122 Pound Catfish, October 30, 2014 #1356

Things were a little slow this week other than getting a boar at Kensing’s Clark Branch on Wednesday with Ronal Kennemer and Clinton Harrington and catching some nice blue catfish at the lake Thursday. At times like this I have to go back to my ledger and see what was happening before I started writing these articles. In 1989 they began appearing in The Cooper Review but I had been keeping a ledger since back in the Sixties. From time to time I have gone back and pulled out some of the happenings before my days began with the newspaper. Today’s comes from 1986 and although it may not be rip roaring shoot ‘em ups, it will give an insight on gas prices and day by day life in our area. Many of you will remember some of the characters mentioned as well as events. Notice this comes from a time three years before “On The River” was born.

From my ledger. Saturday, July 12, 1986. To Cooper and got pork chops to grill “at the hill.” (Seven tenths of a mile south of the Charleston Square on County Road 1170 is a place where trees from each side of the road hang toward the center and create a cathedral type shady atmosphere. A place where you can go to get away from the hustle bustle of downtown Charleston. A quiet place where there have been many stews and grillings. Each day many joggers, walkers, and ATV riders still pass through the cathedral. The road is good enough to get there any time but if you proceed south toward the Templeton Place you will get stuck in muddy weather.) While getting the pork chops at Cooper I saw Carl Worden and he told me about a young man catching a 122 pound flathead catfish with his hands. Carl had seen it in The Paris News so I got a copy. Someday I want to go meet this feller.
Here’s what The Paris News had to say. “Tony Faulk, 21, of Flint, Texas, poses with a 122 pound flathead catfish he caught by hand at Lake Tyler on Tuesday. Faulk, who originally claimed he caught the fish on a trotline, later admitted he caught the fish by ‘grabbling,’ which is illegal. Instead of a record setting catch, he was fined $100.”

Monday, July 21, 1986. This past week I have done some hay hauling. 190 bales for Roscoe Blackwell. Mr. Blakely baled it and his baler makes huge bales. It messes up the stacking and a different pattern must be used. They are thicker, wider, and longer than normal bales. 508 bales for Bull Bettes. My helpers had trouble. One stuck a wire in his hand and another’s asthma acted up. Three hundred of it went in Mr. Hooten’s barn south of Bussy Good’s house. 700 bales for Chris Calvin in seven hours. Chris Partain and Mike Merry helped Jean and me on the 700. We heard Wednesday that M.J. Roberts was killed on the new road they are making from Highway 24 to Enloe. Lots of dust and trucks couldn’t see where they were going. Last Saturday night our clan met at Aunt Belle Hargroves’ house for nephew Rodney Hocutt’s high school graduation party. After eating, Belle had planned a scavenger hunt. Three teams were formed and the neighborhood was searched for items such as burned out light bulb, boiled egg, chicken feather, false fingernail, live worm, Wednesday newspaper, 1983 calendar, and spearmint gum. It was lots of fun.

Tuesday, July 22, 1986. To Cooper and talked to Ted Alley and Don Paxton about our EMS service. To Tira and set a skunk trap for Dennis Calloway in the Sand Hill Community. He took me to meet the foreman of the Four D Ranch because our family needs a way to get to some land in the river bottom on the Hopkins County side. The foreman was Al Barnett, a nice guy who said we could go down his west line any time to get to the land but it was muddy most of the year. I asked him about making a drainage system and he said he had checked. Almost impossible since there is only two feet of fall in twenty six miles. To Mrs. Piety’s house near Clara Slough’s northwest of Country Club and set an armadillo trap. To Cooper and got EMS truck so the fire department could use our generator and have air pack training. Dean Eudy talked me in to going through the “smoke house” with an air pack. First time I ever wore one. Very dark. Smoke bombs. You put your right hand on the wall when you go in and keep going. Eventually you will come back out the same place. They want me to join fire department.

Wednesday, July 23, 1968. Mr. Calloway called at 7:30. We got a possum in the trap at Sand Hill. Circled by Sulphur Springs to go to appraisal district to see who else owned land that we might be able to go through. Ate at Bartley’s BBQ. Killed the possum. To Bud Clark’s lawnmower shop south of Miller’s Drugs and bought new Husqvarna chain saw with some of the hay hauling money. To be continued.

A baseball team needed another player and couldn’t find one. Somebody suggested using a horse. Manager got a horse and tried him at all the bases and out in the field. He did great. It came time to bat. The horse hit the ball further than a ball had ever been hit. But the horse just stood there. The manager was hollering, “Run, run, run.” The horse looked over at him and said, “If I could run I would be in the Kentucky Derby.”
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