Writing, whimsy and the world

Memories Part 3

TheFisherman

Grayson and Paige: Grayson Meade and I have remained very close friends since about 1950, when we were reacquainted after he grew up. It was the first that I remembered him since he was five or six years old. His brother Bill was about a year or two younger. I was working with his Dad, Homer Meade, in the coal mine.

I remember Grayson from that time. I would be standing on the porch looking down the road, or talking to someone, and I would feel something wet and warm on my leg or foot, and there would be these two boys running away and laughing, buttoning up their pants. They had pissed on my leg. This happened to me two times, then I was too alert for them after that.

While in Baltimore, Grayson and I were in a bar at about closing time. The place was empty except for Grayson, myself and the bartender. Grayson says to me, “How would you like to get locked up in here and have to drink your way out?”

In those days, I believe we could have done it in a very short time. We had a lot of fun after he started working for me in the insurance business here in West Palm Beach, Florida, from 1958 to 1960.

His wife Paige is an OK gal. I was staff manager and had four agents working for me. One was named Bill Tew. I used to kid Paige a lot. I used to say “Paige Meade, do you realize that if you were married to Bill Tew your name would be Paige Tew?”

Also, she had somewhat of a South Carolina accent. I would kid her about saying “wawter” for water. One day she was furious at me and said, “I do not say wawter, I say wawter!”. Well, I repeated this story on her and she could have killed me.

I have high hopes of going with Grayson and Paige and attending a Colley reunion this July. Also, we will try and take in the Meade reunion in Richlands which is only a couple hundred miles from the Colley reunion in Roanoke. This has become more interesting since my son David Keith and wife Anne have shown interest in joining us in that venture. I am real excited at the prospect, and so is Marion.

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Incidentally, I am back working again. This always helps with expenses such as vacations, and to buy fishing worms, and it makes me feel important to feel needed, you know at this age.

They have laid off all of the employees except for two operators, and they need some work done quickly, and efficiently. They called me, so they won’t have to hire a new man, and then fire him after a week or two, when they don’t need him anymore. This is a good deal for me, and a good deal for them.

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My Uncle Joe Howington had two kids named Garland and Ruby. They were about my age when they died. They died while I was visiting them. I believe it was Scarlet Fever. I remember they tried to keep them comfortable by always sitting by them and fanning them. It took many years for me to put that sad memory away.

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Now I have a large number of grandchildren locally, and they all claim to be my number one fishing buddy. They are mostly too young to master the art of casting a plug or bait. So I overcome that by trolling lures in back of the boat. All they have to do is crank in the fish. I take it off and cast out again for them.

An exception to this is fly fishing. It’s my favorite pastime when I fish alone, so I think “why not teach the kids to fish with the fly rod?”. Boy, is this a hazardous project. Especially for me, with the flies zipping past my head. Once one touched my nose but bounced off without doing harm. The darned thing’s got a hook in it, you know.

To my surprise and delight Jason Cole, then about 10, mastered this very well – and was very excited when he started producing fish.

Tammy loves to go fishing with me. On one occasion we distracted her. This is when she was about 4 ½ years old. We distracted her while we attached a fish to her line. She didn’t see it happen. When she realized a fish was on her line, she yelled loud and laughed a lot.

Later when asked how big was her fish, she held up her hands about 6 inches apart. Later she measured about two feet when asked. I said that that’s a good sign that she has all the necessary qualities needed to be a great fisherman (or fisherperson? No!)

Brandon Cole, who is about age five, was fishing with me. I was casting the plastic worm for bass. Brandon was given a Snoopy rod and reel. The reel didn’t work so I had tied in about 6 foot of line to the end of the reel with a bobber, and safety pin attached to the worm. The safety pin was for my safety, mostly.

He kept flipping it around and crossed my line a couple of times. I said; “Brandon, you fish back there. This is my place up here.” A little later I hooked a fish. I was reeling it in and it had moved my line to the back of the boat. Brandon said; “Pappy, you fish up there, this is my place back here.”

More fishing. I have never claimed to be a great fisherman, just persistent as hell. I believe the best way to catch more fish and enjoy it more, is to go more often. I try to live up to that philosophy. Speaking of philosophy, I like that of Sir Isaac Walton. It goes like so:

“Behold the fisherman, he rises up early in the morning and disturbeth the whole household, mighty are his preparations.
He goeth forth full of hope, and when the day is far spent, he returneth smelling of strong drink and the truth is not in him.”

