A Lady, A Hero and Hooks

A Lady, A Hero and Hooks Logo by Felicia Lujan


Today I took the day off from the gym because I had a few errands to run. When I was leaving work two people caught my eye in the lobby. There sat a gentleman and a young lady caught up in their own creative world. I was immediately intrigued by the duo and wondered what they were up to? I decide to approach them on my way out so that I could ask. My first question was “are you making jewelry?” As it turned out, they were “tying flies” to snag Pike in Pilar, New Mexico. I told them “my brother is a fisherman and he would love you!” Hum? They had set up shop in the lobby of my building and they were working away.

While I ran one of a few scheduled errands I couldn’t help but think about these two people. Who were they? Why were they tying flies? Were they grandpa and grandchild? What was their story? I know I love history more than running errands, and by this point I can probably add more than coffee because I made a mad dash back to work. In a split second I had decided that I wanted to know more. I approached the busy workers with a smile while asking many questions. It is always so refreshing to meet new people who want to share their stories. In a short amount of time I had learned all about these people. I also set up a phone interview with the gentleman for this evening.

~Dr. Dinwiddie and Jamie Groves Working~ Photograph by Felicia Lujan_3.5.2013

~Dr. Dinwiddie and Jamie Groves Working~
Photograph by Felicia Lujan_3.5.2013

Since the first of the month I had been contemplating which woman I wanted to research and write about in honor of National Women’s History Month (2013). The more I thought about that particular young lady, the more I realized I should focus on a woman who is currently making history. I was so amazed that a 24 year old woman was so mature, caring, creative, and patriotic. This special woman and her hero/mentor/grandfather figure had a worthy story to tell. This month is indeed Women’s History Month and the Library of Congress is featuring an exhibit titled The Women of Four Wars. Ms. Jamie Groves and Dr. Stu Dinwiddie are honoring our wounded warriors in a very special and unique way which is right in line with that exhibit.

Jamie Groves and Dr. Dinwiddie are not related. These individuals just work together to help disabled veterans, still Jamie thinks that Stu is “the granddaughter that he never had.” For the last six months, they have been tying flies and giving them to Albuquerque veterans as part of Project Healing Waters. The mission of that organization is dedicated “to the physical and emotional rehabilitation of disabled active duty personnel and veterans through fly fishing and fly tying education and outings.” It is such an awesome project that I was so honored to learn about. Dr. Dinwiddie is also a disabled veteran who now uses his time to help others along with his youthful partner. He has become Jamie’s mentor by teaching her to fly fish. Dr. Dinwiddie said that he was taught how to fly fish at 14 years old and that he learned from the son of Aldo Leopold!

~Jamie Groves Tying a Pike Fly~ Photograph by Felicia Lujan_3.5.2013

~Jamie Groves Tying a Pike Fly~
Photograph by Felicia Lujan_3.5.2013

~A Jamie Groves Handcrafted Pike Fly~ Photograph by Felicia Lujan_3.5.2013

~A Jamie Groves Handcrafted Pike Fly~
Photograph by Felicia Lujan_3.5.2013

Jamie truly is a rare woman. At 24 years old she is contributing to the well being of those who made a difference in New Mexico history by protecting our freedom. She is passionate about what she does and insisted I didn’t take her picture until she “was working” and showing me the Evergreen Hand. The Evergreen Hand is a special tool invented and developed by Jesse Scott to assist disabled veteran fishermen. I was astonished to learn that Jamie will be teaching wounded warriors who have lost a hand or arm how to tie a fly with one hand. After watching them for a while, I don’t think I could tie one with two! This wonderful woman told me proudly that she sits on one hand to practice. This is how she knows that she can teach others. Dr. Dinwiddie told me that Jamie was touched on a recent visit with wounded women. Her participation in this project makes a world of a difference in a male dominated sport/hobby.

I am always so intrigued by the hidden history of our community. These two people are involved in a project so worthy of a mention. I was honored to take the time to learn so much. I learned about a lady and a hero making a difference in the lives of our wounded warriors one hook at a time.


Custom Crafted Rods by Stu Dinwiddie

Phone: 505.470.3673

Email: rsdinwiddie@plateautel.net

Explore posts in the same categories: Art, Artists, Crafts, Creativity, Giving, Healing, Hidden History, History, Hobby, Inner Beauty, Interviews, Library of Congress, Men, Nature, New Mexico, Sports, Women, Worthy Reads, Writers, Writing

3 Comments on “A Lady, A Hero and Hooks”

  1. purpose213 Says:

    Beautiful post Felish :0]


  2. […] Read about other heroes I respect: • When We Are Disfigured • A Lady, A Hero and Hooks […]


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