With the lake as high as it is, I didn’t go fishing but once this week and it was bank fishing.
As I get older, I think more about what is being lost for those who never had a chance to grow up eating what might have been grown and canned in jars or something killed, cured and hung in the smokehouse.
While it never happened to me, I think I remember Mother and Dad talking about some of their friends who were skimping on meals because they didn’t have money to buy all they needed. I never gave much thought to what they were talking about, as Mom always put something on the table.
I think I might have been 6 or 7 before I ever saw a convenience store. Daddy had taken us to Dallas to visit his brother. The morning after we got there my aunt needed more bacon. I didn’t know where their smokehouse was. Dad, my uncle Sammy and me piled into his car and he drove to a 7-11 store. He went in and got bacon and we went home for breakfast.
Now I think I was between impressed and confused. We didn’t do it that way at home. The nearest store was at Elmont and we only went there for groceries on Saturday.
More thoughts as I get older: I see young kids, teenage kids and young adults who have not the faintest idea of what it was like not that many years ago to have everything they need not in walking distance. They don’t teach History now like they did when people my age were in school. Sadly, today those of us still not looking up at the grass instead of down are maybe falling down on the job of asking to visit schools or kids’ clubs or just rounding up the grandkids and talk to them about what it was like growing up for you, me and others.
Go out today and asked 20 teenagers what a Bull Wheel is, or what a check rein was and what it was used for. How do you get a team — not baseball or football — to turn right or left, without using a steering wheel? They most likely wouldn’t have the faintest idea and I’m sure a lot of people under 30 wouldn’t know either. What is a singletree? Double Tree? horse collar, wagon tongue, binder, baler, threshing machine, why the drive belt is crossed, why use a bridle with blinders, trace chains, what are down rows and why do you pick them. Buck Rake? What is what I called a horse head and always wanted to ride it but would have been dodging pitchforks. What were hay blocks and how they worked?
I’m sure some of my older female readers probably pushed wire through them, tied it off, and let it go, while all the time watching us boys running around to make sure none of us got hurt — until we got tired it was our job to get the block and run it back up to the horse head for one of the men to slip it in place and send it back.
Today the entire operation would be shut down because it was dangerous. We who were lucky enough to remember these times and survived. If we got hurt, we didn’t do it again. That was learning the hard way
It’s not the fault of kids today to not know this; it’s us older people who are falling down on the job of getting them to lay down their phones and visit the past with us. Some will listen and learn, some won’t and that’s a sad thing. A really good way for a young parent to let their children see this old stuff I mention above is to take a trip to a museum. Sherman has one that has a lot of the things I mentioned above and a lot more.
I have been to the Sherman Museum and saw some of the things I mentioned above and a lot more that I have to read or ask what and why about. The Cracker Barrel also has some old farm stuff on the wall but most young families and people eating there have no idea what they are or what they were used for.
Now today’s fisherman needs to be a wiring expert, computer whiz, and have an understanding of Windows and lots of other things to install and run the new electronics they are coming out with. Today a DepthFinder can cost as much as $3,000 or more, show four or more different screens and all interconnect from one end of the boat to the other and from one to four different units.
They look up, down and sideways. Hidden brush piles are no longer hidden; some of these units will let you count the branches on a tree. I have a semi-smart one on my boat and I still don’t know what all it will do, but I know it doesn’t watch the weather or where the nearest restaurant is at.
Like I said, sadly this old mule has to go to his stall to recuperate. After writing this I feel a little old.