This man knew fishermen, all right. He lived over 300 years ago. I liked it so much that I spent $30 and had a plaque made that hangs on my wall – under a 31 pound snook, and beside a 46 pound snook.

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I’ve always been very interested in fishing. While in the merchant marines, we would drag a line over the stern of the ship. We would fashion a very large hook. The hook was wrapped by a white collar.

In those days shirt collars were detached from shirts. When the shirts were worn they were secured to the collar by collar buttons. So the shirt collar was secured tightly around the hook. This made a pear-shaped ball. It would ride over and through seaweed and other debris and not get hung up.

When a fish would hit it hard enough, the hook would be forced through the collar and thereby hooking the fish. We caught bull dolphin, barracuda, kingfish and once a sailfish. This was most productive off of the Florida coast.

While in West Virginia it was a major operation to go fishing. I would seine minnows, crawdads and helgamites, and dig worms. Then drive 50 or even up to 200 miles to go fishing, with very little results. The last fish I caught in Coal River was as black as the river’s name.

The water for the most part was also black in the Coal River. I sometimes caught a carp or catfish, but rarely bass. When I came to Florida I found it to be a fisherman’s heaven. Bass and brim, everywhere in the inner coastal areas were plentiful.

One year I kept a record of snook that I caught. I was on the sand bank fishing at 4AM every morning. If I had a snook caught by six I took him home, put him in the refrigerator and cleaned it up after I came home from work. I was working 10 hours a day in those days, five or six days a week. That was only seven years ago.

If I had not caught a fish by 6:30, I went to work. In my record keeping I averaged one snook a day for sixty five days. The smallest was 10 pounds; the largest was 46 pounds.

I never sold any of these fish. That was against my religion. But my barber liked snook, so we did some trading. Also a man came from Georgia and wanted to trade some steaks for fillets of snook. I obliged. I gave cleaned fillets of fish to my friends and fellow workers. Sixty-five fish averaging 15 pounds is a lot of edible fillets. Almost 300 pounds, of which we ate or kept frozen about 30%.

Fishing: This is a partial quote from an article in Readers Digest that I feel explains my sentiments very well.

“One day in the 1950s, young Will (who later became governor of Massachusetts) set out to fish in one boat, while his father and uncle went out in another. When a thunder storm crackled, the two men returned to shore. I stayed out for six hours, while reminiscing, and when I came back they said, “Boy you must have been slaying them out there”. I said, “No, I didn’t even get a bite. Not even a nibble all day”. They wouldn’t believe it. But nothing makes me happier than to be waiting for a fish to bite.”

This fits my fishing mentality – or maybe mentality is not a proper word here. For one thing, my mind is almost a total blank when fishing. I am at peace with the world, and also with myself. I will accept no time limit on my fishing. If someone asks “When will you be back?”, I answer “It depends on the fish and the weather”.

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A couple of times a “pack peddler” came to our house, he was an Italian man, and on his back he carried a pack something that is shown like Santa Claus, and it was huge. He would bring it into our house and spread it out on the floor. It was loaded with dry goods and notions, needles, thread, dresses, panties, bras, stockings etc. He made an honest but meager living this way.

He had no form of transportation. He would walk the railroads. Roads and cars were just beginning to be used and all roads were dirt roads except when it rained than they were mud roads with deep ruts. There were no hard top roads except in the cities where they were brick called cobblestone roads.

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I was not allowed to play marbles like other boys because it was a sin. Once I was kneeling down, preparing to shoot my marble into the ring, and I looked up and there was Dad looking down at me with his finger in my face. He said “I’ll deal with you when I get home” – he was still on the job.

I hurried home, filled my pockets with matches and cornbread, and crossed the railroad and the creek. I went up the mountain and over the top. I knew some ghost or wild animal would get me for sure but I was not going back to a beating.

I found a big hollow log before dark. I built a fire in front of the open end of the log. I then crawled inside and slept soundly until daylight. Then I moved down the mountain to a good view of our house and waited until I saw him leave for work. I came home and no one ever mentioned this, much to my surprise. I was 7 1/2 at the time.

