Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Columns

October 13, 2013

10/13/2013 — Lee Ward: About to hang out at the old fishing hole

ASHLAND — I’ve been invited to go fishing. Those who know me are laughing right now because I’m not the kind of woman you’d expect to go fishing.

While not exactly a sissy, I’m also no tomboy. However, I have been fishing.

I was about 10 years old. For months, I begged my family to take me fishing. Eventually, we went, but nobody let me hold a pole or bait a hook. We caught nothing.

I continued begging to go fishing, but my family members weren’t interested. Dad was a fisherman who, once a year, went to Lake Cumberland with a policeman buddy who had a houseboat. They spent a long weekend fishing, brought the catch back to Grandma, who would clean and cook the fish. It was an exciting time because we all loved Grandma’s fried fish and I usually got a toy or two from Dad.

Good food, toys — no wonder I was interested in fishing. Eventually, I got an old tackle box and started stocking it. I’m not saying I knew what I was doing, but I made the effort.

That summer, while my mom and I visited family in Virginia, I mentioned that I would like to fish and my cousin Gene Ray piped up. “I’ll take you fishing,” he offered, and off we went.

I told him I wanted to do it all myself, even if I might need a little help and he agreed.

We went to a lake about five miles from Aunt Mae’s house. We had dug our own worms and I baited my own hook. Yes, I did. I impaled that slimy creature on a hook with my own little girl fingers. Yes, it was a little gross, but digging them up had been a little bit gross, too. Nevermind, I wanted the full experience.

We cast our lines into the lake and waited. It might sound boring, but I had a good time talking to my cousin. It was the first time I started getting to know him and we have parted ways since then, but it was the beginning of at least one fun summer, a summer during which I had a friend to play with in Virginia.

Eventually, I got a bite. Gene Ray coached me on reeling it in. I had caught a blue gill, the beginner’s catch. He took it off the hook for me and corralled it for taking home. At the end of the day, I caught two blue gill.

I hadn’t thought about what would happen if I caught one, but once I did, I decided I should clean it myself. My cousin told me how to do it and watched as I cut off the head and tail, scaled it, slit it up the belly and emptied the inards. Yes, this too was gross, but I had come this far and I was going to finish it.

I would have loved to cook it, too, but at the time, I had no idea how to fry fish, so Aunt Mae took my blue gills and rolled them in flour, corn meal, salt and pepper and fried them for my dinner.

At the time, I had a little bit of guilt about having eaten something that was roaming free in the lake just hours earlier, but now I know how important it was for me to have a plan and follow through with it and to experience having seen where food comes from.

The fish wasn’t bad, either.

LEE WARD can be reached at lward@dailyindependent.com or (606) 326-2661.

1
Text Only
Columns
  • Lana Bellamy: Waking up America's youth: 4/18/14

    I once read a quote by a man saying the reason today’s youth do not have the same “spunk” as youth in the past is because they do not have inspiration.

    April 17, 2014

  • Mark Maynard: Let’s just forget about it: 04/17/14

    The older I get, the more forgetful I become. Does that sound familiar?

    April 16, 2014

  • Uncovering forgotten treasures

    You know the big difference between me and a hoarder? I mean, except that you can walk through my house and there are none of the disgusting aspects of hoarding in my life.
     

    April 14, 2014

  • Political stories worth retelling

    With Kentucky in the midst of the political season, it’s time to share some stories I’ve heard about the art of politicking.
     

    April 13, 2014

  • 0413timbizcolweb.jpg Tim Preston: Great salmon; finding Dr. Amy; and more Maria: 4/13/14

    It isn’t an especially convenient location unless you happen to be going that way, and if you don’t get there within the next couple of weeks you’ll have to wait until fall to try it out, but I had the best lunch I can remember last week at one of the last places you’d likely think of when pondering where to eat.

    April 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • Restaurant horror stories; garden planning tips

    In my couponing classes, I always had fun with everyone by telling them gross restaurant stories. In encouraging them to eat at home more and save their money, I was also teaching them how much cleaner it is.
     

    April 12, 2014

  • Feeling happy is ...

    Anyone hoping the Ashland-Huntington area will soon overtake Disney World as “the happiest place on Earth” will be waiting awhile.
     

    April 10, 2014

  • 0410markcol.jpg Mark Maynard: Brick House (South Ashland Florist) brings in $13K so far: 04/10/14

    Here’s a 14-name salute coming your way:

    April 9, 2014 1 Photo

  • John Cannon: Take this joint, please: 04/09/14

    Some of the things that occurred during our recent week in Jamaica were unexpected and even a bit weird. I suspect those will be the things we will still clearly remember long after the memories of the hours of lying on the beach have faded. I started to mention them in last week’s column, but opted to save them until a later date in the interest of length.

    April 8, 2014

  • AARON SNYDER: March Madness, sadness for Cats

    It’s just another game. That’s the message John Calipari preached profusely throughout the 2014 NCAA tournament. It’s typical coachspeak, but Cal’s young Kentucky team clung to the step-by-step approach to produce atypical results.

    April 8, 2014