Just for a change of pace and a touch of crass commercialism, I've decided that in the third blog of each month, I'd run some chapters from my book The Rednak Chronicles. These "samplers' won't appear in book order or preference since I loved them all when I wrote them . . . . and still do. Enjoy!
Captain Alce: “Ah, The Fishin’ Life!”
Working in the marina and living at the end of the road on coastal South Carolina in the mid-seventies proved to be one of the happiest periods of my life. This was country my ancestors had lived and played in after Milo and Harmo came to America over a hundred years earlier. Harmo had first settled across St. Helena’s Sound. Rednaks were well known in these parts.
When I came to the island to build the marina and ship store I had already obtained a boat Captain’s six pack license. Once there, I bought a 22 foot center console fishing boat with twin 115 Evinrudes, outfitted it for fishing and started taking charters at the beginning of that summer.
I was pretty experienced and got to know what worked and what didn’t rapidly. At the time (early 1970’s) fish were abundant both near shore and offshore during the warm months and inshore and in the backcountry, fish were plentiful during the winter months. Reef fish were also plentiful during the cooler months drawn to the state’s artificial reefs strung along the 6 to 10 fathom line roughly five miles out from Little River in the north to Hilton Head at the south.
The island was a resort in addition to being the vacation home location of about a hundred families. We had a 60 room motel with pool, restaurant and beach view bar and a championship golf course. It was only fitting that those with boats and those interested in fishing have a facility to accommodate that interest, even though it was somewhat cobbled together. The marina store with its gas pumps, launch ramp, floating docks and an ample tiki-hut style pavilion for cookouts was a major draw for island residents and many visitors as well. The charter business took off that first season and a “no fish- no pay” policy was especially popular. Never got skunked thanks to nature’s bounty and the smile of Neptune on my fishing fortunes. There were many memorable trips and some were unusual enough to remain clearly within my recollection to this day.
One such trip was a couple from upstate. Highlanders, we sometimes called them. They came to the marina and he did all the talking. Constantly deferring to his wife and the good time he wanted her to have. She on the other hand, looked like a doe caught in headlights as we discussed the fish catching possibilities, the probable sea conditions and the length of the trip. The husband was a genuine outdoors type but he had never done anything outdoors with his wife but carry groceries. He was tanned and excited. She was pale white and had little to say about anything, especially this wonderful fishing trip her husband thought was so important to their life’s experience together.
I learned, early on, that you had to be careful to explain to everyone certain aspects of the charter in detail, so that there would be no surprises but, pleasant ones. One important aspect was, because the boat was small, there was no bathroom - - -except overboard. The most important thing about the trip was the beginning. Here special emphasis was necessary to ensure that the customer understood what to expect.
A sandbar had developed across our small inlet. It was about three feet deep on the bar at low tide. But the Atlantic Ocean along this part of the Carolina coast ran an average tide fall of six and a half feet, so - - - incoming waves building on the rising bottom of the sand bar looked awesome to the unpracticed eye. Hell, they looked awesome to the practiced eye when the wind was blowing onshore and the tide was running out! But, there was a technique where waves would chain up and the tops would not break - - between three and four in a row. Timing was crucial, because once you made the first grounder, you had to firewall the throttles to get up the face of the next one, being careful to pull off the power as the boat, bow up in the air, crested the wave top. When the timing was right, the boat fell gently off the wave crest. If the timing was a little late, the boat slammed down and scared the be-jesus out of the novices on board. Three waves - sometimes four- and you were clear. A mile out and you could start looking for birds and schooled fish in thirty feet of water.
It was decided that we would take an afternoon trip and catch the tide so that it would be high when we returned, thus assuring a smooth ride in and only one “adventure” ride in the beginning. The wife was charged with bringing lunch which she would order from the Inn’s kitchen. I of course, was looking forward to that!
They showed up at the appointed hour. She was toting what appeared to be a fifty pound beach bag. She was wearing a large floppy hat, a terry cloth jacket and flip flops. He had on the obligatory L.L. Bean ball hat and a fishing shirt with eight pockets - - - I had never seen anything like it! The wife seemed to be in much better spirits. She was quick to show me the sun block I recommended. And she let me know immediately that just like I said she had taken Dramamine an hour before. I was thinking that she probably had taken Dramamine two and three hours before, also.
