After 22 memorable summers in Hakai Pass, the bittersweet time has come for me to hang up my hat and step away from what has been central to my life, and my family, for what seems like forever.
There are days I forget that there was a time before Ole’s, and the bonds of friendship that developed here. Days when I think of nothing else, that the world in Hakai is the only one that is real. The events that have taken place here over the last two decades continue to fill me with gratitude and appreciation for the blessings they have bestowed on me. My children grew up here, their summer visits with Dad at the lodge, at first to stay connected and as they got older they came to work and earn for their own. Growing into young adults and starting their own lives, then returning once again to Hakai for visits with Dad to stay connected. And even now in my final seasons having my youngest return to work with me has been an honor.
I have so much to be grateful for. Over the many years customers have become friends, welcomed me into their homes, becoming a part of their lives and family history. Weddings happened here, and romances blossomed among the crew who then married. To be a small part of all those things has enriched me in ways I cannot describe. Visiting guests in the off season, from far flung and diverse places as Sweden to the Dominican Republic, becoming a guest of theirs, our roles reversed. Each year in Hakai has surprised me with what new and different experiences it had to offer. The many young crews that have worked so hard alongside me, making everything happen, have kept me aware of the serenity here, and have kept me feeling young too. Their first amazed looks at Hakai refreshed my perspective, year after eventful year. I have never taken it for granted; knowing the impermanence of it all makes it more special.
Having given everything of myself, every day here throughout the summers of my life, I have no regrets. And now, as I prepare for what will be the next era in my life story, I ask for your generosity, to let me go with good wishes, knowing that eventually this day would come. Knowing that the story of Hakai and Ole’s will continue, the essential beauty and wonderful opportunities for fishing and friendship will carry on without my presence.
Please be kind and generous as I pass the torch to the new Man, with or without the hat. I do not envy the task of one who would follow me knowing that comparisons are inevitable and the measures unfair.
When I embarked on the path that would lead me here, I knew nothing about fishing, nothing about generators, outboard engines, docks, weather, whales or even salmon! With time I learned, guests gave me a chance, and we got to know one another. I made mistakes along the way and every day another lesson was learned. I ask for your grace and patience as we transition to a new leader here at Ole’s– the heart is a wonderful thing, capable of embracing change with generosity. Change has arrived and as I move on, I do so with conflicted emotions, knowing what I leave behind. Thankfully, the memories will remain.
A new and invigorating time has come for Ole’s and I sincerely hope you will be a part of it, part of the new story. I thank each and every one of our guests for their commitment and passion for this place over the years. I thank each and every member of my many crews as we would “adapt, improvise, and overcome” the many challenges that greeted us along the way.
The Man with the Hat
Category: Tales of the Pass