June 16, 2014

Amanuensis Monday - The Stories That Should Be Told, Part 46

The following transcription is from a series of recordings my father made in the early 1990s:
Walkie Talkie Telephones...
As I mentioned on earlier tapes, I can remember when there were only four places that had telephones; down on the Peck place, Charlie’s Nite Club, Uncle Wes Ogden’s store and the Chambers Hotel.  Of course, we’ve had the telephone exchange since way back in the late 1940s.
Now we’ve got these telephones where you have the base in your house and you take the phone anywhere in the house or out in the yard.  You can just put the phone in your pocket. 
Who would have believed that back in the 1950s?  We have all kinds of modern conveniences.  You can just take the phone out in the yard with you!

That is one of the most convenient inventions or new technology I can think of.   I call them Walkie Talkie Phones.
Fishing Back in the Day...
In Lake Lovelace, commercial fishermen caught and sold buffalo fish, catfish, and spoon bill catfish.  Gar fish were always thrown out on the bank to die.  Very few people ate gar fish.  Now days, lots of people eat alligator gar fish.  Alligator gar sells better than buffalo and catfish in some places.
Alligator Gar
I remember standing at Rufus Knight’s filling station right across from the bank when John Henry Crawford pulled up in a big ole truck.  In the back was an alligator gar that weighed 170 pounds.  They also had a logger head turtle.  The biggest logger head turtle I had ever seen.
Years ago, bass and white perch were caught using seines.  It is against the law now to catch bass and white perch using seines.  Laws were written based on the size of the seines.  The holes have to be large enough so that smaller fish like white perch can’t be caught.  If someone catches white perch or bass in a seine, they are supposed to throw them back.
There are still people using seines to catch white perch and bass even though it is against the law.  If I wanted a load of white perch I could go to several different people and if I didn’t get them on the day I asked, I would get them by the next day.
People from all over the country came to fish in Lake Lovelace.  It was known throughout this area as a great place for sports fishermen.  In a day’s time there would probably be a couple of hundred people fishing on Lake Lovelace.  As I mentioned on earlier tapes, the Pecks rented boats down under the hill from the 4-H campgrounds.  They must have had 40 or 50 boats to rent and there would be days when there were none available.
A few people still fish in Lake Lovelace but not nearly as many as it used to be.
Dr. Russell Fairbanks, my mother’s first cousin, loved to cast with his rod and reel.  He caught a many a barfish and trout.  He was a true sports fisherman.  He was fishing when he died in 1971.  It was decided that he must have had a heart attack and fallen in the water. 
Photo by Jerald Horst
There used to be a fish I hadn’t heard mentioned in years and years called the Goggle Eye Bream.  Mr. Joe Bryan and Mr. Willie Benge used to fish for Goggle Eye Bream.  Seems like they went to Well’s Lake and Brown’s Lake to fish for the Goggle Eye Bream. 
They were a pretty good size bream with a big mouth like a Bass.  I suppose they are still around.  I just haven’t heard anybody mention them in years.
Back in the 1930s-40s every house had long cane fishing poles hanging up somewhere nearby.  Mr. Joe Bryan kept his cane poles hanging above the porch on the braces for the porch.
Telephoning Catfish...
I went telephoning for catfish one time back in the 1950s.  People had discovered that if they took the old hand cranked telephones and put the wires down in the water and crank the telephone, it would stun the catfish and cause them to come to the surface.  I went with I-Bo and Wilmer Harris, Louis Colbert and Willie “Blue” Cooper.  We caught three catfish that day. 
One of the wires must have touched the bottom of the lake and the other wire in the water must have caused a current in the water.  Catfish would come to the surface and just lay up on their sides for several seconds.  You’d have to dip them up quickly.  We got three.  The biggest one weighed 13 pounds.  That was strictly illegal then and if the game warden had seen us they would have put us under the jail.

Note:  Parts 1-45 of 'The Stories That Should Be Told' can be found in the Tags List on the right-hand side of the blog.

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