At age 8 or so we lived in Virginia not to far from the Clinch River. We sure moved a lot. Some of the places I remember living in West Virginia were Tams, East Gulf, Roderfield, Ittman, Bud, Garwood, Algonquin, Rhodell, Ury, Beckley. Then Virginia: Raven, Clintwood, Finney, all of this before I was 23 years old and I am sure that I don’t remember some other places. At the age of 23 I came home from the sea for the last time.

Back to age 8 or so: Now, I had fished on little creeks, but a river fascinated me by prospects of BIG fish. I had never owned a real fish hook. I had always used a pin with a length of heavy thread I had snitched from Mom. Night crawlers were easy to come by.

I would play hookey from school occasionally to go fishing, but I couldn’t take the fish home for obvious reasons. Before time to come home from school, I would come in sight of home and climb up an old Sarvis tree (it had delicious berries to eat). So I ate berries and waited until it was just about time to come home from school then walked in trying to look educated.

One of the schools I remember was on a hill in the woods. At recess we would climb trees or throw rocks. It was a one room school house. It had no bell and the teacher would come out and yell “books boys and girls” while clapping her hands. She had all grades from 1 to 7 in this one room school. We got punished by holding out your hand, palm up, and she wacked you on the palm with a 12 inch ruler. And that you don’t forget real quick.

Age 8 or 9: Potato Bugs. As a kid it was our duty to take care of the garden. We always had one every summer. Some of the places that we lived we had to go up in the woods and clean a place for the garden. Cut down the bushes and the trees and pick up the rocks and pile them up. Then plant corn, beans and potatoes, especially potatoes. We would thin the corn and hoe it very carefully, it had to be done perfectly to get along with my Dad.

Once I accidentally cut down a cornstalk while hoeing. The corn was only 6 to 8 inches high. Knowing the beating this would bring on I tried to stick it back into the ground so it looked natural. This worked that day but next week when we went back to again hoe corn it was seen to be dead. So a week after the accident I got two whippings – they called them whippings – one for cutting it down and one for the cover up.

Potato Bugs were a mess. I must almost daily pick the bugs off into a coffee can and prove my work to dad when he came home from work. He would check the amount of bugs that I had in the can, then burn them up. They were very nasty things. Soft bodies that would easily break when picked off by hand.

At that time we had two cows. My older sis would milk one and I the other. She was older and a better milker than me. So she got praise and I got fussed at because she brought home more milk than me. They told me I was not doing the proper job. I was put on notice that I had to do a better job and get more milk.

I thought it was pretty smart when I started adding a little bit of water to the milk. It met Dad’s approval for awhile, until I got caught at it. This brought out my special razor strap. I was no angel, and I did a lot of things wrong – sometimes deliberately, knowing that I would get a beating. So why not, since I got one real often anyway?

I had to carry drinking water from a spring down below the house. For me, this was quite a chore – and if the two gallon buckets were not as full as Dad wanted them to be I got another walloping. It was a good long distance around and down to the spring.

Once after a fresh walloping I was sent to the spring. On the way back I set the pail down to rest and to take a leak. While urinating I thought one of the pails was not full enough to suit Dad. So I said why not? and I squirted some in the pail.

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I don’t have any pictures of my dad. But if you want to know what he looked like, see James Garner in his Rockford Files series. That is exactly like my dad when I knew him. I always have had a lot of admiration for James Garner. I wish I could say that about my dad.

A few comments about my Dad. First off I must say that he was a pious, unprincipled hypocrite. He had no real respect of his two brothers and his brother-in-law Homer Meade. Homer told him many times that he should not beat me like he did.

He would send me into the woods (we always lived near the woods) to get three switches to be used on me. I decided I would get dead branches that would break when he hit me. It did not work; he sent me back for the good green ones the size of his finger. Then he proceeded to use them on me.

Many times I would be awakened by the covers being pulled off of me and my ass being walloped by a leather strap that he had designed especially for me. It was about 18 inches when doubled, with a fancy handle in the middle which was the end when doubled.

He drove a team of horses and made most of his own harnesses for them in the barn loft. He had a large quantity of leather, all grades. From this he fashioned my strap. I say my strap because he never used it on any of my sisters. My brothers were not yet born. These morning strappings and sometimes evening wallops were usually because I did not get enough fire wood for the kitchen stove or I did not get the proper kind. I remember I was seven or eight years old and wood was hard to come by with dad’s big double-bladed axe.

