My first job, fishing no less.

Discussion in 'General Conversation' started by Kutter, Jul 13, 2009.

  1. Kutter

    Kutter New Member

    Arnold, MO
    I grew up on a farm in SE Missouri, youngest of 13 kids. My father, who was born in 1896, was 58 yr's old when I was born. His days of hunting or fishing, if there ever were any, were long gone. His days were too filled with making a living off a small farm. Nobody in my family ever hunted or fished that I knew of. Even the extended family & friends didn't or at least that I ever heard about. To them, it was time wasted when real work needed to get done.
    My brother nearest my age, was 8 years older than I. Therefore, I felt it my duty to follow him around when I could. One day, when I was 9 years old, he headed out with some of his friends and I was allowed to tag along. I followed them down the RR tracks, staying a respectable distance behind so as to not get tormented by his friends who didn't want a 9 year old around. I noticed they were carrying sticks with strings attached & was told that they were "fishing poles". About a mile away, they stopped at a creek that ran under the RR tracks. I watched in awe as they masterfully turned over rocks to reach the worms they were to use for "bait".
    Many "perch" (Not a real perch, but rather any common sunfish, called brim in the south) fell to their tactics that day. At one point, I was allowed to throw a baited hook and line out. Sure enough, I felt for the first time, the thrill of a rod tugging toward the waters surface in a "tap-tap" motion. My brother may have fished again, but I am not aware of him doing so. For myself, that day was a turning point in my life. Yes, I had caught the fever which to this day has never waned. However, at that time, I had no idea what it was that I needed to do or how to do it. I ached to learn so as I could again feel the "tug" of a fish. Still, 9 year old's were not allowed to go down to the creek alone, might get snakebit I was told. There was no one to take me and I pined away the whole summer, satisfied only by the dreams at night of such things as bass, bluegill & catfish. Having nothing to feed my thirst over the year, my passion slowly wilted.

    The following spring, I was informed by my parents that an old man from church had approached them about wanting me for a job he needed done. He had no money to pay me and of course my parents wouldn't have allowed him to if he had. He said it wasn't hard work, just a few little things that he could no longer do himself, what with his failing eyesight. I didn't know where he lived, so he drove to my house and picked me up. Not sure what kind of car it was, as my family never having owned a vehicle of any kind, I wasn't privy to such things. What caught my attention were these long sticks ties to the top of the car. They stretched from bumper to bumper and were of no type of wood I had ever seen before. Straight as an arrow the whole length an smooth to the touch, cept for the occasional ring around the main stem. The old man told me they were "bamboo" and that they were his prized possessions. Each one had a woven Dacron thread attached to one end and were wrapped all along the length of the pole. Not far from a hook at the end, was a strange red & white ball attached. He called them "bobbers".
    Having seen "fishing poles" once before, I knew what these things were and told him so. It was about that time that I was told what my job was to entail. It seems this old man loved to fish, but with his eyes failing, he could no longer tie the hooks on an such. He said he was even having trouble seeing the line to watch for "bites". I was informed that these things were to be my job. I was tickled, but a bit worried. I had no idea how to tie a knot much less tie a hook onto that thread he was using. He told me that he was well aware that I was an "apprentice" and not a seasoned fisherman, so he would teach me as we went. Hour after hour he would have me tie the hook on with one kind of knot or another. I was instructed in all aspects of using a "pole".
    One day, he showed up with something he called a "reel". It was paired up with a metal rod with "eyes" along the side, or at least that's what he called them. He told me it must be a goodun, cause it took them Zepco folks 33 try's to get it right. We went over that thing till we both knew it inside & out. There wasn't a way to cast that we didn't figure out that day. After all that, the old man told me he actually didn't care for it and he would stick with his old "poles". He didn't want it to go to waste so he asked me if I would mind taking it over.
    He even rented a rowboat at the lake, so I could row him out to where the "big fish" were. Many, many days that summer were spent at my new job. I found out early on that I was not to call this fishing. Both of us were quite sure my parents would not have agreed to let me "fish" all summer. However, who could tun down an old man who needed help. I am sure his eyes never got any better, as to my knowledge, he never fished alone again. Long after I had "moved on" in my life, he still had young kids "being his eyes".
  2. cheapNdisgusting

    cheapNdisgusting Well-Known Member Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Yonder in Mo.
    Oh no say it ain't so. Kutter was SE Mo's first comercial fisherman.

