Larry P Watson
1982 – 2014
Starting in 1982 I joined Bass Searchers of Indy, in part, due to my cousin, Darrel Hartley, and his leadership getting me into Bass Fishing.
After a year or so, I wondered “What does the Federation do for the clubs?”
Darrell’s answer was simple, you want to know, get yourself elected to the Zone 3 (East) Director’s position, then when you find out, come back and tell us.
Along the way anytime I volunteered for a job or position another good friend from the Bass Searchers, Vern Robbins was always by my side.
After a year or so in 1984, Joe Landwerlen called all the East Directors (Bill Folkening, Eldon Crabtree and I) together for a meeting to discuss “where is this Federation going?’”
In 1985, Joe was elected president with Larry starting a 9 year run as Secretary/treasurer, through 1993.
It was during this time; Larry also was the Invitational Director for the years 1986 & 1987 and 1991 & 1992.
1994 – 1996 Larry moved up to the office as president of the IBF.
It was customary for the president to attend the Bass Master’s Classic. Where we attended meetings as well as banquets and the weigh ins for the Classic. One evening there was a Ranger Boat Banquet with this fountain putting out this wonderful tasting drink that I had no idea what it was, but after a long day it was GOOOOOOD!! Well I found out it was Lynchburg Lemonade, oh boy did I have fun!!!!!!
From 1988 through 1994, he was also the Tournament Director for the Leukemia Society, Charity Tournament. While holding this position, there was a recognition dinner held at St. Elmo’s in Indianapolis, to thank those folks that supported the Leukemia Society. While attending this event, a person bought me a drink, a table or so away. To be thankful, I raised my right arm to say thank you, at the very time the waiter was coming over my right shoulder, with the appetizer ( a bowl of bean soup). The soup went straight up and landed on myself, the person next to me and the waiter. Needless to say BOY oh BOY, I wanted to crawl under the table to hide, but the damage had been done and laughter for ALL.
The funds for the Leukemia Tournament were being sent to New York for National Distribution. In 1995 there was a move to change our support and move to the Children’s Miracle Network ( Riley Children’s Hospital ). Larry chaired this position from 1995 through 2007. These funds have helped a number of handicapped children ONLY.
During 1995, there was a BIG change for the Federation. As this was the year the IBF split Secretary and the Treasurer jobs into two positions.
Starting in 1997 through 2000, I took over the Invitational Trail again for another four years.
Starting in 1998, I moved to Fall Creek Valley Bass Masters, to get closer to home and meat and fish with some really great guys. While with Fall Creek, our club has run the Top- 8 Zone 3 East Tournament for years. We have some 30 members and this has allowed us to run a split tournament with half the field going to Morse and half the field going to Geist, the swapping the second day. We now have half the clubs and fish all clubs on Morse and then Geist.
In 2001 through 2008 I again served at the call of the membership and served as treasurer for another eight years.
In 2006, it was during this time, IBF saw its biggest change, as I would bleed blue for B.A.S.S. but due to changes there, we made a decision to move to the tbf – FLW. The membership was on a roller coaster ride, as we grew to 200 clubs with 3000 members. We then slid to 78 clubs with 1100 members, due to the 2008 financial collapse, loss of jobs and life style changes.
2006 – 2007 I again served IBF as the Invitational Director. There a lot of stories to be told about the ten years I ran the trail, but I survived and the Trail is still going strong to this day.
In the year 2003, I retired from Guide Lamp Division of General Motors with 39 years of seniority. I had worked in Skilled Trades for 35 of those years, and really enjoyed my occupation. As I worked in a Tool Shop and made parts for machinery that had broken over night and was needed ASAP the next work day.
During 2009 through 2012, I stayed close to the Federation. Helping out with the Zone and Top-8’s, trying retired life.
Using my gifts learned through the Federation, I was elected to the Board of Directors at our local Lampco, Federal Credit Union, Board of Directors. While there, I moved up to Chairman’s position and held that position and held that spot for 5 and half years.
In the fall of 2012 a call came from the Federation, Watson HELP!!
Again, I am BACK, with the Financial (Treasurer Position).
I am proud to have served and worked with a lot of men and women in the IBF. I consider you all my friends and family.
Thank you for allowing me to grow and become wiser through these past 30 years.
In December of 2013 I turned 70 years young and hope to continue helping the IBF till; well let’s say till another, calling comes from a much higher place.