The Story Tellers

Discussion in 'General Conversation' started by SassyManxLady, Mar 10, 2007.

  1. SassyManxLady

    SassyManxLady New Member

    Messages:
    101
    State:
    MO
    About 10 years ago, my father came down with cancer, and he began talking about his family and got me very interested in my ancestors. That was the beginning of my love for genealogy. Since then, it has become my passion. Between fishing, hunting and family history, I don't have time for much of anything else. I even carry a lap top computer in the boat and camper with me, so that I can stop off at a cemetery, in case I need to take down some information.

    Now most of you will think that is crazy, but just ask any man that is married to a woman that is that crazy about family history, and they will tell you that it is much easier to let the wife carry this lap top computer, than to have to make another trip to said cemetery :)))

    I feel it is important to find out who our ancestors were and to remember them and to do all we can to honor them. Not all of them were perfect and neither are we.

    My grandfather on my father's side, was what I would call a story teller. He would recall the things from his childhood and tell them. I was raised right beside this grandfather in Black Rock Arkansas until I was 10 years old. Ten years. Long enough to warp me according to my husband :crazy:

    This grandfather was the one that I learned to fish from.

    So, with carrying on the family tradition, I have sort of become the family story teller. There are several precious memories I have with my grandfather, whom we called Daddy Pearl, and I have written them down and have them in my family files, that I hope future generations care enough one day to look at.

    After I post this message, I am going to reply to this posting with one of my fondest memories, and I titled it, "Blowing For Horn Fish". and folks, to THIS day, I remember it so vividly and laugh and cry at the same time.

    Beck
     
  2. SassyManxLady

    SassyManxLady New Member

    Messages:
    101
    State:
    MO
    I just returned from a trip to Black Rock Arkansas last weekend to do some genealogical research on my Pyland family line. I spent time in Imboden, Powhatan, Portia and Black Rock AR, all these 'towns', being in Lawrence County, AR. I made a trip to the old courthouse in Powhatan and then I was going to go to Black Rock. I decided to take the short cut from Powhatan to Black Rock. I cannot tell you the name of the road that I took, for I simply didn't pay any attention. All my life when we would go to Powhatan we would take this same shortcut. The paved road just winds along the banks of the Black River till you get to Black Rock. As a child, I was always about half-scared to be on this road. The Black River always wanted to get out of it's banks and flood. My grandfather, Pearl Pyland, which we called 'Daddy Pearl' liked to drink. In fact, outside of hunting or fishing, this is all the Daddy Pearl did. Man could that man drink. However, as I got older he did let up drinking so much. One day, him and I were in Powhatan, for he had gone to get some cotton-seed-cake, to use on the trot lines. So I loaded up to go with him. As we were on this 'short cut' we came to where we had to cross under the bridge that went over the Black River. Highway 63 from Imboden to Walnut Ridge, has a big bridge that crosses over the Black River, and we were under the bridge on the short cut road. Always did give me the willies to have to drive under the bridge. Anyway, just as soon as we got out from underneath the bridge, there is a 'business' on the right hand side of the road. We always had to stop there. Now this business was a place where you could buy fresh fish. The Hilburns' had nets, cages, and trot lines out all over the Black River. They would run their lines and nets, several times a day. The catch would be brought in and released in huge tanks and a person could pick out which and how many fish they wanted and then the Wilburn's would clean the fish and they would package it and sell the meat to you. We ALWAYS had to stop anytime we were remotely in the area. So we stopped, I would get out and go and play with Junior and Wilburn Hilburn. Yep, that was their names. Now before I go any further, I want to point out, that I liked these boys. Not is that way, but because those boys knew how to have fun. You know, put a stick in a gars mouth and turn it loose in the water to watch it go around and around in circles. Had to be careful though, those gar have teeth. Or get a big night crawler and put it down the big sisters dress and watch her have a running hissy fit. Like to have tickled me to death. They caught a tarantula one day and threw it in through a hole in the outhouse door, while the big sister was in there and then locked the outside of the door with the wooden stick that was used to keep the door shut so critters couldn't get in, locking her in there with the tarantula. We all three got whooped for that one, by Mrs. Hilburn. Oh, I forgot to mention, we were related to this family. Come to find out years later, the reason we always stopped there was that Mr. Hilburn had whiskey in one of the out buildings so that is why Daddy Pearl always stopped. But as I got a little older and got to going to school and started to learn how to read, I got so that I would try to read anything and everything. So this one particular day, we stopped at the Hilburns, again. And for the first time, I noticed they had a sign out, nailed to the big tree along the side of the road. I went to trying to read it. It was big letters and they stood out real plain. For some reason that day I had to stay in the car and Daddy Pearl was only gone about 5 minutes and I was trying to figure out what the sign said. They had taken what the best I can figure was a piece of particle board or something along that line and had made a sign. They were trying to say, 'Blow horn for fish'. But they started at the top of the board and printed Blow, then right under that they had printed 'horn', well, they had come to the bottom of the board and there wasn't enough room to print the rest of the words so they started on the right hand side of 'blow' and printed 'for' and then 'fish ' was printed under the word 'for'. Now the words were all spelled correctly and the letters were real neat, but the end result of the sign looked like this:

