The Three Fishermen
††††††††††† There were three of them. There were four of us, and
April lay on the campsite and on the river, a mixture of dawn at a damp extreme
and the sun in the leaves at cajole. This was Deer Lodge on the
Peace then was everywhere about us, in the riot of young leaves, in the spree of bird confusion and chatter, in the struggle of pre-dawn animals for the start of a new day, a Cooper Hawk that had smashed down through trees for a squealing rabbit, yap of a fox at a youngster, a skunk at rooting.
We had pitched camp in the near darkness, Ed LeBlanc, Brother Bentley, Walter Ruszkowski, myself. A dozen or more years we had been here, and seen no one. Now, into our campsite deep in the forest, so deep that at times we had to rebuild sections of narrow road (more a logger's path) flushed out by earlier rains, deep enough where we thought we'd again have no traffic, came a growling engine, an old solid body van, a Chevy, the kind I had driven for Frankie Pike and the Lobster Pound in Lynn delivering lobsters throughout the Merrimack Valley. It had pre-WW II high fenders, a faded black paint on a body you'd swear had been hammered out of corrugated steel, and an engine that made sounds too angry and too early for the start of day. Two elderly men, we supposed in their seventies, sat the front seat; felt hats at the slouch and decorated with an assortment of tied flies like a miniature bandoleer of ammunition on the band. They could have been conscripts for Emilano Zappata, so loaded their hats and their vests as they climbed out of the truck.
"Mornin', been yet?" one of them said as he pulled his boots up from the folds at his knees, the tops of them as wide as a big mouth bass coming up from the bottom for a frog sitting on a lily pad. His hands were large, the fingers long and I could picture them in a shop barn working a primal plane across the face of a maple board. Custom-made, old elegance, those hands said.
"Barely had coffee," Ed LeBlanc said, the most vocal of the four of
us, quickest at friendship, at shaking hands. "We've got a whole pot
almost. Have what you want." The pot was pointed out sitting on a hunk of
grill across the stones of our fire, flames licking lightly at its sides. The
pot appeared as if it had been at war, a number of dents scarred it, the handle
had evidently been replaced, and if not adjusted against a small rock it would
have fallen over for sure. Once, a half-hour on the road heading north, noting
it missing, we'd gone back to get it. When we fished the
"You're early enough for eggs and bacon if you need a start." Eddie added, his invitation tossed kindly into the morning air, his smile a match for morning sun, a man of welcomes. "We have hot cakes, kulbassa, home fries, if you want." We have the food of kings if you really want to know. There were nights we sat at his kitchen table at
"Been there a'ready," the other man said, his weaponry also noted by us, a little more orderly in its presentation, including an old Boy Scout sash across his chest, the galaxy of flies in supreme positioning. They were old Yankees, in the face and frame the pair of them undoubtedly brothers, staunch, written into early routines, probably had been up at to get here at this hour. They were taller than we were, no fat on their frames, wide-shouldered, big-handed, barely coming out of their reserve, but fishermen. That fact alone would win any of us over. Obviously, they'd been around, a heft of time already accrued.
the pounding came, from inside the truck, as if a tire iron was beating at the
sides of the vehicle. It was not a timid banging, not a minor signal. Bang!
Bang! it came, and Bang! again. And the voice of authority from some place in
space, some regal spot in the universe. "I'm not sitting here the livelong
day whilst you boys gab away." A toothless meshing came in his words, like
Walter Brennan at work in the jail in
"Comin', pa," one of them said, the most orderly one, the one with the old scout sash riding him like a bandoleer.
They pulled open the back doors of the van, swung them wide, to show His Venerable Self, ageless, white-bearded, felt hat too loaded with an arsenal of flies, sitting on a white wicker rocker with a rope holding him to a piece of vertical angle iron, the crude kind that could have been on early subways or trolley cars. Across his lap he held three delicate fly rods, old as him, thin, bamboo in color, probably too slight for a lake's three-pounder. But on the Pine River, upstream or downstream, under alders choking some parts of the river's flow, at a significant pool where side streams merge and phantom trout hang out their eternal promise, most elegant, fingertip elegant.
"Oh, boy," Eddie said at an aside, "there's the boss man, and look at those tools." Admiration leaked from his voice.
Rods were taken from the caring hands, the rope untied, and His Venerable Self, white wicker rocker and all, was lifted from the truck and set by our campfire. I was willing to bet that my sister Pat, the dealer in antiques, would scoop up that rocker if given the slightest chance. The old one looked about the campsite, noted clothes drying from a previous day's rain, order of equipment and supplies aligned the way we always kept them, the canvas of our tent taut and true in its expanse, our fishing rods off the ground and placed atop the flyleaf so as not to tempt raccoons with smelly cork handles, no garbage in sight. He nodded.
We had passed muster.