We would sit around him at night on the floor leaning against the wall while he read to us from the bible. I dozed off during this reading once, and that was blasphemy. Out came the strap. That ended that night’s reading.

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My mother’s sister Aunt Maggie was on her way to town. To get there, she must cross a field that fenced in a some sheep. The buck was very mean and seemed to hate anyone crossing his field. Aunt Maggie was almost across when here comes the old mean one, who, if he caught up with her would give her a swift butt in the butt.

Aunt Maggie could not make it to the fence but a tree was nearby. She climbed up to safety. Then comes a new problem; the buck would not go away. After a few hours (it was said to be two or three) a young man named Kilgore Colley appeared on the scene. He fired his pistol in the dirt (every young man carried a pistol in those days) near Old Buck and succeeded in rescuing Aunt Maggie.

After getting her safely across the fence they introduced themselves. Upon parting Kilgore asked her “Where do you get your mail?” She said, “I don’t get any”. Final results, they married and they started a hell of a nice Colley clan.

This Old Mean Buck finally got his due from Granddad Bob Meade. While crossing the field he was charged by Old Mean Buck. Granddad held his ground. He grabbed him by the ears, spit tobacco juice in his eyes, rubbed his nose in the ground, then turned him loose with a swift kick in the bottom. The buck ran away about 10 yards, turned around and looked back. Granddad said “Get, damn you” and the old buck ran to the other side of the field. After that, there was never another problem with Old Mean Buck.

My Granddad chewed tobacco and would sometimes be mean to little grandchildren. He would say “hold out your hand” and the little one would obey, then he would place his used “cud” of tobacco in their hand and close their fingers around it.

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About age 9 we were living in Tams, West Virginia. Across from our house by just a few yards was the opera house where they showed movies, silent ones of course. Some of these were “East of Zanzibar” with Lon Chaney, the Man With a Thousand Faces, as he was called. It also played “The Perils of Pauline” and A Cowboy William S. Hart. In the summer the windows were left open for ventilation. A school teacher I knew would play the piano throughout the film. The music would get very fast and loud during the exciting scenes.

After the show started I would find an excuse to go to bed early, then I would climb out the window. Under the opera house I had hidden a board that would help me climb into the window to see the show. A couple of times I got caught and was lead out by the ear.

But mostly I did not get caught or was not observed sneaking in. Because security was so engrossed in the film, or so I believed, or maybe they just felt sorry for me. I was not allowed to see a movie because my dad said it was sinful. My older sister once got a spanking for saying “Hot Dog”.

I was very ambitious at that time. I sold a newspaper called the Raleigh Register, and also the Grit. An article in the Grit told me how I could win a new Buick by selling cloverene or rosebud salve. I knew I couldn’t lose so I ordered some of each. After selling all of this and sending in the money I received word that I had won a staggering number of points towards winning a new Buick. So they sent me more of the same. I kind of got the feeling that I had been had, and quit the salve business. But I continued with the papers because it was cash.

At age 10 or 11, my dad had an idea to be a farmer. He and a fellow lodge member named Posey Law, lived on a large farm named Nicklesfarm near Beckley, West Virginia. We had a team of horses named Molly and Nell. We also had a saddle horse named Dan, who was mean to me.

Every time I would go to mount him, he would wait until I had one foot in the saddle stirrup and started to lift the other foot over his back. This put my rump towards the front. He would nip me on the ass. If my dad was present he would make me get on anyway.

I took revenge one day on old Dan. I was in the saddle and had stopped under a chestnut tree. Yup, I put a chestnut burr under his tail. It didn’t turn out the way I had planned. He ran, jumped and bucked and farted. I thought I would be killed. But somehow I stayed on and somehow Dan got rid of the burr. I solved the mounting problem by leading him to a fence. I would jump on Dan from the top of the fence on the other side.

The farm had 25 acres of bottom land. My dad hired Buzz Arthur, a neighbor to help plow it. Buzz would lead off with his team and I would follow with the next furrow around the field.

With our teams I don’t remember how many days it took. I do remember being very tired. We planted a field of corn and pole beans, put in much fertilizer and waited. It was a dry summer and the land was worn out to begin with. The results were all for naught.

The only good thing about that year was apples. Boy, did we have apples. We would load the wagon bed up with apples and away I would go to Tams, 11 miles away, to peddle apples. My mom would pack me a good lunch of fried chicken. But I would stop and eat it as soon as I was out of sight of the house. We had a buggy that I would hook up and go for groceries.

