Nannie Maude Reynolds shares memories and thoughts about Winston County’s past.
The little fishes
I have mentioned fishing many times since I have been writing these
columns. I guess fishing was one of the most enjoyable times in our lives from the time we were old enough to walk. I remember when we lived in the little three-room-house near Granny and Papa. There was a little stream that ran behind our house and joined a larger stream a little further down the road and that little stream ran into the Noxapater Creek and the Noxapater Creek ran into the Pearl River and the Pearl River………… Well you get the idea. I cannot remember where we got our hooks, but we had fish hooks that we fastened with string to the end of a twig. My sister, Dot, and my brother, Bud and I went fishing down on that little branch. Bud could not have been over 3 years old at the time.
He got his hook caught in his finger and went home crying all the way. He was dragging the twig, hook and line behind him. Once he caught one and drug it all the way home behind him on his hook because he could not get it off the hook. He needed Mama’s help. At times we caught many little perch. I guess it must have been in the spring when the fish go upstream to spawn that we caught them. At any rate, once we caught several and brought them up to the house for Granny to cook for us. She refused to cook them. She said, “I will not mess up my kitchen with those little fish. It will make the house hot and we cannot sleep tonight.”
So we put them in a tub filled with water on the front porch at her house and watched them swim around in the tub all afternoon. During the night, someone banged on the door. Granny went to the door and there stood her nephew from Neshoba County. She did not see her family often and she was glad to see him although he was “drunk as a skunk.” He saw the little fish in the tub of water and asked Granny to cook them for him and she did!!! She cleaned them and made a fire in her wood burning stove and cooked those fish!! We never let her forget that either.
Times have really changed; can you imagine a mother letting 3 little children go alone into the pasture today to fish walking through snake infested weeds and grass? However we never got bit or stepped on one. We fished on the Creek and when we were older we accompanied our Dad to bigger streams and lakes. He drove the school bus and on Saturdays he sometimes would carry a load of folks to Doyle Lake or Choctaw Lake fishing. My Daddy took his fishing seriously. It was dangerous to catch a fish bigger than his. My mother was a good fisherman and when she caught one bigger than his, he pouted. It gave her a lot of pleasure to beat him. It was seldom that it happened.
They fished together after the children were gone from home. Once they were going fishing down on Noxapater Creek and were riding a small Farmall Tractor. Now you farmers know that a Farmall Tractor has the motor all on one side. He drove the tractor across the fields down to the Noxapater Creek behind their home. As they went across the fields, he had to cross several terraces and as he went over one of them the Farmall turned over. Mama was sitting on the motor in front of him and it threw her off into the field. Daddy was crippled from a serious automobile accident and had a hard time walking and it took him several minutes to get off the tractor to help her.
As he helped her up, he asked, Lucille, Did you spill our worms?” I told you he was a serious fisherman! (Mama told that on him, I am not sure it really happened, but we never let him forget it.) All this little story proves is this, what is important to us is what we remember. Do we remember the most important person in our lives? Has your mind been returning to our ‘first works’ and are we giving Him credit for our blessings?