HAIR PULLIN’ POINT             



June 2, 2014


     From my ledger back in 1986. Saturday, May 24. After taking the seventh grade boys home from camping I went to Charleston and eleven of us went grabbling (noodling.) Started at Bluff Bank and went upriver. The water was cold and the air was cold. A half mile upriver Jeffrey Preas felt a catfish with his foot. The river was up a little and came up to Jeffrey’s neck as he stood in the swift water with his feet blocking the hole. Nathan Elmore was holding Jeffrey steady so the current would wash him downstream. I dived down and started trying to grab the catfish but ran out of air. The third time down I managed to get my right hand in its mouth and lock down on its bottom jaw. As it came out of the log I wrapped my left arm around it in a bear hug. Kicked off the bottom and came to the top. Couldn’t swim since both arms were holding the fish. As I came to the surface I hollered, “Get me.” One of them grabbed my shirt and the other my hair as I went back under. They drug me out on the bank, fish and all. We sure did laugh about it. The flathead, or ap, catfish weighed fifteen and a half pounds. Back to the store and had a picnic of sardines, pizza, Vienna sausage, cheese, onion, and crackers. Others that were at the river were Stanley Mathews, Don Watson, Brett Preas, Dean Houchins, Tommy Blundell, Kevin Crumbley, David Elmore and Huck Elmore. (Now I call the “get me” place, Hair Pullin’ Point. It is about fifty yards downstream from our cabin, easily seen as we sit on the porch.)

     Sunday, May 25, 1986. While at church my EMS beeper went off. There was a wreck on Highway 24 by the Rodney Rainey dairy barn. One car did a U turn, forcing another off into the ditch where it hit a culvert. The woman driver had already been sent to the hospital. This afternoon I talked with Nathan Elmore and he told about going to the Love Family Reunion at the Rock Ford Church and community center near Biardstown. Some old man told him about his wife getting his toe itch medicine mixed up with his eye medicine. She put the toe itch medicine in his eye and he said he could have run fast enough to catch a full grown squirrel if he could have seen where to go.

     About 2:00 I went to Charleston and got with Stanley, Dean, Bret Williams, and Wesley Houchins. We drove to Goebel’s pecan orchard and checked trotlines. Had four catfish, two turtles, and a carp. Don Watson and Steve Ingram joined us as we traveled to the Worden place at Longridge to check Dean’s lines. Most of us were riding in the back of the pickup and had gathered some horse apples to discourage car chasing dogs. Don Watson was standing up on the open tailgate in the back of the pickup when a dog came out to the road. Huck gave the pickup some gas to chase the dog and Don fell out. Skinned up his knees pretty good.

     Friday, May 30, 1986. I was riding racing colt, Candy Two Socks, for Scotty Calvin when Scotty came in from the hay meadow with two of his fingers cut off at the first joint. This week Steve Ingram and I baited trotlines with crawfish and caught several catfish. Boston and Houston are in the NBA finals with Celtics leading series 2-0. Larry Bird may be the best player ever since he has won MVP three years in a row.



     Saturday, May 31, 1986. Teacher work day until about 2:00 p.m. then I went to Charleston. Huck was cleaning fish at “the hill” south of Charleston. Back at the store we ate a sandwich then Bret Williams and Rio Ingram went with us grabbling at Pop Lile Campground. This was the first grabbling trip for Bret and Rio. I found a log that had two catfish inside, about ten pounds each. I could tell they were channel catfish and those males really can bite hard as their head swells up in the spring so their biting muscles are strong to protect the eggs. (At that time the older folks around Charleston called the big headed males, “an old blue.” They didn’t know it was a male channel catfish whose head swells like a buck deer’s neck swells.) I told Bret how to reach in and get his hand in one of their mouths. After rasslin with it a few minutes he pulled the female out. I was grinning to myself because I knew the male was soon to lock down on Rio. He ran his arm in the log and the fish got his hand. Rio started batting his eyes and hollering. Finally he pulled it out and everyone was really laughing---except Rio. More later but now back up to 2014.

     Junior Larkin and I attended the Annual Mud Bug Festival in Shreveport on May 24. We both ate lots of boiled crawfish and watched people dance to the lively Cajun/Zydeco music. Highlight of the trip was the men’s crawfish eating contest. Fifteen contestants tried to finish their fifteen pounds the fastest. I had a ringside viewpoint and their eating pace was unreal. I timed the fastest ones and they would grab a crawfish, break off the tail, and crush the tail to make the little piece of white meat pop into their mouth, all in one second. It was a one mudbug per second contest. If you can’t maintain that pace for about ten minutes you may as well not enter. Winner this year was Nick Koury with a time of ten minutes. Rory Marks second and defending champ Luke Anderson third.

     June 11 look in the south for bright Antares, the heart of Scorpio the Scorpion. Antares will be just below the Moon.

     In school, teachers are trained to encourage young folks to be creative. How many of you have created a good saying? One of the greatest minds for coming out with original and witty sayings was Yogi Berra. A favorite of mine is if you don’t go to other people’s funeral they won’t come to yours. A few more follow. A nickel ain’t worth a dime no more. If you don’t know where you’re going you will wind up somewhere else. Baseball is 90% mental and the other half physical. Little League Baseball is good; it keeps the parents off the street.