…”maybe ya just had to be there”…

There was a time, way back when, when we , our family, would every now & then go on a day trip to different places with another family. Friends of our. Our kids were just a couple of years apart. In each family there was a son & daughter. So the trips & days went well. On this particular day we were headed to Tallapoosa, GA. Our destination was for two stores right next door to each other. One was a Golf Supply Outlet & the other was a Year Round Christmas Store. Now, I’ll let y’all guess who was headed to which stores. The other family just happened to have a Mini Van & we all fit in it just fine. The bad thing was the other Father, he’s an “Ole Tater Chip Salesman”, would drive. I always questioned his “Man Hood” as he just looked too happy to be drivin’ a “Mini Van”! The highlight of the day happened as we were approachin’ downtown Tallapoosa, GA. It ain’t a real big town. We came in on GA Hwy #100, crossed over the ole Rail Road Tracks, turned on to US Hwy 78 & were slowly easin’ down main street. Now Tallapoosa, GA. is an OLD COUNTRY TOWN. The Ole side walks were elevated, had roofs extendin’ out over the ole sidewalks for shade & to keep the rain off of ya I guess. They were real narrow. With everything in such close proximity there, ya know, really made things reverberate underneath’em, pretty damn loud (remember that). Folks were leisurely  strollin’ along lookin’ as though they had no where to be in a hurry, as ole Country Folk do. As we eased along I noticed an Ole Dog, “Ole Blue” I called ’em, & he was just followin’ is nose along the side walk. Now “Ole Blue” was a TRIPOD! He was long legged, ribs was slightly showin’, he was just lopin’ along & had a pretty good gait goin’ too, for an Ole Tripod. I guess he was either sniffin’ out who all had been cruisin’ his territory as dogs do or he was sniffin’ for a tasty snack, dropped from some of the Saturday Strollers. Well I was ridin’ “Shotgun” & spotted “Ole Blue” bout a 1/2 a block in front of us. Well, I don’t know why it did but a strange hankerin’ was comin’ on me. The closer we got to “Ole Blue” the more excited I got. I kinda felt like a Cat, crouched down gettin’ ready to pounce. The only difference was my tail, cause I don’t have one, wasn’t twiitchin’ the closer we got to’em. There were conversations goin’ on inside the Mini Van so everyone was preoccupied & not payin’ any attention to me & they hadn’t seen “Ole Blue” yet. As I eased my window down, the attention shifted to me. A couple of folks was askin’, in unison, “why are you lettin’ the AC out”? The whole time I was easin’ my arm out the window, I sat up tall in my seat & {{{{{ WHAM! – WHAM! – WHAM!!! }}}}} I beat on the side of that Mini Van, scarin’ the hell out of everyone in it. The guy drivin’ didn’t know if he’d hit somethin’ or someone had hit him! At the same time I was doin’ my best imitation of a “BIG DOG” barkin’, {{{{{ Arrrr! – Arrrr! – Arrrr – Arrr!!! }}}}}. My Bride & my children figured it out pretty quick. They know me! The driver’s wife & kids were still tryin’ to figure out what their Dad/Her Husband had hit!. “Ole Blue” flung his head around, tucked his tail between his legs, as though there was a BIG Ole Dog about to take off part of his ass! He was tryin’ to get some traction to get the hell out of there. It was kinda like his clutch was slippin’! His ole long lanky legs were goin’ thru the motions but he just wasn’t gettin’ no where. Bout that time his ole paws caught traction, he flung his ole head back to the left & {{{{{ WHAM ! }}}}}. Right into the side of the buildin’, face first! {{{{{ Rrr – Rrr – Rrr – Rrr!!! }}}}} the whole time & down he went!. He finally got up, still just a hollerin’ {{{{{ Rrr – Rrr – Rrr – Rrr!!! }}}}} & took out around the corner & he never checked up!!! I laughed so hard my ribs & throat were hurtin’. Like a chain reaction, from the others in the “Mini Van”, all began to break out in laughter as well. Except for “Ole Tater Chip Salesman” he was still tryin’ to figure out what just happened to his “MiniVan”. I don’t know, maybe ya just had to be there. We didn’t buy anything that day but it was pretty entertain’ for me I must say…”Hold’em Hook”!…..BG>