We loaded some drinks, I showed them the locker with the life jackets under their feet and they sat down on the padded bench seat right in front of my center console. The wife refused my offer to stow the giant beach bag and she pulled it between her legs. As we idled down the creek from the marina I went over the sandbar run, the way we would fish, and what we would likely find today. The husband would turn around giving me a “thumbs up” as I made each point and she would just shake her head in affirmation without showing her face.
We came out of the creek inlet, I slowed to an idle and began to watch the wave series. When I got the set I wanted I said “Here we go! And slammed the throttles forward. In 10 seconds we’d crossed the first wave without incident or spray. I jammed the throttles again and could see the wife reach for her husband’s arm. Distracted I was a little slow pulling off the throttles and we slammed down hard off the top of the third wave. No time to tarry, throttles on again and we caught a breaker as we settled off the third wave, getting us covered in salt spray in the process. The husband gave out a “Whoopie!” and turned to me with the affirming thumbs up. We were clear of the ground waves now and when I looked forward the wife turned to me wild eyed as a demon. She stood up - - - lifted the beach bag in a graceful movement, swinging its contents back like a golf swing in slow motion and coming forward with the power stroke of the swing she hit her husband in the chest with the bag, dropping him to his knees. At that moment I wanted to say, “I think I’ll have one of those sandwiches now before we start to fish.” Her big round sunglasses were half off her face. The husband’s L.L. Bean hat was on the deck and his Ray Bans were hanging on one ear. The wife was cussing and screaming and she began to throw whatever she could grab in the bag. I tried vainly to snatch a sandwich from her grasp. And I missed the next one overboard that she intentionally threw at me.
The one woman melee seemed to go on for fifteen minutes but I’m sure that it was only three or four. The last scream was a hoarse demand to “take her in.” which I interpreted correctly to mean that this charter was over. The husband couldn’t look at me and the wife looked at me from the deck where she now sat crossed legged clinging to the grab rail of the console. Her possessed expression changed to a lock jawed squint.
I figured expediency was the better of valor, so I pulled out all the stops and barely hit the wave tops until we entered the inlet creek. Both of my customers were in shock it appeared because I don’t think they knew where we were until I tied up at the dock. One of my dock boys came out to help unload and commented that we sure came back in a hurry. I tried to wave him away but he didn’t pay any attention. The wife was out quickly and as she marched up the dock she turned and said half under her breath, “You Son-of-a-Bitch!!” I didn’t know if she was referring to me or him.
The husband climbed out of the boat and without a word shuffled after the wife up the dock gangway and out to the car. I was still thinking’ about a sandwich and also about the charter fee I’d lost without ever wetting a line!
# # # #
I figured I wouldn’t say a word until those folks were off the island in that I didn’t want someone running their mouth in the bar and by chance embarrassing the guests - - - - and yes, me too!
The next morning I was at the store at daylight and the first customer was the charter husband who pulled up to the gas pump out front. He was by himself and got out immediately, headed for the store. I braced myself for what I didn’t know.
“I came to apologize”, he said. “That entire fiasco was my fault. My wife wants to apologize too, so she sent me with a sandwich from the Inn, a tip and the charter fee that you earned every penny of.”
I was speechless and said thanks, being sure to take the sandwich before it got away again!
The Rednak Chronicles is available on Amazon and can be purchased in paperback or the Kindle format.
To purchase the book follow this link,click here
New Twist On A Pathetic Example
Dianne Feinstein: "All vets are mentally ill in some way and government should prevent them from owning firearms."
Yep, - she really said it on April 4th, in a meeting in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee... and the quote below from the LA Times is priceless.
Sometimes even the L.A. Times gets it right.
Kurt Nimmo: "Senator Feinstein insults all U.S. Veterans as she flays about in a vain attempt to save her anti-firearms bill."
Quote from the Los AngelesTimes:
"Frankly, I don't know what it is about California, but we seem to have a strange urge to elect really obnoxious women to high office. I'm not bragging, you understand, but no other state, including Maine, even comes close. When it comes to sending left-wing dingbats to Washington, we're Number One. There's no getting around the fact that the last time anyone saw the likes of Barbara Boxer, Dianne Feinstein, Maxine Waters, and Nancy Pelosi, they were stirring a cauldron when the curtain went up on 'Macbeth'. The four of them are like jackasses who happen to possess the gift of blab. You don't know if you should condemn them for their stupidity or simply marvel at their ability to form words."
