Did Daddy ever
I’ve been fishing since
I can remember and always loved every minute of it. Tonight (02 03 2005), I was
thinking about writing those memories and realized I never heard Mama or my brothers and sisters or anyone else talk about
my daddy ever going fishing. I knew Uncle Jim (Daddy’s twin brother) really
well and I know I never saw or heard of him fishing.
I just had to know about Daddy
and there aren’t many people around that I could ask. Except for Lloyd
there is probably no one who knows so I picked up the phone and called him with that question. When Lloyd answered the
phone I said, "Did my daddy ever go fishing" I don’t know why I never asked before.
Here is what Lloyd told
me of two incidents of interest. The first was that Daddy took him when he was
very small to where the road from Beckville to Carthage crosses Irons Bayou. Daddy
put out some drop lines on poles stuck in the creek bank (we called these set hooks).
Back when I was small, on any of the larger creeks in the area you would find a pole laying on the ground near
every accessible place along the creek bank (when the creek flooded all the poles would be washed away and new ones would
have to be cut). Most of the water in the creek was shallow; I would say less
than 6 feet deep. We kept hooks and lines made up and ready for when we got to
go. A typical rig was a piece of cotton line about 1/8th inch in diameter
(we didn’t have nylon in those days), with a hook tied on one end and a piece of lead about 4 inches above the hook
and a small loop tied in the other end of the line. We might keep 50 or more of these lines made up. After a fishing trip we would hang and dry the lines, if you didn’t dry them the cotton lines would
quickly rot. When they were dry we would wrap them around a small board. The first one would be started by hanging the hook on the end of the board and on
the next one the hook would go into the loop on the end of the previous one until all lines were wrapped around the board.
Anyway, Daddy took Lloyd and
they put out some hooks and caught some fish. About all that Lloyd remembers
about it is getting finned by a catfish,
Lloyd remembers another trip
to the Sabine River. He, James and Daddy went with Daddy’s
cousin Jesse Brooks and his two sons, Forrest and Clarence. They went in two
cars and Lloyd rode with Cousin Jesse. As they got down in the river bottom the road, as always, was a winding one going around
sloughs and trees. Many times when the road got bad going around a tree on one
side they would start going around the other side. Cousin Jess came up to a large
tree and traffic had been going both ways around the tree. He couldn’t
make up his mind which way to go so he ran straight into the tree. He was going
real slow so no damage was done.
The other incident happened
in the summer time. Back in those days after the crops were planted and plowed
that last time, usually around the first to the middle of July at home, there was a slack time of about a month or two when
the farmers had little to do in the fields except pray for rain when it was needed.
I expect this incident happened around about August when it tends to get very hot and dry in East Texas.
A number of families loaded
up in wagons and went over to where Martin’s Creek crossed the Beckville Tatum road.
At that time Martin’s Creek was very low with little flow between the deeper holes in the creek. The folks got down in the creek and used seines to block off above and below a hole where the water was
shallow. They muddied the water by stirring up the muck on the bottom so the
fish would come to the surface to get air. When the fish came to the top the
people would catch them. Lloyd was in there with the rest of the folks and he
stepped off into deep water and went under. If just so happened that Frank Smith,
wife of Daddy’s baby sister Mattie, was manning one of the seines and saw Lloyd about to drown. Uncle Frank climbed over the seine and pulled Lloyd out, saving him from drowning.