Al Clark, formerly of the Nelta/Sulphur Bluff area now lives in Paris. A while back he told Rick Murray about needing a small dog. Rick told him about our Jack Russell, Zack, so Al came to check him out. Now Al has a cute Jack Russell female he named Mattie. This is the breed of dogs you see on many television commercials. Some are very smart and can be trained to do unbelievable things. Search “trick dog Jesse” on the internet and look at several videos. You will be impressed.
At Al’s pasture east of Kiamichi along Red River recently he was shredding and Mattie was resting in the shade of a big tree. As Al finished one patch of weeds and drove by the tree toward another patch, Maggie got up to follow. Soon Al noticed two coyotes that had seen Maggie and were moving toward her. If you’ve cut hay or shredded much you know how coyotes and hawks follow tractors around waiting for a rabbit or other prey to run out. Al saw they were going to chase Maggie and turned back for the pickup. The coyotes still weren’t paying the tractor any attention and were planning their attack.
One of them circled ahead while the other followed the little dog. That way Maggie would run right into the one waiting. Maggie had not seen the coyotes. Al got to the pickup and Maggie jumped in as he opened the door. He grabbed his .22 and shot the closest coyote, breaking its back. At the shot, Maggie sailed out the window and ran to the coyote that was retreating on its front legs. Al finished killing the coyote before Maggie was bitten. Many cats and dogs are killed by coyotes and bobcats not only in rural areas but more and more in towns. Last week on the news I saw a picture of a coyote near Mockingbird Lane in Dallas. Be careful with your small dogs and cats.
One of the most memorable moments in football history happened at the 1954 Cottonbowl in Dallas. Rice player, Dicky Moegle, was in the clear and heading for a ninety five yard touchdown. Alabama player, Tommy Lewis, came off the sideline and tackled him. No one could believe it and the officials didn’t know what to do. Finally the referee picked up the ball and marched to the goal line, set the ball down, and awarded Rice the touchdown. Rice went ahead and won 28-6. Many of you knew the story but how about this twist of fate? Years later Tommy Lewis was a high school coach and couldn’t believe it when one of his players came off the sideline and tackled an opponent. They say history repeats itself.
Biggest tree ever transplanted? In League City, Texas a landmark, ancient tree was about to be cut down to widen Louisiana Street. It wasn’t just a beautiful tree, but a rare Compton oak, locally called the Ghirardi oak after the landowners. After months of debate the city voted to use $197,500 of the city parks money to move the tree 1500 feet to more Ghirardi land. The oak weighed 590,000 pounds and cranes failed to lift it the first try. Additional equipment was brought in and the move was successful the next day. If down that way, go by and see the famous Ghirardi oak.
You may remember the article about the dirt daubers a few weeks ago. The story was instigated by Junior Larkin, Kenneth Gillean, and me, some of the members of Pondering The World Situation Group. While at my cabin we recently talked about the history of “pop tops” on beverage cans. Research showed that at the end of Prohibition in 1933 cans had to be opened with a little sharp pointed tool that made a triangle shaped hole. Some people called them church keys. Seems like Paul Newman in Cool Hand Luke had one on a string around his neck.
In 1959, Ermal Fraze invented the pull tabs, or pop tops, that got thrown everywhere. Fish swallowed them and died. They littered the ground. Caused havoc with metal detectors. By the late Seventies the non removing pop tab had replaced the removable pull tabs. Die hard rebels would work the non removable tab back and forth to break them off. Some just wanted to show the can companies “what they could do” while others said the tab got hung in their moustache. Somewhere in there was a punch tab but was not used too long since fingers were cut as you pushed down on the tab. No telling what important subject the World Situation Group will tackle next.
Fishing at Cooper Lake was pretty good Saturday morning. I launched before sunup at Tira boat ramp and caught shad with my cast net in the cove south and west of the ramp. Tied my boat to some tree stumps straight out northwest from the ramp at the first point. Fished out north and west using cut shad. Caught several channel cats and blues. Every once in a while a hybrid striper would almost jerk one of my rods out of the boat before I could grab it. A five pound hybrid can give you a pretty good fight. Tiny shad would jump out of the water right beside my boat as sand bass gave chase. In the past I have also had good luck catching shad in the Doctors Creek Boat Ramp cove.
A man from the hills got sick and his doctor sent him to Florida to get some sunshine. Got a good tan but died after about three weeks. Back home at his funeral some friends were viewing his tanned cheeks and one told the other, “Them three weeks in Floridy did ole Bill a world a good.”