Tuesday, June 29, 2010

"Big Ole' Fish"

This picture of me taken along the Mississippi River when I was four shows me smiling. That's not the way I remember it!
We were on our way to Plainville, Illinois with Grandpa & Grandma Ridnour - going out to visit Grandpa's cousins - Roy & Nellie Gray
I'm almost certain this is the same trip where we had spent at least an hour stopped on the Mississippi bridge into Quincy, IL. There had been an accident which tied up traffic. Grandpa was so afraid the bridge would collapse with all the cars and trucks on it. I've often thought that is where my fear of crossing bridges comes from.
Anyway, we finally got to the Illinois side of the river where we stopped at a fish monger's. Someone decided it would be cute to have a picture of me holding a big fish. I KNOW I DID NOT WANT TO. I remember that. I didn't even want to touch a slimy old fish. I also remember crying about it so they must have bribed me - perhaps with the promise of an ice cream cone?

So-o-o, many years later what do I make my little boy do? Hold a big ole' fish to have his picture taken. It was June, 1966 - a couple months before Doug's 4th birthday. I wonder if he remembers this?
Forty-four years later and today would be a perfect day to go fishing. I don't know if they would be biting but the water is calm. The day is sunny after so much rain. The temperature is in the low 80's - a perfect June day.
It is the kind of day that when we were little, Mom might say, "Let's dig some worms and go over to the pond to see if we can catch our supper." Off we'd go walking across the field west of the house; through the gate into the pasture and on down to the pond. I doubt Mom even cared whether we caught any fish - it was idyllic just to be sitting under the willows enjoying the afternoon.
Mom always had to bait my hook for me, but I think Betty would bait her own. I know Ron did. We usually did catch enough bullheads and sunfish for a 'mess'; take them home where Mom would clean them and then fry them up for supper. I remember liking the taste of fish - I just didn't like having to be careful not to choke on a fish bone!

My dad, Louis, really liked fishing. It was one thing he did often as long as he was able. I would guess he caught this big bass out at Lake Binder or the old reservoir. I remember fishing with Wayne Moore's at the reservoir one evening. We were too young to stay quiet for any length of time. Dad kept telling us we would scare the fish away. Eventually he and Wayne walked way up along the east shore to get away from us. I don't think anyone caught any fish that night.
I love this picture of my dad helping his little grandson hold the fish after Doug wasn't able to hold it on his own. I like remembering both of them this way.

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