My dad worked away and was only home on the weekends. One evening after plowing all day, I unharnessed our horses. When I released Nell she wheeled around and kicked ol’ Molly and broke her leg. When Dad got home, I was beat very soundly. I was told I should have released Molly first. Well, that was news to me.

There were some fun things. My Uncle Curt Meade, who was five or six years older than me, came to visit. He was about 15 or 16. That year we had lots of snow. He fashioned a big sled and used an old buggy bed mounted on runners. Then all of us kids and the Law kids from next door (about 8 kids all together) would pull the sled to where this steep hill got steeper and away we went.

We made it almost to the bottom (about a quarter of mile down), when over it goes, dumping all of us kids. I guess we were lucky, at that. The only real bad thing was my sister Stella had a broken leg. The doctor came to set the leg. He rode a big black stallion. This stallion took on an interest in Molly and it was mutual. Whatever happened, I was not allowed to watch because it was a sin for me to see this action out in the barn. I sure wanted to see it though, even if it was a sin.

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Beckley West Virginia, age 11: One of our cows produced a calf. For some reason my Dad didn’t want to keep it. I was elected to take it to town and sell it. I asked how much. Dad said whatever you can get for it but don’t bring it back. I fashioned a rope halter around its head, after pushing and pulling it agreed to let me lead it. I spent an hour or two showing it to prospective customers after I walked to town, about two miles away.

I finally got $5 for it. By now it had been about four hours since I left home, three miles away. It was a hot dry day, and I was thirsty and hungry. I spent a whole dollar for candy, ice cream and sodas – then lied to Mom that I only got four dollars. Candy and ice cream was a very rare treat for us kids. It was like the fourth of July or Christmas time.

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Another time I was sent to town to the Blacksmith’s shop. The man was supposed to make something for Dad, although I don’t remember exactly what it was. The blacksmith was kind and friendly, and a mountain of a man. Much later in life I read a poem, I believe it was by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. It goes something like this…

Under a spreading chestnut tree
the village smithy stands.
The smith a mighty man is he
with large and sinewey hands.

It impressed me so much because it described perfectly this smithy. It was under a giant chestnut tree, and he certainly was a mighty man in my memories.

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The next time I ran away I was 11 years old. I went to Uncle George Meade’s house in Virginia by freight train. I was sent back by his insistence after a week, via passenger train. At age 14 I left again and never came back to stay, except for a few weeks or a month at a time.

I was 11 years old. We had a black cat that got out of control. Our sitting hen hatched out a nice set of baby chicks. They started disappearing. We discovered it was our black cat eating them. So Mom gave me orders to kill it. I didn’t want to do this.

So we agreed that I would take it away on my next trip to Tams to peddle apples. I put the cat in a sack. On top of a mountain about 10 or 11 miles away, I emptied the cat out and continued to town to peddle apples. This was early morning.

I spent the night in town with my uncle Joe Howington. The next day I headed for home. When I came home, there was the black cat sitting on the damn banister of the front porch. A happy ending for him though. It seems he got the message and there was no more chicken eating for him.

At age 13 we lived in Doran, Virginia. I had some Meade cousins over on Little River. Once I went sledge fishing with them. Instead of a fishing pole they took along a sledgehammer and a sack. Little River was kind of wide and not real deep. It had many big flat rocks, partly submerged and partly out and dry in the hot sun.

My cousins, I don’t remember their names, though I seem to think one was Ernie, would wade up to a rock and give it a big whamo with the sledgehammer and out comes a big bass, quivering and acting crazy from the shock. He would be picked up and put into the sack. Then we would move onto the next rock.

Another system that was used by them was called “grappling”. Along the banks, grass sometimes grew and leaned out over the water. This made a nice cool hiding and resting place for bass. We would wade along slowly, and with two hands, reach up under the grass and occasionally feel a bass. It would be firmly grasped and pulled out, and put into the sack.

This was sometimes unexpectedly unpleasant. Once, one cousin came out of the grass with a waterdog (we called them “grampus”). The damn thing had very mean teeth and hung on for a couple of minutes inflicting much pain.

July 1993, I had the good fortune to attend two reunions with son Keith and his wife Anne, Marion and me. All this in one trip. Cally reunion was near Roanoke Virginia. The Meade reunion was near Tazwell, Virginia. Each was totally enjoyable and very interesting.