    Blow for
    horn fish

    Now me just learning how to read, having a hard time trying to make out what they were saying. For Mrs. Cook, my teacher had taught us that you read from left to right and all I could make out was, "Blow for horn fish". Well, didn't make much sense to me, for I had never heard of a horn fish. Never had seen one for that matter either. However, decided that I needed to know what one looked like. Therefore, I set there in that car just blowing away. You know, like when you pucker up to blow out a candle. Was plum winded by the time Daddy Pearl got back to the car. Guess I had gotten red in the face from blowing so hard. He took one look at me and wanted to know what in the %&$@ I was doing. Told him I was blowing. He just looked at me. He never even started the car up. I guess I had him worried or something. He asked me why I was blowing, told him I was trying to blow up a horn fish. In the same breath I asked him what a horn fish looked like. He then reached over to feel my head, I guess the poor ole feller thought I was sick or something. He finally got back out of the car, came over to the passengers side, opened the door and got me out and picked me up, and was holding me real tight and asked me again, what I was talking about. I pointed to the sign and said that the sign said to 'Blow for horn fish', and I was trying to blow one up. He laughed so hard that while he was holding me he fell down with me in his arms. I still didn't know what was so dang funny. We got up off the ground, he put me in the car and we drove on home, which was about 2 miles. He laughed evey inch of the way. I still didn't know what was going on. We got home. Daddy Pearl took me into our house and he was still just laughing up a storm. Momma and daddy wanted to know what was goin on and Daddy Pearl told them. They got a big laugh out of it also. It was about 4 years before I ever figured out what was really so funny about the whole thing. For every time I would ask them what was so funny about the whole thing, all they would do was laugh. They never did get around to telling me that there wasn't such a thing a horn fish. I really thought there was.
    The last time I saw Daddy Pearl, he was in the Veterans hospital in Poplar Bluff, MO. He had gotten real bad and the family had been called in. So, I loaded up my youngest brother, Dan, the one that him and I get into so much trouble when we are together anymore, and we went to see Daddy Pearl in the hospital. Dan was 12, I was 26. When we got there, Daddy Pearl was asleep. So Dan and I stayed in the room with Daddy Pearl, while the other family members went to get a bite to eat. Dan fell asleep sitting in a chair and I was just setting there. I got to thinking and I knew it would probably be the last time I ever got to see ole feller and I went to crying. That ole man and I had seen a lot of good times together. I finally got done crying and I heard him say, "Glad to see your done a squalling. Want to visit some now?" I thought he was asleep, but he had woke up. I walked over to his bed and set on the side of it and we went to visiting. Dan finally woke up. Daddy Pearl hadn't been around Dan very much, for we had moved to MO before Dan was born and Dan and Daddy Pearl didn't have the relationship that Daddy Pearl and I had. I was all the time telling Dan about Daddy Pearl, but Daddy Pearl had gotten about half way mean in his last years and Dan didn't like being around him very much. Daddy Pearl asked Dan if he liked to fish. Dan told him he did and that I was really good to take him fishing every weekend. I spoke up and told Daddy Pearl that I was going to teach Dan how to blow up some horn fish this weekend while we were so close to AR. That really caught Daddy Pearl off guard and he got so tickled he ended up spittin his top teeth out on the bed. Daddy Pearl and I were laughing so hard and Dan kept asking what a horn fish was. The more Dan would ask and the more I would try and stop laughing and explain the harder Daddy Pearl and I laughed. Well, I guess it got Daddy Pearl's heart monitor to acting up and one of the nurses came into the room to see if everything was okay. The nurse proceeded to tell me and Dan that we were going to have to try and keep him calm, for his heart was in real bad shape. Made Daddy