I recently purchased an original oil painting by Galen Mercer, who just happens to be one of the finest outdoor, landscape painters in the country. galen’s use of paint to portray the glistening sunlight as it tickles the clear turquoise waters of the marquesas headland is breathtaking. I can just stare at this painting for hours and imagine the tarpon rolling in the distance. the fabled marquesas keys are located approximately 30 miles off key west, florida. the marquesas was and is still, a legendary destination for record permit and tarpon. it was a place I used to dream about as a child. i remember paging through old issues of the saltwater sportsman while growing up in brooklyn and reading about my fly fishing pioneers like lefty kreh & stu apte. the black & white images of tarpon flying through the air with the picture perfect background are etched into my mind. this picture has a deeper meaning to me than just being a beautiful oil painting. it is very dear to my heart, because it depicts the place I caught my first tarpon on the fly. a moment frozen in time and space. it reminds me of the generosity of my friend jerry, who invited a young wide-eyed kid from brooklyn to take this adventure with him. it reminds me of capt. ray fetcher who guided and poled us across this never ending holy water. i don’t know if i will be back there soon, but i smile and appreciate that experience every day i look at this painting….thank you galen!