teaching was always in his blood and he was willing to teach anyone what he knew, according to one friend.
“He was always up for teaching,” said Tracey Bentley, owner of Bentley’s Fine Jewelry and Repair in Scottsbluff. “I owe him everything. If not for him, I wouldn’t have a jewelry store.”
Bentley said Tallmon had gone into Kmart where Bentley was working and asked if anyone was interested in learning the jewelry business and Bentley was interested. Tallmon was in the jewelry business for more than 20 years with his family.
“I had the opportunity to work with him for 26 years,” said Bill Tallmon, his brother and owner of Tallmon’s Jewelry in Scottsbluff. “We bought him out in 1995 and retired from the business, but stayed active selling Amway.”
Jerry had a gregarious personality, Bill said. It made him a salesman and kept him involved in the community.
Karen Anderson, president of the Scottsbluff/Gering Rotarian Club, said Tallmon had been a member for 32 years and was very active in the club.
“One of his biggest gifts was around Christmas time,” she said. “He would lead the younger children and grandchildren in singing. He was really good with kids.”
She added that he was also very active in the club attending meetings and helping with any projects the club undertook.
One of Tallmon’s true passions was fishing. While he enjoyed catching anything, he preferred bass fishing.
“He loved to fish,” said Bentley. “He would stand at the stern and cast and you would have to dodge lures in the back. He was an incredible fisherman.”
Tallmon worked with Western Nebraska Community College to share his master angler skills with both kids and adults, said Dayle Wallien, executive director of the WNCC Foundation, where Tallmon was also a member.
“Fishing was a huge part of his life and he was really excited to share those fishing skills with both adults and children,” she said. “Teaching personal enrichment classes at WNCC about fishing. He got great response and was trying to build that class.”
Tallmon served on the WNCC Foundation Board of Directors since 2001. He was the chair of the advanced capital gifts committee of the successful capital campaign to raise funds for the WNCC Harms Advanced Technology Center and more recently served on both the annual campaign committee and special events committee.
He had a strong commitment to his community, children and people in general, is what many people said. Bentley remembers one of the most important things Tallmon taught him about business.
“Caring about the people,” he said. “Tallmon always said, ‘You need to take care of the people, they’re not customers buying jewelry they become family.’”
Tallmon’s wife is Barbara and his daughters include Brenda and Sheila.
Yes, I realize that story ran in the Scottsbluff Star-Herald months ago; this is not current news. But, I wanted to bring this up now because I recently discovered that Jerry’s family is making a donation in Jerry’s memory to our Youth Fishing Program. I want to say “thank you” to them in particular. And, in general, “thank you” to all of our volunteer youth fishing instructors who donate their time, and sometimes their money, to helping us not only recruit new anglers, but share with them our passion and appreciation for fish, the habitats in which they are found, and the sport that gives us so much peace, satisfaction, wonder, and excitement.
Fishing is worth any amount of effort and any amount of expense to people who love it, because in the end you get such a large number of dreams per fish.–Ian Frazier, The Fish’s Eye