…”I didn’t use A Draft”…

Just Chillin'I have been questioned several times why I write/type, as I do? Meanin’ “Why don’t you use Paragraphs”? Plain & Simple “I’m not good at it”!  When an topic/subject comes into my head I don’t see Paragraphs. I don’t THINK in Paragraphs! Do you? Hell maybe there’s somethin’ wrong with the way I think, I don’t know. I understand many/most writers plan “A Draft”! They think of & decide on a subject/topic. They they start thinkin’ out their paragraphs in the form of “A Draft”. Some are so borin’, to me (as I’m sure mine are to others), the way they flow. Some seem to go “Step by step (#1, #2, #3, and so on) in a format. Some seem to ramble yet, are able to, tie them all together well. As for me, my mind just wanders unrestrained. Once I turn it loose, hell, there’s NO TELLIN’ where it might go. I type/write my thoughts as they play out in my minds eye. Maybe if I had been a better student in my “English Classes”, through out my educational years, I would be more like others. But I’m NOT! I’m me. I have always enjoyed writin’ in my form. My problem was my form wasn’t bein’ taught. My concept didn’t conform. Then I had to “Diagram” my work in class. Right! It was said, a time or two, “You have very good content but you don’t have A Draft & you didn’t Diagram your work”. I just couldn’t grasp that concept. That always seemed to get me either a “D” or an “F” in English. Did I fail English? Oh hell yeah, several times. I’m probably the only student on record at Jefferson State Jr. College that failed English #095 ( Remedial English) TWICE!!. Guess that tells ya where my College Career ended. Oh well. I just hope you enjoy my content & don’t get confused by my lack of structure, I didn’t use “A Draft”…”Hold’em Hook”!…..BG>

…”just a passin’ thought”…

YOU always just accepted things, just like the rest of US, didn’t ya…”Jack & Jill went up the hill to fetch a pail of water”…Now think about that for just a minute. No REALLY think about THAT! OK, let’s break this down. Does Water run UP hill? No! Water runs (go on, say it) DOWN HILL! We all go down to the creek, down to the river, out or down to the well, right? Yes, you DID learn somethin’ in school, probably in Science or Geography. Hell, maybe even in Health or Biology. Now, let’s go back, wa-a-ay back for most of us. This is for you guys, Why did Jack REALLY take Jill up that hill? Hum-m-m…Now this is for you gals, Why did Jill REALLY go up that hill with Jack? We all now know it wasn’t for a “bucket of water”. Oh well, it was just a passin’ thought. I need to go fetch some water…”Hold’em Hook”!…..BG>

…”I was still in {{{ SHOCK ! }}}”…(Part 3 of 3)

20170625_123456_resized_1Part #3
A day or two later Mother called me in, early, from playin’. That usually meant trouble, I didn’t know what I’d done? I was thinkin’ all the way home about my activities for the last couple of days. I went in & she said “Papa wants you on the back porch”! “Yes ma’am”, I said. I went out back & there Papa was in his chair & a stool for me. I’ve got somethin’ for ya Boy”! he said. He handed a Small Steel Tackle Box. “Well you gonna open it up or not”. I eyes were fixed on it as I stroked it carefully, “thank you sir”!, I said. “Oh, yes sir, I’m gonna open it”. I did & to my amazement there were three plugs, a few plastic worms, some worm hooks, a few swivels, a tube of spare/wear reel parts (a level wind/paul arm, a level wind/paul follower, two gears, & some spare screws) a pocket knife, a triangle file, a pair of pliers, & every tray lined with Sheet Cork!. “I expect you to take care of that equipment & those plugs Boy”! Yes sir” I replied. I was still in {{{ SHOCK ! }}}. My own Tackle Box! To this day, I still have those three (3) plugs, all with Sharp hooks! 20170625_165523_resizedThose three (3) plugs are all Top Water Plugs, #1) a Creek Chub Broken Back Fan Tail, #2) a Creek Chub Darter (modified by Papa into what he called a “Talkin’ Plug”), & #3) a Paw Paw jerk bait (modified with front spinner removed & a weighted tail to give it more action). I keep’em all, along with the Reel & Reel Boot in a display table in my family room upstairs. The Rod I keep in a Rod Rack in the basement garage, where my Bass Boat sleeps…Hold’em Hook”!…..BG>

…”I was still in {{{ SHOCK ! }}}”…(Part 2 of 3)

Part #2
Now Papa was one that went fishin’ at night & fished until about 8:00am the next mornin’. We, my brother & I use to beg him to take us Fishin’ with him. He’d say “Ok, soon”. Ya gotta learn to cast first! Then I’ll take ya with me. I remember sayin’ one day “but Papa I don’t have a Rod & Reel”. “We’ll fix that soon” he said. I would help him tote his equipment down to his ole Dodge, he’d load up & in the process I’d ask if I could go with him? He tell me to either (a) “Go ask Mama or your Mother ” or (b) “Go tell’em to make ya a sack dinner”! OK, & up the steps I’d run, as fast as my short stubby little legs would carry me, find either Mama or Mother & tell’em “I’m goin’ Fishin’ with Papa tonight”! Then they would let me down & explain that I wasn’t really goin’, he was just kiddin’. I’d go to the front door, look down to the street, where Papa parked, & the Ole Dodge would be gone! I fell for it more times than I can remember…such is the life of a 4 or 5 year old little boy hopin’ to go fishin’!
Well, “soon” finally came around! At Five & a half (5 1/2) years old my Papa/Grandfather gave it to me. My First {{{ 1st ! }}} Rod & Reel! It was an old one he kept around, in good workin’ condition, in case one of his “Ole Fishin’ Buddies” needed one to use. It was a Bait Caster, No 666 (now your thinkin’ about THAT aren’t ya) South Bend FreeCast Model A.