Columnist Burt Prelutsky, Los Angeles Times
Woeful Water News From The Big Bend:
See this great essay in the Tampa Times, Sunday issue, regarding the Apalachicola River water hijack and resultant crash of a time honored industry, with a world renowned resource, that is about to become extinct, in Apalachicola Bay.
This article is just one more example of water use/depletion that is killing a million dollar industry that is over a hundred years old.
The culprit, Atlanta, is another metropolitan, behemoth that gulps ground and surface water at a rate of thousands of gallons a day. The unstoppable consumption has crashed the oyster industry to the south, and murdered a small, defenseless Florida county. If you can’t stand nausea don’t read this.
See article by Gary R. Morming: Click Here
The next to last word
How much more has to be said about the criminal neglect of our most valuable natural resources? What new smoke screen will be laid down next to cover a culpable trail of exploitation for money, influence and two-faced politics? Minimum flows? Springs restoration? - - - - With what? How?
Water quality? “That’s one hellava Brita Filter, you got there, Flordia.”
Folks, you think a single offshore oil disaster was bad? You ain’t seen nuthin’ yet! When the aquifer is pumped dry, all the pee in China won’t fill it up again.
Blah, Blah, And Podiatric (sic) Gunshot Treatment
Here at home, a handful of conniving blabber mouths are running around willy-nilly, telling anyone who’ll listen that “they” are going to dissolve our town. Of all the delusional, crapola I’ve heard in this short period that comprises my time in office, this one is a first level arrogance by silly children who stamp their feet, wail like banshees and pout for hours. These local miscreants take this infantile posturing a step further when they don’t get their way. They repeat the most ridiculous lies over and over again believing, as did the original Nazis, that repetitions will make them true.
During last night’s town commission meeting the scarcity of positive suggestions in that room were vacuous, at best, or clouded in recollections of how things were “back when” and “we did this and it didn’t work then!”.
One poseur, got up and read us scripture . . . . . .. You’d have thought we’d been transported to the South of the fifties, and that we were proposing to go out in the yard and burn crosses as soon as we could find our pillowcases with the eyeholes.
I am the poster child of sinners. It took years for the Lord to get my attention and I am still weak, but I do try desperately to walk in God’s shadow. As this “bible lesson” unfolded I became overwhelmed with anger. All I could do was acknowledge God’s word (Amen!) as this angel of harpy-ism rattled on, posing as if the sacred passages meant something to her that was more than theatrical. How could one person be so hypocritically obsessed? Then, better sense prevailed, and I realized that I was being taught a real lesson. Penultimate vengence sits with the Lord. And Satan loves to possess pretentious, prideful fools.
Mr. & Mrs. Longface attend every commission meeting. A few days beforehand, one or the other skulks into town hall to pick up an agenda, scowls at the lady at the counter, snatches up the info sheets and skulks back out. This time, the office computers were down and the agenda and info packets were not ready until Friday afternoon. Mr. Longface called “several” times and regaled the lucky staffer who answered the phone, with regulations and veiled consequences, for the delay.
One very important point regarding this afflicted couple. They have nothing to offer – never will. They don’t remember why they got mad. They’re just mad as hell and they’re going to make their enemies madder. In the matter of wastewater treatment, Mr. Longface makes the same fifteen minute observation of a three minute fact. The town of Archer tried wastewater and it is costing the townspeople more than $60 dollars a month, according to him.
Gainesville’s TV station 20, reported this “national” disaster and the clips are still on the station website, giving the televised report a life of it’s own – to be repeated by this one “advocate” over and over again, which makes this condition true, for him, for every like community considering the unseemly idea of processing their crap, instead of percolating it into the ground water supply or leaching it into nearby watersheds. What fools we are as the valiant Longface attempts to rescue us from ourselves! He is so resolute that as he leaves the speaker’s podium, he blubbers spit, shouting now, his indignation.
“You tell ‘em, my Brother !” I thought.
At this stage, many of you are wondering where the resident junk car dealer/suspended town commissioner is in this theatre? He got his cohort and fellow Sunshine Law violator, Commissioner Sally Price, to sponsor his “ twelfth” agenda attempt to fire the town attorney. Once again he is trying to save the taxpayers money. What a guy. He’s still on watch even though the Governor suspended him from the commission while his indictment for felony dumping awaits a trial. By the way, the motion didn’t get a second. Must be that dastardly conspiracy at work, again!
