Fish Story

You know T.O.: I am a die-hard angler who fishes many of our North Texas lakes for money and for fun. I watched the Bassmaster Classic live on the Internet and have seen most of the coverage afforded this huge tournament.

The article by Paul Kix on Takahiro Omori ("Bass Fishing in America," September 16) is the absolute best piece I've read, and in general is the best article I've read in many years. Not only did he capture the essence of what it takes to compete on a professional level in these events, he captured the human side of the story and revealed to us a consummate professional. Paul Kix broke the barriers that have prevented many fans from really knowing who Takahiro is and revealed the behind-the-scenes pressures and obstacles he had to overcome. He made the average reader aware of how large fishing is from a financial standpoint and did a fantastic job of explaining the lures used in a way that an average reader could follow the story.

My hat is off to Paul Kix for a fantastic article and to the Dallas Observer for covering an event that barely got press in the local daily newspapers.

Kelly Denham

Beyond bubba: I have been involved in bass fishing for many years. I don't know the author of this article, Paul Kix, but he is either a bass fisherman also or he did an excellent job of research on Takahiro. To tell his life story is to tell what professional bass fishing is all about. It is not just a bunch of old country boys out fishing; it is a way of life that involves much more time put into just surviving and working with companies to try to make a living. For those like Tak who have that passion and never quit, it sometimes happens that a dream is fulfilled. And for people who know or read Tak's story, even though he is from Japan, he has shown everyone how great it is when such a nice guy keeps after his dream and succeeds. Thanks are in order for Mr. Kix for such a great, detailed article.

Tommy Yates

Heartfelt story: I just read the "Bass Fishing in America" story and think this is one of the best I have seen. The author really did a lot of work to get the story.

It is great to read such a heartfelt story as this. I know the feeling that T.O. has, because I would love to do the same thing. Some tell me it is only a dream and can never come true, but after reading this I just laugh at them.

Conley Staley

So that's T.O.: Great story. I live in Sulphur Springs, just north of Lake Fork Creek Reservoir, and had no idea who Takahiro Omori was when I noticed his name and a congratulatory note on the chamber of commerce sign just west of town on Interstate 30 a couple of weeks ago. Thank you for sharing his wonderful story with us all.

Ed. I. Palmer
Sulphur Springs

Going deep: I don't know if Paul Kix is a bass fisherman or just a very in-depth researcher, but I wanted to say thanks for the article on T.O. It was fantastic. I've read it twice. My hat is off to you, Paul. Not even magazines dedicated to bass fishing have run such a brilliant and touching article about T.O.

Eric Vidal

Respect for a real sport: Thanks for an excellent article by Paul Kix on Takahiro Omori. It was one of the best articles that I have ever read on Omori, if not THE best. Thanks also for showing bass fishing to be the sport it truly is. I appreciate it; Paul Kix is to be commended. Keep up the good work!

Brandon Shook
Blue Ridge, Texas

Time well spent: Just wanted to let you know what a good job you did on the Omori story. There are a lot of us out there that aren't "bubbas" who love the sport of fishing. I appreciate the time and effort that you obviously spent researching bass fishing.

Jeremy Chevallier
Via e-mail

Nothing to Laff At

State Fair's ugly past: If there is any room for agreement between us lately, it's that we both have questions about what is happening at Dallas City Hall. Your story last week, "Laff in the Dark," by Jim Schutze (September 9), while short on things to laugh about, was a good one. Your historical example of why Dallas is still racially polarized was one that most of your readers needed to know or be reminded about.

The conflict regarding the disparities of priority shown between OU-Texas vs. the Grambling Prairie View Classic boldly represents the problem in Dallas. Unfortunately, any time that an African-American--elected, appointed or otherwise--attacks this mayor and council by raising the issue of race, everyone wants to forget Dallas' dirty and disfigured past.

The explanation of how "Nigger Day" evolved to Negro Achievement Day seems distant in terms of years and circumstances. But Dallas continues to linger in the darkness of half-truths and full-blown denial. Very little has changed in our culture and makeup. Or to put it as you did so profoundly, "Neither side can make up its mind if desegregation was a good thing. It's all painful and unresolved."

Until Dallas fully grows up, it won't be able to "Laff in the Dark," nor will it live in the light of its potential.

John Wiley Price
Dallas County Commissioner

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