The Mountain Net Maker & His Wisdom

{It’s 2050 now and this life experience below will never be forgotten}

Acapulco, February 1974. . .Diving ten feet down in the ocean just off the cliffs was usually a difficult time because of the swift-moving currents, so trying to catch tropical fish with a little fishing net was quite a daily challenge. There were thousands upon thousands of really cool looking beautiful fish right before our eyes, but the combination of those little colorful fish being smart and those currents made for a tough time collecting them.

There was this one specimen called the Blue Spotted Damsel and they were everywhere and I could have made a living back in those days just off of them. They were a deep blue color and the size of a silver dollar, but the charm of them was they were florescent and under any kind of strobe or blue light, they looked amazing, but the ocean currents were making our work next to impossible to collect any daily large amount. So one day a young diver in my team told me about a net maker in the mountains who could create the perfect style net that could capture without harming these small tropical fish. At that moment it sounded like a great idea but I was always short of funds and a new expense was just something I didn’t need, yet I had to think positive and go for it.

My buddy TB always said to me, ‘If you need money don’t hesitate to ask’, but that wasn’t the way I wanted to survive and make it on my own, even though I needed some assistance, but I always thanked him and then dropped the thought from my mind.

A few days went by and I made arrangements with the young guy who worked for me to show us the way by bus up through the mountains to find and speak with this net maker. And just for good measure, I brought along a trusting Mexican friend who volunteered to help me with all the translating because I really needed to make sure about many of the details of how to clearly use the net and how much it was going to cost.

The trip up there took two fairly long and slow bus rides and it seemed like once we got out of the main city area, every five to ten minutes we were going around death-defying hairpin curves, and to make matters worse, the bus was packed with lots of crying babies and men carrying little pigs and loud clucking chickens.

Once we finally arrived in the little mountain town, we had to walk about a half-mile up a fairly steep rock-filled dirt road to reach our final destination.

This trip was made with no guarantees we’d even find this net maker because he had no house phone and not to be impolite, but he really didn’t much live in what we would think of as a house in the first place. It was a basic combination of tin and a lot of old warn out lumber, with rocks and straw and held together with mortar which formed a four-wall structure that gave reasonable shelter for the net maker and his small family. The roof was made out of multiple kinds of materials and it appeared to be all held together with what looked like various thicknesses of rope and a fine mesh fish line that seemed to be woven all throughout the roof and then tied into the four corners of the main structure. .

Throughout my daily routine of life in Mexico, one humbling experience after another occurred for myself and TB, and now with this elderly gentleman and his home, another appreciation of all the good things we have in America and take for granted, hit me.

Meeting and being in the presence of this skillful older man was a warm and unique experience for me because I learned at a young age to respect my elders and listen to them carefully because they have many years of experience, and you’re never too old to learn new things.

Sitting down together, we all had a thorough talk about the nets and he explained that he knew exactly what I needed and he could build this one type for an affordable price I agreed on. After taking care of that important business, he began talking to us all about the subject of maturity. He caught us all off guard because my translating speaking friend couldn’t figure out why this topic came up, but I’m so pleased it did because this was another humbling and important lesson for myself, and I hope my two friends with me.

This kind gentle-man spoke to us about most men think they have entered and are full of the life’s maturing process by the time they are twenty-five or thirty years old, but he spoke slow and at times directly into my eyes, saying our lives take on many experiences and we’re always learning from them, but true maturity of humankind doesn’t really come into being until our mid-fifties, and for some even beyond that.

Seventy-six years now have passed since my time with him and I can clearly say his words of wisdom often came into my thinking about maturity, and you must yourself take to heart what I hope I can pass on to all of you. Be wise with Strength, Honor and Humility.