Pearl mad. And he came unglued on the nurse. Told that nurse that if his grandkids wanted to come into his room and visit that we could. The nurse made the mistake of telling him that he had to obey the rules and do as he was told. I just cringed, for I knew the next thing out of Daddy Pearls mouth wasn't going to be pleasant. Boy was I right. He set up in that bed, told the nurse that he had served his country in the World War I and here he was dying in a dang ole veteran's hospital and that all he wanted to do was be at home or on the banks of the river. Not only was it bad enough that he was in the hospital, but that the hospital didn't even have female nurses, just ugly ole male nurses like him. He went on to say that if a man had to die in a hospital at least he deserved a female nurse. That tickled me and I started laughing again. It had scared Dan for Daddy Pearl had gotten real loud and Dan didn't know what to think. Made the nurse mad, so he told Daddy Pearl he was going to go get someone and get the situation taken care of. About the time the nurse left the room, I guess he met my aunts and daddy in the hallway and was telling on us. My 2 aunts came storming into the room and proceeded to tellin me how Daddy Pearl was suppose to stay quite and calm, and wasn't to be upset. I tried to tell them that I was sorry and I went to crying again, for I was so emotional over the whole thing. Daddy Pearl set up real fast in his bed, slung his top teeth across the room, looked at me and told me stop my &%$@ squallin and told both of his daughters to come over to his bed. He was really hard on those two girls and I felt bad about him speaking so harsh to them. Told them that we were only a visiting and that if we wanted to have a regular 'horse cuttin and quiltin' (whatever one of those is) that we would. Daddy finally spoke up and wanted to know what was going on. Daddy Pearl told him and him and daddy started laughing again. Here came the nurse again. He took one look inside the room and just turned around and left. Things finally calmed down and it came time for us to leave. I started crying again. Daddy Pearl called me to his bedside and I was trying to talk to him. I reached over and laid across his chest and was holding on to him for dear life. He whispered in my ear, "Ole Beck, I love you. You remember all the good times and you take those little brothers of yours fishing as often as you can. Teach that youngest one how to blow for horn fish." Daddy Pearl passed away 10 days later. After the funeral, I loaded Rob and Dan up in Daddy Pearls old car and we drove to the Hilburn place, and we got out of the car. I went to the door of the house and explained to the folks living there what we were doing and asked permission to walk down the path to the river and show my brothers some of the things I remembered. They were most kind and told me to take all the time we wanted. We walked to the rivers edge and I explained to them how and what blowing for horn fish was. They had a hard time understanding me for I was crying so hard. I finally got them told and we walked back to the car and we went on back to Daddy Pearls house. Later that evening about 7 pm, someone knocked on the door. There had been a lot of visitors that day and I wasn't really paying a lot of attention to who was there. Daddy called me to the front door. There stood the folks that owned the house and land that the Hilburn's use to own and they had found that ole sign. And had brought it to me. This past weekend while going from Powhatan to Black Rock, I stopped at the old Hilburn place and walked down the path to the river and yes, I blowed for horn fish.

    Beck
     

  3. pk_powell

    pk_powell New Member

    Messages:
    3,485
    State:
    Missouri
    I love your stories,this one about your grandpa almost put a tear in my eye.Keep telling your stories Beck,they're fantastic!:big_smile:
     
  4. Hope

    Hope New Member

    Messages:
    1,177
    State:
    Oklahoma
    I only read the first one here so far, Beck, but will be sure to come back and read more...
    Just had to agree with Pat and say how wonderful it is to hear these bits of your history. Please continue! Gotta spread around some reputation point, but wanted to let you know how much I'm enjoying readin these :lol:

    Carolyn