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Archive for March, 2010

Jerry McKinnis and Dad

March 13, 2010

A lot has happened since the last two blog entries. We had a great book signing at Shiloh Museum in Springdale, Arkansas and, if you’ve been keeping up then you know, in addition to bassfan.com,Tulsa World and ESPN Outdoors, that Bassmaster.com did a fantastic piece on Dad and our book, An Impossible Cast (links to these four are all in this blog). Some things you might not know is that Flip Putthoff of the Northwest Arkansas Morning News put together an amazing two-page article complete with pictures of the Rogers book signing at the Rogers Historical Museum where Dad’s ’65 world championship trophy has resided for the last twenty years. Also, Linda Burlingham of the Shepherd of the Hills Gazette out of Branson, Missouri did another fantastic article on us as well. This publication is really great because they only print it every two months, giving us much more exposure time. If you live in the Branson area, you can pick up a copy at the IMAX theatre, Golden Corral or somewhere in the Grand Country complex. But, in May, something really big is going to happen.

According to Sean Ostruszka, Associate Editor for FLW Outdoors Magazine, our book will be highlighted in the May issue. I think you can still get the magazine at Wal-Mart. This is obviously very exciting for us and we don’t see an end in sight yet. So, keep those cards and emails coming and continue to enjoy the ride with us. As mentioned in the February 18th blog entry, I would like to do a short piece on a very tall personality in today’s freshwater fishing world – Jerry McKinnis.

Dad first met Jerry at the ’63 World Series on Bulls Shoals Lake at Bull Shoals, Arkansas. He was the dock manager there and was also on the governing committee for the World Series led by tournament organizer, Hy Peskin. Jerry was witness to some pretty unsavory acts towards Dad that were designed to prevent him from winning. Hy couldn’t stand handing the top-tier trophy over to a hillbilly from Arkansas for winning his precious and still fledgling World Series. In a recent conversation with Jerry he quoted, “Every move Hy Peskin played was directly to keep Glen Andrews from taking that tournament.” Jerry was pretty disgusted with Hy, his committee, and tournament after that. You’ll just have to read the book to see how that all turned out.

Jerry went on to run a dock in central Arkansas, and then to give five minute fishing reports on a local station that quickly germinated into a show of his own. Dad really got to know and respect Jerry around 1965 when he accepted a jested challenge from the then Arkansas state champion, Bill Rose, to come and “fish against a real champion.” After that, Dad became pretty regular on Jerry’s show and their friendship firmed. The Fishin’ Hole eventually found itself on the newly formed ESPN by 1980 and only recently (2007) was cancelled, 44 years after its inception. After Dad left the fishing industry Jerry and Dad only spoke occasionally, citing the great fishing trips and times they’d had together.
Jerry is probably the busiest guy I know. I asked him a few years ago why he was giving up the show and he simply said that, “it was about number 8 on my list of priorities.” Last count I’ve heard was that Jerry’s production company, JM Associates, produces 9 shows on ESPN.

It was this same busy Jerry that was good enough to write the ESPN Outdoors article about Dad entitled, Greatest Bass Fisherman Ever. Before that, he took the time on April 18th, 2008 to sit down in front of the keyboard and strike out this letter to me:

Shane,

Because of my business you can imagine how many times someone asks, “Who’s the best bass fisherman you ever knew?” My answer is always, “You’re not going to know this man, but it’s a guy by the name of Glen Andrews.”

Glen was the best. If he had the luxury of today’s boats and equipment, he would have changed bass fishing even more than he did without it.

I had a wonderful career and I owe a lot of it to Glen Andrews. A bass angler who had talents that can’t be taught – You’re born with it.

Jerry McKinnis

Remember, if you haven’t purchased a copy of “An Impossible Cast” yet, do so at http://www.whitefishpress.com.

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