Anchor Point

December 8, 2016

Steve Stone Steve Stone

What a remarkable story of forgiveness and grace.

Thanks to J.T. Van Zandt, a fly-fishing guide in central Texas, for opening up so honestly about your family in this film, so we could all reflect on our own relationships with our fathers and sons.

I stumbled onto this little film/ad randomly on the web, and as I was watching it, it reminded of a couple guys I knew in Austin, Texas, who I learned a lot from in a previous life. It felt like it had the soul of Bryan Jessee and his creative work, along with the brilliance of Mark McGarrah’s marketing mind.

ME: “Siri, where is YETI based?”

SIRI: “YETI is headquartered in Austin, Texas”.

ME: “Siri, who is YETI’s advertising agency?”

SIRI: “YETI’s advertising agency is McGarrah-Jessee in Austin, Texas.”

In a way, we can all thank Mark McGarrah and Bryan Jessee for Off Center Harbor. A lot of what I learned from these guys is at the core of what has made OCH work. The world is so small, and as it spins full circle, it’s hard to know the influence we have on people. Please know that I’m grateful, Mark and Bryan.


28 Responses So Far to “Anchor Point”:

  1. Avatar charles parker says:

    My father’s day best memory is as a grandfather.. My son and his family live in Montana 1600 miles from me. A few years ago on a visit we drifted down the Clark Fork. We pulled up onto a gravel bank. My not yet a teenager oldest grandson took me up a little bit away from the others and taught me how to fly cast. His student was terrible and the grandson had all the patience in the world that day..I cherish this memory because I know some day he will be a grandpa and his grandson will teach him something special.

  2. Avatar Gerard Peterson says:

    Very thoughtful video and brought back memories of my childhood when my dad took me fishing, too! We were on shores and riverbanks, never with dad in a boat. Years later in my teens after he left home, I took to boating and Lake Superior fishing with friends. Thanks for the memories!

  3. Avatar Wayne Bartow says:

    A great tribute to dad’s every where and a tribute to the sensibilities of you folks. Very touching and very deep stuff we all need remember the very essence of who we are as people. Well done my friends and keep up such really good work .

  4. Avatar Lannis Morris says:

    I’m 65years old and have 2 grand daughters that I am fortunate to see regularly. We have a place on Christmas bay on the gulf coast of Texas. I am a fisherman and sailor and I love nature and the outdoors. This video speaks my language as it relates to the call of the wild outdoors. I appreciate how a man can find beauty from the ashes. Kudos to you for finding your way to peace and happiness even though the path wasn’t an easy one. You are a good man in every sense of the word. Thanks for sharing your story. I aim to help my grand daughters find the truth you found. Very inspiring.

  5. Avatar Ariel Westphal says:

    This story feels like a caresse. Life redeemed! Future is hope! Thx so much!
    Annecy, France

  6. Avatar Arthur Winer says:

    This touches deep emotions, and I’m so glad to find it here on OCH. Thanks for being so real.

  7. Avatar Alan Pickering says:

    The main rule to being a good dad, Don’t be a dick.

  8. Avatar Nicholas Theuma says:

    Touched home ….deeply

  9. Avatar Jim Hansen says:

    Yesterday, on Father’s Day, my son and lovely daughter-in-law came over for dinner. They brought a nice cake and a card. But what really went to my heart was simply the word ‘Dad’ that my son had written on the envelope. It meant the world to me.

  10. Avatar John Hooge says:

    Since seeing this the first time, I keep coming back to it and know I will continue doing so. To me this may be the best example of why it is appropriate for OCH to post videos by others. It is wonderfully made and meaningful in so many ways.

  11. Avatar Dennis Moroney says:

    This short film moved me deeply. Thanks so much for sharing it. My dad was often gone, and my grandparents were all far away, but i had the freedom to spend day after endless day out in nature, and when i did get to spend time with my dad, it was often camping and fishing, and later, backpacking in the Grand Canyon, and its tributaries.
    We adopted two kids when we were in our early 40’s. they grew up outdoors on our ranch with lots of animals and a wilderness lifestyle. We camped, kayaked, danced and worked together as a family. Now they are both parents, with busy lives, and i have three granddaughters that i rarely get to see. I hope that changes in the future. I would so much love to share with them the joys of being out on the water, and living close to nature. Too soon old, too late smart….

  12. Avatar Peter Brackenbury says:

    What a beautiful journey! I had no idea this would be such a gem. Thanks for finding it.

  13. Avatar Douglas semivan says:

    Thanks… BEING a father is the best experience I have ever had. I am so lucky that my children did not one thing to hurt themselves or anyone else.

  14. Thank you T.J. Thank you OCH.

  15. Avatar Steven Schwartz says:

    Almost skipped this one. Not that much interest in a fly fishing video. But the name Van Zandt caught my eye and I wondered if there was any relation to Townes Van Zandt. A ways in before you realize it’s his father. Townes was truly a tortured genius and to see the next two generations evolve from that the way they did is revelatory. Dog in a boat never hurts either. Best short video I’ve ever seen and would have made the OCH subscription price worthwhile all by itself.

  16. Avatar Eigil Rothe says:

    Letting go and forgiving are very difficult. An observation that helps me: our obsession with our problems leaves no room for their solutions.

  17. Avatar Allen Sawyer says:

    Wow! This video highlights all the challenges of living and being a father. Each and everyday I strive towards being the best I can at both. Sometimes I fail and sometimes I succeed. In the end my wife and daughters will be the judges.

    I hope and pray that there will be more successes than failures when the story is fully told.


  18. Avatar George Weinbrenner says:

    Raised in an orphanage 11 years. Where was He? I too found my escape in nature. The woods and lakes were where I self taught woodcraft and boating. Regrets for what could have been, but no looking back. Thankfully I had wonderful teachers step into my life and guided me through the passage to manhood.

  19. Avatar Frank Harris says:

    Wow! Thank you for posting such a wonderful documentary. I was moved by J.T.’s story, and inspired by his pursuit of that which counts most in life.

  20. Avatar Ralph Eade says:

    Hi Steve some great memories an absentee father can shape your in two ways thanklfully in my way was the good positive way – look forwarded to seeing OCH down in Tasmania at the AWBF in February 17

  21. Avatar chip puhl says:

    Wow, and just when I thought OCH couldn’t possibly get any better. I get to watch Anchor Point and I’m overcome with memories of the greatness of my late dad and making me question who I am as a dad and now as a granddad.

    Thanks, Chip Puhl

  22. Avatar Michael Hiss says:

    it is like a mirror to my father. sometime it’s difficult with my poor English and I hope I got the words right in my ears.
    Thank You

  23. Avatar Michael Vaughan says:

    Eximious! It just keeps getting better… and what a finale!

  24. Avatar Paul Cronin says:

    Great story to make us think about what really matters in life.
    Thanks for sharing

  25. Avatar David Mowen says:

    ” – – – – – – – go home and be a man!” – – -Resonates for we who have fallen short.

  26. Avatar Vince Gallagher says:

    Wonderful. thank you.

  27. Avatar Jerry Readinger says:

    Thanks Steve!
    I think this hits home with a great many of us.

  28. Avatar James Arthur says:

    Wow Steve, this really hits a bunch of exquisitely bittersweet spots for me, just like Townes did. What an incredible document this is! Thanks for pointing it out!

    P.S. enjoyed sailing with you at MASCF, hope to see you down east this summer, Jim

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