Jose inspired me in so many ways.
We all knew that Jose was a great fisherman, that much was obvious. But, what really struck me, was his willingness to stop and chat and really listen to what people had to say. In the midst of adoring fans and photo ops, he would block it all out and focus completely on whomever he was speaking to. I always admired his ability to be so giving, when people were pulling him in every direction.
We would run into each other each year at the boat shows and other events. I would always tell how much I enjoyed his shows and everything he was doing.
He would smile from ear to ear and thank me and would then tell me how he had been following my progress with my sailfish tournaments. I would think to myself…how could he possibly be interested in what I was doing, but he genuinely was, and that always blew me away. He had the ability to make everyone around him feel loved.
Back in 2009 while in transit to Las Vegas for the ICAST show, I bumped into Jose on the plane and we talked for at least 30 minutes while standing in the isle.
He shook my hand and congratulated me on the show and I actually got chills while he explained to me how proud he was of me for doing my own thing.
I couldn’t believe what I was hearing! Jose Wejebe liked my show! It was one of the coolest, most memorable moments of my life. It just proved, again, what a great guy he was. Taking the time to offer up his positive energy and to share his world with others is what made him so special.
From that moment on Jose and I became quick friends, calling, texting and emailing regularly.
Jose invited me down to Summerland Key to stay at his home and go fun fishing. He invited me to take a ride in his plane in order to show me where we would actually fish.
We also discussed shooting an episode of the Spanish Fly together. I was so honored…. I couldn’t believe my ears. My hero had welcomed me into his world and offered up everything he had.
The whole relationship was surreal to me. Especially when my phone would ring and it would say Jose Wejebe and I would pick it up and hear him say…Hey little brother! It would make me smile every time. He just had a way about him that made you want to hang with him all the time.
We never got the chance to fish together, as he was taken from us way to soon, but, I was more blessed just to have spent time with him.
I think about him all the time and miss him very much. I so am happy to see his daughter, Krissy, carrying on his tradition and holding the torch for everything he believed in.