SHINNERS AND RIBBERS
by: Eddie Trapp
From my ledger. Saturday, May 11, 1985. Dean Houchins called and wanted to go grabbling in South Sulphur River for catfish. (It’s also called hand grabbing and noodling.) I met him and a few more at the Charleston Store at 12:30. Biggest group we’ve had in years. Usually just Dean and I go but today we had four Elmores, Houston, Huck, Nathan, and Dale, then Jeffrey Preas, Dean, and me. The seven of us rode in Huck’s white pickup to the river, got in the water, and moved slowly upstream. Normally it’s best to walk downstream through the water since the current usually flips the small, and sharp, ends of underwater logs pointing away from you. Walking upstream in the water you crash into more of the “stobs” which we classify according to where they hit us such as shinners, chesters, ribbers, and such.
Nathan is the one of the group that always tells old stories and seems like can remember things that happened before he was born. As we eased along through the water he told about me breaking a horse one time. Several guys were at the Charleston Store and offered to hold her until I got in the saddle. We got her to the middle of the square where there was a lot of grass and they eared her down. She started bucking when I got in the saddle and headed straight for the store. Bucked across the concrete porch and my head was almost hitting the ceiling. She almost went through the glass door and windows. T Bo George was sitting on the bench and jumped up waving both arms trying to drive her away from the building. Nathan can really tell a tale and we were all laughing while feeling along with our hands and feet. After a few hours we found four catfish weighing 22, 13, 12, and 6 pounds.
Monday, May 27, 1985. Two of my boats had been pulled up on the river bank but not tied and a recent rain washed them downriver. This morning a storm hit as I was planning a float trip in my canoe to search for the boats. The sky got very dark and we had rain and high winds. Eighteen car windows were blown out at Price Ford in Sulphur Springs. After the storm passed I went to Cooper and got food for the trip then to Charleston at 12:30. Dean wanted to go with me and we left Bluff Bank south of Charleston at 1:30. We found one boat south of Sharptown but it was under three logs. Good thing we brought a come a long so we could winch it out. Poured all the water out and let it float along with us. Tied it up at Lester Worden’s pasture at Longridge. As we floated on we had tuna, mustard, onion, deviled ham, pork and beans, and crackers.
My small boat was found just below the mouth of Lake Creek. Turned sideways and partly underwater against some trees. Finally got it loose, dipped out the water, and floated it on down to Red Branch at Kensing where we tied it up to get later. A half mile below Red Branch we found a red and blue aluminum boat we thought was Hollis Slakeys so we pulled it higher on the bank and tied it. On east behind Jimmy Love’s place we found another runaway boat belonging to Kenny Baker so we tied it behind us to take to him. There is a big log jam near the Highway 37 Bridge north of Hagansport and it has the river blocked. By the time we reached the Forks of Sulphur water was backed up because of the jam and there was no current. Had to paddle the rest of the way in the dark. Luckily there was a first quarter Moon allowing us to see a little. Reached the 37 Bridge at 10:30, tied the canoe and boat, then walked about three miles south to Billy somebody’s house to call home. Dean works at Rockwell with him. Called Jean at 11:15 and she picked us up at 11:50. We were afraid of running out of gas so we drove ten miles to Mt. Vernon but nothing was open. Barely made it to Sulphur Springs were we filled up and got home at 1:30 a.m.
Now up to the present in 2012. Dakota Click, Grandson Casey Williams, Zack and I attended the hog baying contest in Winnfield, Louisiana a few days ago and saw Pigman and the guy with the big hat from American Hoggers. Lots of good dogs baying in the arena. The cutest T shirt I saw was worn by a diehard John Deere fan. Had on a yellow and green cap and on his green shirt was written, “Friends don’t let friends drive red tractors.”
Results of the Mt. Vernon Dairy Queen hamburger eating contest: MVHS senior linebacker Luke Kaufman won the $45 first prize by eating five double meat hamburgers then breaking the record by finishing off one more meat patty.
Jean and I saw our first box turtle of the season on March 27. It was in the “Arch Schultz Flat” and I marked the scales, giving it the permanent name, OP.
For years we have seen strange ducks around Charleston. They are fairly tame and sit, or stand, in trees. Bird books show them to be black bellied whistling tree ducks. Characteristics are long legs and necks, red bill, and pink legs.
April 8 the Moon lines up with the star Spica and the planet Saturn. Spica is just to the left of the Moon and Saturn is further left.
Recent visiting hog hunter Ivan Eftink from Missouri sent me a couple of cute quotes about perseverance: “I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost over 300 games.
Twenty six times I’ve been called on to make the game winning, last second shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and that is why I succeed.” Michael Jordan.
From Thomas Edison while trying to invent the light bulb. “I’ve not failed. I have just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”
One more Chuck Norris joke: Chuck Norris can make Kobe pass the ball.