This hero is about to set sail to find his value
During this year’s Bay City Chamber Banquet, Jason Boyd was honored as the Sargent Volunteer of the Year.
It was a very fitting tribute for a man who has filled almost every need in the Sargent community. Boyd has served on the Sargent Volunteer Fire Department as its fire chief and he organized the Saving Sargent Facebook page after Hurricane Harvey ravished the area.
“He is known for being there at a moment’s notice and is the go to for many a citizen in Sargent. He takes great joy in being there for anyone who asks and takes great pride in the town he loves. He is a loving father, a proud veteran, a helping neighbor and a loyal friend,” said his presenter of Boyd at the banquet.
All of his life, Boyd has lived his life helping others, but now, Boyd is ready to live life for himself.
“That is my life in a nutshell,” Boyd said. “The people in Sargent, my family in Maryland, my kids — I love them all to death and its really hard for me to pack up and leave because I know somebody is going to need me. I grew up wanting to be that hero. When somebody says ‘hey, I need some help’, I wanted to be there and do anything I can for them.”
In Sargent, Boyd has been become know as everything to everybody and not for riches and a big bank account.
“I get paid with King’s Ranch casseroles and pies and I’m probably a diabetic now so I share them with everybody,” Boyd said. “I really going to miss being needed which is really difficult. I need some time to find my value that I haven’t lost but it is hidden somewhere and I have to find it.
“I have helped people all my life and I am grateful for it,” Boyd said. “I am grateful to everybody that has asked me to help them because it gave me more worth than I thought I was. Doing this by myself, I am trying to find that value because I have given some people my time that really shouldn’t have had my time.”
Part of that process began with Boyd’s book ‘Zen and the Art of Sailing Willow,’ that details a healing process that started for the Sargent native.
“Last year, I bought this boat when I thought my dad was passing away,” Boyd said. “Visiting with him, we talked over all the things we were supposed to do over the years and buying a sailboat was one of those things I wanted to do my entire life. As he started to get better, this boat popped up five hours away and I drove down there and bought it and had to sail back to my mom and dad’s in Maryland.”
The trip was adventurous to say the least.
“I lot of things happened on the way back,” Boyd said. “The motor fell off halfway back and when I say it fell off I was looking over the edge and it was laying in the water looking up at me being held on by just the fuel line. Just everything went wrong.”
But it was during this trip that Boyd started to learn a lesson in his life’s journey that he needed to be taught.
“It was a coming about life experience,” Boyd said. “I learned a lot about myself on the trip. I learned there are a lot of things I need to change in my life and the bottom line is that you never give up.”
When he returned, Boyd began packing up his house in Sargent and heading back to Maryland and fix up the boat, which now had a hole in the hull, the sail is ripped and the motor was broke again. But his plans are to repair the boat and sail it to the Bahamas on his way to bringing it back to Sargent.
He estimates the trip to take a year.
Jan, an 80-year old blind man who sold the boat to Boyd, is planning on traveling with Boyd on his trip to the Bahamas. During this trip, Jan will dictate his book to Boyd, who plans on writing it and is tentatively titled ‘Sailing Blind.’
“He’s blind and I really don’t know how to sail so the title is appropriate,” Boyd said.
His current book ‘Zen and the Art of Sailing Willow’ tells the story of the trip in the first three quarters of the book with the last quarter telling about his life in Sargent.
“The book surprised me because it was the number one new best seller on Amazon for a while,” Boyd said. “And that was cool. It is one of the biggest things I am very proud of besides my kids.”
The book and the trip allowed Boyd to look back on his life and realize just what was missing for the Sargent native.
“Everybody says plan your life,” Boyd said. “I have never planned anything. I own an air conditioning company; I opened it because it was needed. I opened a boatlift company because Sargent needed one. I did cargo lifts because Sargent needed one.
“The trip was an eye opener,” Boyd said. “When I left Maryland, I just stopped answering the phone. I stopped doing service calls and I just quit work. I have been working on my house ever since to get it rentable.”
Boyd realizes he is traveling during the heart of the Atlantic hurricane season but his trip has to be this year.
“I have had two heart attacks, suffered two heat strokes and I am just not going to put this off any longer,” Boyd said. “I never planned for this but everything just seems to work out.”