"You the ones leave it cleaner than you find it ever' year. We knowed sunthin' 'bout you. Never disturbed you afore. But we share the good spots." He looked closely at Brother Bentley, nodded a kind of recognition. "Your daddy ever fish here, son?"
Brother must have passed through the years in a hurry, remembering his father
bringing him here as a boy. "A ways back," Brother said in his
His Venerable Self nodded again, a man of signals, then said, "Knowed him way back some. Met him at the
The white wicker rocker went into a slow and deliberate motion, his head nodded again. He spoke to his sons. "You boys be back no more'n two-three hours so these fellers can do their things too, and keep the place tidied up."
The most orderly son said, "Sure, pa. Two-three hours." The two elderly sons left the campsite and walked down the path to the banks of the
"We been carpenters f'ever," he said, the clip still in his words. "Those boys a mine been some good at it too." His head cocked, he seemed to listen for their departure, the leaves and branches quiet, the murmur of the stream a tinkling idyllic music rising up the banking. Old Venerable Himself moved the wicker rocker forward and back, a small timing taking place. He was hearing things we had not heard yet, the whole symphony all around us. Eddie looked at me and nodded his own nod. It said, "I'm paying attention and I know you are. This is our one encounter with a man who has fished for years the river we love, that we come to twice a year, in May with the mayflies, in June with the black flies." The gift and the scourge, we'd often remember, having been both scarred and sewn by it.
Brother was still at memory, we could tell. Silence we thought was heavy about
us, but there was so much going on. A bird talked to us from a high limb. A fox
called to her young. We were on the
"Name's Roger Treadwell. Boys are Nathan and Truett." The introductions had been accounted for.
Old Venerable Roger Treadwell, carpenter, fly fisherman, rocker, leaned forward and said, "You boys wouldn't have a couple spare beers, would ya?"
Now that's the way to start the day on the
†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† †††††††††††††††††††††††††† Tom Sheehan
Mexican Cultures and Traditions
††††††††††† The Mexican culture has a lot of nice traditions. We have a lot of
holidays, and we celebrate most of them. Mexican kids play a lot of Mexican
games that their parents played when they were kids. In our culture most of the
people tell a lot of tales about witches, and some of them are real stories. In
Celebrating holidays in
We have big parties that are part of our culture and
traditions. At these parties we make punch that's kind of hot and spicy. We eat
foods like nopalitos, a prickly pear, and capirotada. In
In our culture we usually learn tales from
kindergarten. When I was in kindergarten I remember that the teachers told us a
lot of tales to entertain us and to learn more things, to educate kids. There
are a lot of tales that I knew, but they had a lot of bad words, and were dirty
and are for older people. When I was in
We use a lot of remedies in
We celebrate every holiday every year in
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Edna Hernandez
I am not sure
how long I was in the Rose Keller Home Orphanage in
Several police officers came to my Granny and Grandpa's house, and took me away to the orphanage. I overheard them telling the matron that I had been taken away because my Granny had been beating me almost on a daily basis.
The schoolteachers across the street at the Dixieland school had told the police that they were afraid that my grandma might beat me to death.
The next day, one of the matrons at the orphanage took me to see a "special doctor" because I had not been able to speak for almost a month. No matter how hard I tried, no words would come out of my mouth. I couldnít even make any sounds.
When we returned to the orphanage after the trip to the doctorís office, one of the women who worked at the home, started yelling at me for no reason.
I was sitting on the top step of the stairs, just like I did every day, all day long, just minding my own business. She told me that I was going on a trip to see
We rode for what seemed to be forever. She smiled at me, nodded, and told me that, "We are going to see
We drove for a long, long time. Suddenly she looked over at me and asked if I liked to eat fruit. All of a sudden she pulled off the road, and turned into a small fruit stand. When she got out of the car, she instructed me to wait and to not touch anything.
I looked over at the wooden stand and saw little American flags all lined up in a bucket. I climbed out of the car and picked up one of the pretty flags, waving it around, from side to side, and over the top of my head.
"I'm going to see
This old man took the flag from my hand and placed it back into the bucket. Then he picked up a large American flag, almost as big as I was, and asked the woman how much it cost. She smiled and told him the price. He reached into his pocket, took out his wallet, and paid for it. Then he handed me the Flag.
The woman and I returned to the car and continued our drive to see
This strange looking man and a heavyset woman came walking up to the car. The man yelled at me, "Don't just sit there. Get your little ass out of that car!"
As I got out, the man immediately snatched the American Flag from my hand and threw it onto the ground. I ran over as fast as I could and picked it up. I began shaking the dirt off my flag.
I told him, in a very stern voice, "The American Flag was never supposed to touch the ground, and now I would have to burn it like the rule says."
Once again he snatched the flag from my hand, broke the staff in half, and threw it back onto the ground. I stood there staring at that men mean old face.
I guess I had finally found "wonderful, wonderful
Little did I know that even a great country, like the
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Roger Dean Kiser