From an article I posted back in 2010
Most Viners know me as telling jokes or funny stories with punch lines. I thought I would take time and write some things that really happened in my childhood. I look back on them and you know their just as funny as they were then, even though I may not have laughed out loud in fear of getting my butt tanned. So my next few articles I think will revolve around some things I remember growing up in the rich delta soil of northeast Arkansas. I hope you enjoy.
My dad, what can I say about him. I can say I sure miss him, we lost him in 2000 but it is still hard not to picture him dropping by or getting a phone call from him. He was a good dad, hard worker, a good husband to my mother whom I lost in 1984 she had just turned 39, cancer is a b!tch. I remember my dad as being someone that enjoyed life even though he could have a temper on him. My dad at the age of 18 was working in a factory in Blytheville Arkansas, he ran the metal press that cut out lawn mower blades. He had his safety gloves on but the cable that pulled your hands back when the press came down failed. So my dad lost several fingers on both hands.
He learned how to hold a beer can with his thumb and pinkie, funny thing, we have a picture of him holding a Budwieser so my brother had a picture made the same way. I followed up with a picture of me hold a can the same way. Then my sons found out about the picture and as a tribute to their grandpa they all had one made the same way...sorry I just started rambling...lol . On one hand he had the thumb and pinkie and about a 1/4 of the ring finger. The other hand he had the thumb, index finger, 1/2 of the middle finger and the last two were nubs. I tell you this so you can image the fishing story I am going to tell.
Dad loved to Crappie fish so one morning we all got up to go fishing, even mom oh God how she loved to fish. We had called to very dear friends to come over and go with us. Rose and Leon (they were just like my second mom and dad. Rose showed me some things on guitar and Leon gave me pointer on fiddle. He had played fiddle with Lefty Frizzel back in the 50's) We all get out to the dam and start fishing. I am fishing by rose and mom. Dad, Leon and my brother had crossed the little iron bridge and was fishing off of the island. It was a beautiful day the water was washing over the rocks and the air was damp and sweet smelling. We had caught a few Crappie but rose was having no luck at all.
As I said the water was rushing over the rocks and making a lot of noise so it was hard to hear what someone was saying unless you spoke very loudly. Well Rose yells over to my day and says "R.G. have you gotten any bites." Dad just raises that one hand with the index and 1/2 of the middle finger high in the air. Rose yells back to dad "R.G. does that mean two or one and a half." Oh hell that pissed him off so he folds that index finger down and throws his hand back up at her and OMG every busted out laughing and my mom turn to rose and said "Rose R.G. just gave you a half a bird."
My dad bought his first new, I mean right of the show room floor new truck in 1972. Ford F150, fully loaded, 1972 olive green long wheel base for $3000.00. He loved that truck, one Saturday my uncle Erpal came up from Little Rock Arkansas. Dad told Erpal we would all take a ride in his new truck. My uncle said alright that he hadn't been to Mallard lake in awhile, so me, dad, my uncle piled in the front and my brother and two other cousins hopped in the bed of the truck (that's back when you could ride in the back and get slung all over the place.) and off we go. I remember dad and Erpal as we were going down the gravel road to Mallards lake, laughing and talking of all things cartoons. My uncle loved the roadrunner cartoon and he was a big man very stout built and when he laughed the whole cab rattled.
We get to Mallard lake and there were several people fishing from the bank. Now let me explain, we are in the south and at that time a lot of people still used long cane poles, some of them would be almost 20 feet long. Just ahead of us about 20 yards was the big, I mean big black lady with this 20 foot cane pole in the water. She had on one of those big straw hats, long dress that went to the ground with long sleeves and get this she was sitting on a 5 gallon plastic bucket. We got about 15 feet from where she was sitting and about that time she whipped that cane pole out of the water with a Bream (in the south pronounced Brim) on the the hook. The pole went straight up and the Bream fish came straight down in front of dads truck. All we heard when we ran over it was CRUNCH!!!! Uncle Erpal got to laughing so hard because when we looked back she was standing in the middle of the road holding that flat fish looking at it, then we could tell she wasn't saying nice things about dad. Erpal asked my dad if he was going to go back and say he was sorry. Dad said Hell no she makes three of me, she might kick my a$$.
One more fishing story on my dad before I close this session. As I said earlier in the beginning my dad could get a temper on him. He took me and my brother fishing one time at Mallard lake just after a big rain, he said they should really be biting since the rain. We get there, get our rod-n-reels ready and just set out. Dad had wore a pair of black lace up shoes he had bought a week before, mom told him to wear his old boots but to tell my dad to do something is taboo. He was walking around the fishing bank, and it was solid gumbo. (for those of you who do not know what gumbo is, it is a hard black clay until it is wet then it becomes like glue and cement.) The gumbo started caking up on his shoes so my dad decides he is going to sling the gumbo off of his shoe. He rares back and flings his leg up in the air.....and oh God this was priceless....the shoe comes spinning off up in the air, I bet that thing went 30 feet before it landed in the.....yep you guessed it ..it landed in the lake. Dad let out a line of cuss words puts his bear foot back down in the gumbo, pulls off the other shoe and hurls into the lake and said "There f()cker take that one two, come on boys were going home.