Sep 1, 2007

River Rat Slack


In my blood, I guess. Long hours of reading books during the still of the hot afternoons gave way to fishing and crabbing on the backside of the clock; only after another good dunk in the Weekie Wachie River. It was the best investment my parents ever made, a weekend retreat on the Gulf Coast.

Next morning we'd be in the little ski boat, headed out to the Gulf for some scallops or Black Rock Bass. Then, back home to check the lone little crab line. One chicken bone and a single-minded little girl with a stealthy net yielded dinner for all.

It's not that I like fishing so much as I like catching.

And yes, I learned to clean 'em at about that age.

Other afternoons, I'd jump into the wooden row-boat and take myself as far upriver as my arms could manage, just for the joy of drifting back. The peace and quiet--the craved-for solitude was a bonus for the last child of eight.

"Just lay low," my little inner self would say, "and they'll forget about you and find other things to torture."

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