    Kidding aside, that is a great thing to do for the old man.

  3. Jollymon

    Jollymon Well-Known Member

    Wilm .N.C
    TOM sounds to me you got the best job of your life that summer :smile2: just imagine a summer job changing your life forever,you was one lucky kid :wink:
  4. Swampfox.

    Swampfox. New Member

    i kept picturing the old man as spirit or angel or something heaven sent. Kutter you are a awesome story teller. you took me back in time with you. i read your post to my son, he was spellbound. he was the one who thought the old man was an angel. thought it was interesting he identified the man as such. maybe in a way he was.

    SGTREDNECK New Member

    Thanks for that story. It hit close to home for me. Andrew
  6. BIG_D

    BIG_D New Member

    Batchtown IL.
    thanks for the story Tom yep he was your fishing angel :cool2:
  7. pk_powell

    pk_powell New Member

    :big_smile:That was truly a wonderful story,thank you so much!!:big_smile:
  8. TOPS

    TOPS New Member

    Great post, Made me get a bug in my eyes, they started watering! Reps your way!
  9. Catgirl

    Catgirl New Member

    You've been keepin' secrets Tom. I didn't realize you're such a talented writer. For a few minutes all I could say was WOW.....

    What a wonderful job conveying the passion for, and love of, fishing - both yours and his.

    Wow. I'm so glad I know you Kutter.
  10. postbeetle

    postbeetle New Member

    Well, I'll be dipped in paraffin, covered in sparklies and used as a Christmas candle. Tom that was a nice story and I enjoyed it. Who'd a ever thunk, some Joe from SE Missoura.

    Thanks, John.
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2009
  11. CountryHart

    CountryHart New Member

    I'm speechless Tom. That don't happen very often either. Great story of your passion to fish. We all owe it to somebody.
  12. slimdaddy

    slimdaddy Well-Known Member

    Nelsonville, Oh
    what a great story reminds me of my grand dad
  13. mintaka

    mintaka Well-Known Member

    Charlotte , N.C
    Excellent anecdote , brings simpler times to mind.
    Maybe a compilation of all of our fishing stories would be in order.
    Not to be published (unless it's desired) but for the hell of it.
    Just try to keep hyperbole to a minimum (or maximize in lieu of 'fish tales').:cool2:
  14. catfishcrazy256

    catfishcrazy256 New Member

    Good story, Really enjoyed it !!!:wink:
  15. MsMixalot

    MsMixalot New Member

    North Carolina
    T told me to go read this thread and I'm so glad she did! That was a wonderful story and you wrote it beautifully. :big_smile: Thanks!!
  16. olefin

    olefin New Member

    Supper interesting story Tom! And you did an excellent job putting it down.

    My dad was born 1889 but he was only 46 when I was born.
  17. Catmanblues

    Catmanblues New Member

    S.E Ohio
    Thank you Tom for a well thought out post an the impact it will have on myself.
  18. bulethed

    bulethed New Member

    Kutter, if you are not a writer, you should have been. I was on the edge of my seat through the whole story. thanks a ton for taking the time to do it.

  19. CatHunterSteve

    CatHunterSteve New Member

    Snowville, Va
    What a wonderful story! Thanks Kutter for the post and the joy you must have put in the old fellows heart as he did yours!
  20. tackleholic

    tackleholic New Member

    New Albany
    Tom! Thank you very much for bringing back such good memories. Dad used to have a small pond about 1' deep that he had it bulldozed to make it bigger. He had stocked it with yellowbellies which would always shallow the hook & he even put in one snappen turtle. I remember catching the turtle & asking him if he wanted the turtle. He said he did. I remeber him only twice I think cleaning turtles for turtle soup. Thanks again Tom.