It had been about six years since I had seen any of these cousins by the dozens except for about five or six. And of course, the others I remember only by name. Of special interest to me was going back down to little river. My cousin Johnny Meade and some others in the Meade family owned 300 acres down there. It was rough going to get there around hillsides and cliffs, trying to avoid big rocks in the road. But suddenly we came to a large opening along side the river, flat bottom grass and about ten acres and the little river rippling merrily by. Just absolutely beautiful. Also located here was a log cabin in good condition still standing. It was built in 1860. One of the cousins told me that he had been there a few days earlier and caught 27 fish. I could see them swimming in the clear water.

In Doran Virginia, at age 13, I went into the coal mine with my Granddad Bob Meade. I worshipped him because he treated me like I was human. He had 11 kids of his own and I never heard of him mistreating anyone. He was a man’s man, and at times he would put away large quantities of moonshine.

He took no crap from anyone but mistreated no one. I am sure I was not much help to him but I got paid. Not in money, but a Bean Order it was called. This was good at the store of R.W. Shreave who also owned the coal company and wagon mine.

At age 14 I landed a job at Raven Red Ash Coal Company as a trapper. It was my job to open the doors that controlled the air flow in the mine. I opened and closed the doors for the motors and ponies that haul the coal around. At this time I was a big hulk, a big ole country boy, very big for my age. One day my dad came after me to do me harm. I squared off and stood ready to fight. He was amazed at this and changed his mind – I think not for fear of me, but finally for respect. He never again challenged me. He died at age 45 while I was at sea.

On one of my runaway trips at age 14 or so. I went to Jenkins, Kentucky to visit my uncle Roy Meade. He was such a nice, kind and gentle person. I enjoyed my visit and he treated me with such kindness as though I was an important person. I sure loved that guy.

I never learned anything about his children. It’s sad in a way but, I never kept track of the family, cousins, uncles etc., with the exception of Uncle Homer until his death in 1955. I still see and visit his son Grayson. We are good friends. I introduced him to the insurance business in 1958. He took to it like a duck to water and is very successful in that profession and now owns his own agency.

I seemed to be full grown at 15. I had some problem about getting pants to fit. At 5’11” I should have had pants either 30 x 31 or 30 x 32 – instead mine were 31 x 29. Either my legs were too short, or my ass was too long. Someone once asked Abe Lincoln how long should a man’s legs be – his answer was “Long enough to reach the ground”. So, I assumed I qualified after all.

Before 1920, the only hard top roads were near cities. These were called cobblestone streets or roads. When we traveled in our baby grand Chevrolet in 1918 or so, I remember once that we had to cross private property. A man would sit there all day and would open the gate and let us through for 25 cents.

Next we came to a creek or small river and it looked deep and treacherous to cross – but a man and his horse was waiting there. We asked how much to tow us across. The man says: “Fifty cents if I hook onto you here and $1.00 if I have to come out to the middle and get you.” We paid 50 cents. The toll gates were set up by property owners all over the country.

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As a teenager in my late teens that is, for me, and some of my cousins, Glen, Ab, Howard, Olie, looked forward to church day. I doubt that religion was the motivation. It was more of a social event and of course the girls were there.

The girls would be sitting in the row near the back of the church also in the row in front of us. We would sometimes tweak their hair or otherwise pester them.

But they enjoyed it. Occasionally I would get to walk one home. Ab, the youngest of our group was a real clown at times. I will never forget him. The church group would sing one song that goes like this:

In the sweet / bye and bye / we shall meet / on the beautiful shore

and here is what Ab would sing, in a very low voice of course. But all of us kids could hear him:

In the sweet, (he would say gimme a piece of meat),
bye and bye (gimme a piece of pie),
we shall meet (a piece of meat)
on the beautiful shore, (gimme a little bit more).

Of course we were just a bunch of silly kids and we were going to laugh anyway and we had a heck of a time to keep from exploding. So some of the grown-ups heard this, but not too many, but anyway I’ll never forget that character.

He grew up and I got to meet him two years ago. He is a wonderful guy and a heck of a wonderful musician. I met him and his wife Francis, they are wonderful people. I look forward to seeing them again next month when I go on reunion again.

This was in May 1995, and when I mentioned this to him he said well I was rather a mischievous child.

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On to Part 4