Salmon in Alaska 2014
Catfish in Northern Colorado 1950’S.
I see people lined up at the mouth of the Kenai River and the frenzied fisherman dip netting. I wonder if they are having fun. I wonder if my Dad would enjoy seeing all the fishing nets and boats and hundreds and hundreds of campers, motor homes, tents and contraptions of every kind! I bet he would enjoy every minute setting from afar and commenting on what he was seeing.
Here is a story about how Dad loved to take kids fishing without the fancy fishing poles and equipment that seems to be what you HAVE to have now-days!
My sister,Ginger relates this story:
Colorado summer evening are just right to go fishing when it has been hot all day and Dad had been in the field on a tractor most of the day. Most of the time he would only say “Let’s go fishing!”
Dad would gather up all us kids and some of the neighbor kids and a couple Stonebraker nephews that came to Colorado from Kansas to help “haying.” We were all packed in the old green four door Dodge and headed for a warm lake near the farm that had catfish in it.
Nobody had fancy fishing tackle. Everyone had a bamboo pole with a piece of fishing line attached and a rather small hook tied on the end.
Dad never got to fish, his job was to bait all the hooks, line up all the kids on the shoreline and then at the count of three we would whip that pole around and fling the hook and worm into the water.
We would catch little 6 to 8 inch catfish and Dad would scurry up and down the shoreline removing the fish, throwing them into a bushel basket, baiting the hook and moving on the next kid. He looked like someone in a speeded-up movie, frantically keeping all our lines as busy as possible.
We had so much fun we hated it when he called a halt to our fishing because the basket was overflowing with dozens of catfish. I bet Dad was just as glad to finally gather up everyone, and the poles, put the bushel of fish in the trunk of the car and head for home. Mom and him would clean the fish. Mom would get out her big cast iron skillet, put bacon grease and lard in it, roll those little fish in cornmeal and fry then hot and fast. Oh My those were so good!! We all had to have a piece of butter bread “just in cse you swallow a fish bone.”
Those are memories you cherish and never forget. Just like dip netting on the Kenai River!!
Thank you Ginger!
Here is a poem that is hand written by my Dad.
He heard it in church from Rev.Marcus Grether, came home and wrote it down on a piece of paper that he gave me many years ago.
It is framed with other memories of my Dad including a song “Come Into My Heart.” that he sang among other songs, taking us to church every Sunday morning.
Life is just a little minute,
Just sixty seconds in it.
I did not choose it,
But will suffer if I abuse it.
And if I do not use it,
I will loose it.
For life is just a minute
Just sixty seconds in it.
Written from memory by Dad Mcclure
Enjoy your days and make memories every chance you get.