About more memories about Dad (John McClure-) from my Sister Ginger (who now resides in Boulder, Colorado)
Northern Colorado, on the farm.- about 1945 to 1955
Dad’s recipe for cooking carp.
Dad would tell you “Catch the biggest, ugliest, “most-est” bottom-feeding carp you can find. Bring it home, measure it, go to the lumber stack and select a piece of flat plank-(freshly cut is best)-the same length as the fish. Lay the cleaned fish on top of the plank; add some lemon slices, salt and pepper on top. Put in the oven and bake for one hour at 350°. Remove from the oven, throw away the fish and eat plank!!” He always said this is the only way that he would ever eat carp!
Grandpa and kids Fishing for Catfish with Bamboo Poles.
One late summer evening, Dad gathered all his kids, probably a few the neighbor kids and a couple of Stonebraker nephews and we all headed for a warm lake near our house. We were going fishing for catfish.
Nobody had any fancy fishing tackle. Everybody had a bamboo pole with the piece of fishing line attached and a rather small hook tied to the line. Dad never got to fish for catfish because it was his job to bait all the hooks, line up all the kids on the shoreline, then at the count of three, we’d flip that pole around and fling the worm into the water.
With lots of laughter and squeals, the fun began. We caught little 6 to 8 inch catfish. It was Dad who scurried up and down the shoreline removing the fish and throwing them in a bushel basket. Then he needed to bait the hook and move onto the next kid. He looked like someone in a speeded up movie frantically keep all our lines as busy as possible! We had so much fun we hated to leave when he called a halt to the fishing fun, because the basket was overflowing with dozens of small Catfish.
There wasn’t much left of the fish after Dad chopped off the heads, leaving the gutted fillet ready for mom to dredging cornmeal and deep fry in bacon grease. We ate our fill. Mom would “just keep’m comin’” (in Dads vernacular) until we and Dad could not eat anymore. The fish were so small that the bones disintegrated into crispy wisps so we ate the cat fish (minus the head,) bones and all. As usual mom had homemade buttered bread just in case we choked on a bone. Now that was good eating!!
Written by my sister Virginia R. McClure (Ginger)
This is a story written by my neice, Regina,
(Who lives in Wellington, Colorado.)
About the 1960’s on a cattle ranch Dad owned at Woods Landing, Colorado
It was always fun to go fishing with Grandpa McClure and my Dad, John Jr,
This is a fish story about Grandpa who owned ranches up in Woods Landing, My dad, John Junior, and I would go up and help put up hay. . I always had the best time. I remember the first time that Grandpa and my Dad took time out to take me fishing. I had never been fishing before!
We took the old Willy’s Jeep and drove forever it seemed. Dad got my new Snoopy fishing pole out and set it up. Then we started walking. I didn’t see any “pond” in sight because of all the willow bushes. Actually we were fishing in a little creek!
My feet kept getting stuck in the swampy area and Dad had to get me unstuck several times. I kept asking “have we made it to the “fishing hole” yet?” I bet I asked that every two minutes. Finally, Grandpa tells me to kneel down so the fish don’t see us and he told me to be very quiet so the fish wouldn’t hear me or they would swim away. Dad had my Snoopy fishing pole to keep it from getting tangled in the willow bushes. I was kneeling down and trying to be quiet but still getting stuck. This took a long but we finally made it to the “pond.” In my eyes it was a pond not a stream!
My dad put a worm on my Snoopy line. I dropped it in the “pond” and I immediately got a fish. I was so excited! I thought I had a big fish! I yanked it through the willow bushes and looked at it. It was a baby fish!! And it had swallowed the hook! I started to cry because he was such a little tiny fish. Dad was trying to pull the hook out of the mouth with the pliers.
Grandpa and my Dad were so excited for me for catching a fish so fast. But I was crying because I killed the baby fish and I felt horrible. They just laughed and laughed at me. Grandpa told me it was not a “baby fish” they were the fish we wanted and that they were called brookies. Everyone we caught was little! I wanted to catch a BIG FISH so I sat in the willow bushes and pouted.
My Dad and Grandpa caught enough brookies by that afternoon for a fish dinner that night. Of course my Grandma was the expert it cooking fish. That was the best fish I’ve ever eaten.
We went fishing for brookies a lot that year. It sure was fun, thanks to my Dad, Grandpa and Grandma McClure! It was one of the best time of my life!
Written by Regina Sue McClure Bevins