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Today I'm featuring an Honorable Mention entry from this year's Write a Dear Reader Contest, written by Jack Capehart.
One story makes you think of another and Jack's story made me think of my Grandpa Hale. Grandpa always went fishing in quiet, out-of-the-way spots, and many times I would tag along. I can see him now with his high wader boots on, two cane fishing poles in hand, and a strap over one shoulder attached to a wicker fishing basket, that was always full by the time we headed home. Thanks for the memories, Jack.
Congratulations to Jack Capehart...
The First One Got Away
In 1945 when I was seven years old and in the second grade, my father worked in town as a watchmaker, and we lived a mile out of town in a two-story house on three acres of land. Dad was raised on a farm, so he did a little farming on our three acres, in addition to his watch repairing. We had two hogs, one cow, and about 30 chickens. We had no electricity, no running water, and no indoor plumbing, but we had free natural gas because we owned the gas well that was on our property. We used natural gas to cook and light the house.
On a summer day I was wading barefoot in the little stream that ran around our front yard. When I came to the place where another stream flowed from underneath the road, and ran into our creek making a deeper pool, I saw several fish swimming there. Now, these fish were about three inches long, not just the minnows I had seen before, and I decided I'd like to catch one of them but I had no fishing gear.
Well, Dad had a workbench in the house where he worked on watches he sometimes brought home with him, and I had seen him use his many small tools, and knew what long-nose pliers were and how to use them. Knowing that I needed a hook to catch fish, I went into the house and asked Mom for a straight pin. I took the straight pin to Dad's workbench and used the long-nose pliers to bend the pin into a hook shape, and then asked Mom for some strong thread and tied that around the pin, up close to the head of the pin where it couldn't slip off. Then I went back outside and found a stick about three feet long, and tied the other end of the string to one end of the stick.
I was beginning to get excited now and started thinking about bait. I turned over rocks on the creek bank till I found a worm, and then struggled through getting it onto the makeshift hook. Then I dangled the hook in the water where I could see the fish swimming around, and sure enough one of the fish swam over and chomped down on my hook. I gave a sharp yank on my stick and the fish came out of the water and landed on the bank, but since there was no barb on my hook, he spit out the hook and started flopping around and before I could decide what to do next, he was back in the water and swimming away.
Now I was really excited and ran into the house yelling, "Mom! Mom! I caught a fish!" and she said, "So where's the fish?" I told her it had flopped back into the water before I could grab it and she said, "Well go back and see if you can catch one we can have for supper."
Mom didn't seem nearly as excited as I was, and I started thinking maybe she didn't even really believe me.
I think my lesson learned from this event was that hooks need barbs to catch fish, and people need evidence to believe stories.
Honorable Mention, 2015 Write a Dear Reader Contest
Thanks for reading with me. It's so good to read with friends.
* This month's Penguin Classics book is RAVELSTEIN by Saul Bellow. Start reading now and enter to win a Penguin tote bag: http://www.supportlibrary.com/bc/v.cfm?L=drclassqqxqQ1AFE3FA7574&c=CLASSICS
AUTHORBUZZ: SCORCHED EGGS, Cackleberry Club Mystery #6 by Laura Childs
I'm thrilled to bring you the 6th book in my New York Times bestselling mystery series. This is a book you can identify with--from my entrepreneurial main characters, to the small town setting of the Cackleberry Club Cafe. Many readers tell me a Cackleberry Club Mystery is comfort food for the mind. And they're just as enthusiastic about my recipes for Sour Cream Coffee Cake, Cheese Popovers, and Scorched Eggs.
Go to: http://authorbuzz.com/dearreader click on SCORCHED EGGS to read more and to email author Laura Childs, you'll get a reply.