For some reason I always thought it, the rod, was three (3) foot long. The Rod was a Solid Steel Rod (medium action) with an ole “Pepsi Cola” bottle cap screwed onto the bottom of the Reel Butt as protection! As he handed me that Rod & Reel he called my attention to the Reel Boot on it. “You see this Boy”!, as he pointed to the Reel Boot, “if I ever see this Reel Boot not coverin’ that Reel you better have it in your hand usin’ that Rod & Reel or it’ll be mine again! You hear me Boy”? “Yes sir Papa, I hear ya”, I answered responsibly. But TODAY for some reason curiosity got to me. I got that ole Rod out I measured it & to my amazement it is actually 4 feet, 7 1/4 inches long. And it STILL works as good as the day I got it!  Papa told me to sit in this chair, out on the back porch. When you can hit that ole tire out in the yard, with that practice plug (tied on the rod) five (5) times in a row you can go Fishin’ with me. I’d spend days out there castin’ till my arms hurt. I finally did it. I went & got Papa to come & watch me. And again “I DID IT!” He approved in his own silent way and said “OK”! (to be continued)…Hold’em Hook”!…..BG>

…”I was still in {{{ SHOCK ! }}}”…(Part 1 of 3)

09-10-2016-watchin-bama-footballPart #1
Today, I’m sittin’ down here in “The Cave” watchin’ a Bass Fishin’ show on cable TV & readin’ on my FB account, at the same time, about a cousin that fishes on the FLW, Bass Fishin’, Tour circuit as well a friend that is also a Pro Fisherman & Guide. That got this ole brain of mine to wanderin’. Yeah, I know that can be dangerous. But it got me to thinkin’ about my First {{{ 1st ! }}} Rod & Reel I ever got. My grandfather gave it to me. My Mother, brother, & I lived with my Mothers Parents/my Grandparents after my Father passed way when I was Twenty (20) months old. Sorry, I regressed.
We, my brother & I always were mystified by Papa’s/our Grandfather’s Tackle Box and Rods & Reels. And every Reel had a Reel Boot on it when not in use, to keep it clean & protected. Hell, I know, I almost drooled when I got to touch or hold somethin’ of his. Papa would sit on the front porch, the back porch, or in his “Big Red Arm Chair” in the livin’ room dependin’ on the time of day or evenin’, surveyin’ his equipment. If it was his Tackle Box, then he would look at everything he used the last time he went fishin’. Now he had everything in it’s specific place. Even had every slot lined with Sheet Cork,
& rubber glued to the bottom of his ole steel tackle box to keep noise to a minimum. He could put his hand/fingers on any item in his Tackle Box in the dark! He’d check the hooks for sharpness & if required then he’d gently file, with his ole triangle file, with long slow/smooth strokes, each hook on that specific plug to “Razor Sharp” condition. It might even be an Ole Plastic Worm. Creme was the Brand he used (Black, Purple, or Green). He NEVER threw one away! Should it be torn or damaged in any way he would put them in a plastic bag while on the river, then take’em out & repair’em at home. He’d melt’em over the stove & put’em back together. He called it “Gluin’em”! He would cut small strips off of ones too damaged to repair & make lizard legs & melt’em/glue’em on a repaired body. We just watched in amazement! In future years we would do the same things for ourselves. This was before you could buy Plastic Lizards in our area. Heck, I don’t know if they were even manufactured yet. That was back in the mid Fifties {{{ 50’s }}}. If it were a Rod, he would check the eyelets for alignment, the wrappin’s that held’em on the rod to see if any were fraided at all, if so it required a coat of Clear Fingernail Polish to protect’em. If it were a Reel, he’d pull some line off of the Reel & wind it back up, the whole time listenin’ to it and checkin’ it’s freedom of movement. Then if he determined it was “OK” then he would lube it with his own mixture of A-1 Machine Oil & Powdered Graphite. That would damn sure slick’em up for castin’. If by chance there was a sound out of the norm, he’d strip that rascal down, wash it in gasoline & scrub it with an ole toothbrush, reassemble it & lube that rascal up good. I’m tellin’ ya, he was a Perfectionist! (to be continued)…Hold’em Hook”!…..BG>


Out on The Deck 5-26-16Today is “Fathers Day”! To all of you FATHERS “HAPPY FATHERS DAY”! To both of my Fathers, Charles W. Gray (1953 R.I.P.) & my Step-Father Claude C. McGraw (2002 R.I.P.), I thank them for, both, the rolls they played in my life. My Father (Charles) passed away, in an accident, when I was only 20 months old. I really never knew him. I would also like to thank all of those “Neighbor Hood Fathers” who shared their time & leadership with me in my early years. To THEIR children thank you for sharing them with me, it meant more than you’ll ever know. To those of you who have lost your Fathers cherish your time & memories with them. To those of you who are lucky enough to still have your Fathers make sure you recognize them today. The day will come when you’ll wish you had. If you can’t be with them today CALL them, it’ll mean an awful lot. Folks of my age & older care NOTHING about getting a TEXT. DON”T DO IT!. Those are for you younger folks. As for Me, I’m blessed to have my Children & Grandchildren with me…”Hold’em Hook”…..BG>