SIX DOLLAR STEAK MARCH 12, 2015
Tina Love reports from Kensing that Monday, March 2, a group (technically a sounder) of about forty hogs were near a herd of cattle. Two of the larger hogs were fighting a cow while others tried to get her calf. Tina saw the hogs and quickly stopped her pickup, turning the hogs’ attention away from the cow and calf. Ronal Kennemer came by and shot, scaring the sounder off into some nearby woods. Jimmy and Mike Clarke from Chicago went with me to Kensing later in the day. Our dogs quickly found, bayed, and caught a two hundred pound boar that Jimmy killed with a knife. Hopefully we can thin enough hogs out before they start liking the blood taste too much. The hogs already are known to eat turkey eggs, fawns, and baby calves in some areas. Sounds like some around here are developing a taste for calves also.
That little calf in the above paragraph was in “dire straits”, a phrase I’m hearing more each week. I did some research even though I knew it meant being in trouble, or about to get in trouble. The phrase has been tracked back to the 1400’s when many sailing ships were in use and sometimes had to pass through a narrow passage of water called a strait. Often there would be strong currents and wind that possibly could slam the vessel to shore where rocks were waiting. Since dire means dreadful or terrible, a dire strait would be a dangerous, narrow waterway. Today it is a general term for someone being in danger.
Let’s go back and see what was happening in 1987. From my ledger. Wednesday, March 25, 1987. I went to the East Delta Riding Club Arena across the highway from the Charleston Methodist Church. Pulled my pickup to the edge of the pool. Tied one end of my minnow seine to my front bumper and waded out in the pool. Made two or three drags and caught about thirty crawfish. Earlier on
my bus route by Wimp Click’s house at Longridge I had talked to Houston Elmore who had trotlines at the Woodard place. A fifteen pound ap catfish lay in a tub as proof the fish were biting. I went downriver from Houston’s lines a few hundred yards and set out my lines.
Thursday, March 26, 1987. After school on the way to check my lines I stopped at the Charleston Store and heard Boyd “Poss” Simpson died last night. A norther blew in and temperature was about forty five. May have affected the fish biting as on my lines I only had three small channel cats, one sand bass, and one drum.
Friday, March 27, 1987. My 41st birthday. Decided to camp at the river tonight. After school to Son Chandler’s grocery and got a steak. Stopped by Larry’s and heard news about a trial that was finished yesterday. A tough guy, last name Bell, from West Tawakoni was shot in self-defense by a Mr. Land. Two shots of double ought buckshot did the job. Bell had killed a man when he was eighteen. Been in a lot of trouble. Lots of people were afraid of him. No job. $1100 in billfold. A few years earlier shot a policeman in Dallas. Broke a guy’s jaw outside a club at West Tawakoni. Autopsy showed drugs in system. But back to the steak. Jean decided to go to the river with me and stay until bedtime so we had to carry two vehicles. Set up tent, built fire, lit charcoal, and cooked steak. Fried potatoes on Coleman stove. Stars bright. Big Dipper, Little Dipper, Cassiopeia, Seven Sisters, Sirius, and Orion. Coyotes yapping. Owls across the river in the floodway. Jean went home and I woke in the night to beavers slapping their tails on the river. It sounds like somebody threw a bowling ball in the water. Sorta like shooting a big gun in the water. Heck of a ker plunk,
Saturday, March 28, 1987. Woke up at 7:00 this morning and while I lay in the sleeping bag some cows drifted by and checked out my tent. They were sniffing loud and came right up to the tent wall. Two or three were smelling on the side of the tent when I slapped it real hard and hollered. They had a conniption and nearly knocked each other down getting out of there. Got up, fried two potatoes, and warmed up the left over steak. When I bought the steak I was surprised to see it cost six dollars but after both of us ate on it last night and then me again for breakfast it was well worth it. An inch thick and bigger than a plate. More later.
Sayings from signs, license plates, and T shirts. We’ll always be friends; we know too much on each other. Your name is not Calvin Klein and you’re not an underwear model so pull up your pants. We’ll we old friends until we get senile then we’ll be new friends. At a ski resort—Warning. Trees do not move. From a bumper sticker. Warning. Drinking alcohol before pregnancy can lead to pregnancy. On an elderly person’s T shirt. That awkward moment when you shower in the middle of the day then can’t decide whether to get dressed or just put on your pajamas and call it a day.