One more: Sherry Ely has served as a commissioner longer than anyone else. She lost her seat in the last election, due in large part, to the concerted campaign mounted by the Longface duo and a handful of the Tax Maven/Godfather’s very tight circle of friends. (Well, five people holding hands in a motor home, is tight quarters.) This actor is the self- appointed watchdog of all things administrative and financial concerning the town. His job is very hard, in that he thinks he knows a lot about these two areas but in fact, knows only Jack Schitt and he, has refused to give the Godfather counsel!
Back to the point. Mrs. Ely, cut to shreds, denigrated, and soundly defeated by the self-righteous opposition, has now been redeemed and yesterday she assumed the vacated seat of Commissioner Junk Yard. A few days back, when word got out that she was back in, guess who showed up at her door? Jim & Tammy Longface.
They wanted to offer her an olive branch and came to say that they were sorry for treating her so badly. Had they been in the confessional, the priest would have had to call out for lunch, or a barf bag. However, in the best example of Christian charity they wanted to make friends. I do not know what Commissioner Ely said to them. She’s a good person, spiritual, and a smart lady. I’d like to think that I could guess what she thought.
The following day, the Longface’s were heard to lament, “Get the Iodine, will you? I’ve shot myself . . . . Oh no, in the foot ! Mea Culpa. “
By the way, I came by this story, second hand . I know it happened. The rest is conjecture.
That’s enuff said - - - - - - - - - - ‘til next time. Thanx for being here.
It’s the country’s birthday – God Bless America! The freest place on earth. Free to come and go. Free to worship or not. Free to kill unborn infants. And free to say whatever we want to. These are just a fraction of our freedoms from both sides of the coin . . . good & evil.
I sit here thinking about this time, this place, and it occurs to me that you are probably thinking that you know where this is going. Well,good, because I don’t. Not quite, anyway.
As a salute to the enduring and unique country we are blessed to live in, the President of the United States has now openly admitted that he intends to legislate by executive order whenever he sees the need to do so. Correct me if I’m wrong, but for decades I believed that this democracy provided for checks and balances in the national government that prevent arbitrary actions by the three branches of government without due process provided for in the Constitution. Just because the Congress chooses to allow Mr.Obama to act like a dictator doesn’t make it right or legal. May I also point out that the Senate is controlled by Democrats (A legislative stonewall) and therefore they are complicit in the President’s behavior. They too, are engaged in gross violation of the United States Constitution -- the Law of the Land. Why in God’s name is everybody, but Allen West, standing still for this governmental charade? It’s time for each of us to write that letter and visit the local gun shop. You may need one soon.
Honda Motors has successfully built and is about to market a four passenger jet that will sell for over 4 million dollars.
GM will be capitalizing on their years of experience, and data gathering, to build and introduce the first car, ready-made, to compete in demolition derby and suicide racing. You can purchase this “car” with numerous options such as no steering wheel or airbags . . . Only in America.
Wages of Sin Paid for in Time
I had a Technicolor dream about my best friend, who I sometimes call Boudreaux, in tribute to our life together. He has had three heart attacks and two strokes. His body wants to kill him but the stubborn Huguenot’s constitution won’t give up.
In this sleepy tableau I went to see him in the hospital and he never opened his eyes. The nurse said he was unconscious. I could swear he had a barely discernable smile on his face. I would learn why later, if that was so.
I went to his house afterwards, to look for that last bottle of single malt. After searching through the quiet, vacant rooms, admiring prints and artwork that together we had voted on as our “type” of visual appreciation on a par with our shared love of women and class booze, I went into the garage through the kitchen.
A full sheet of plywood was tabled on two sawhorses. On the makeshift work surface was an enviable collection. A variety of premium scotch, many could only dream of, most of which I recognized from our years of concerted study of imbibing excellence . . . Oh No! They were all empty. Seventy five empty bottles of classic Scottish elixer!
It had been six months since I was able to come back to Charleston. During that time we hooted up memories, during hour long telephone calls, in lieu of personal visits. Now, I am looking dumbfounded at the evidence of a noble feat, one I missed out on.
I turned to re-enter the kitchen and on the cork board on the back of the door was thumbtacked a Hallmark sentiment with its envelope underneath. The card said, “Rednak, Wish You Here!” and signed with “Not Really,Luv Ya!”
Three bottles a week. Over five thousand dollars worth. This kind of jubilant sin is what makes my cherished buddy Larry Barrineau, a “Boudreaux” of the first order. When the time comes for him to cross, he won’t be missed. We had too much damn fun to ever forget. The two of us always said that we’d die broke and without a woman in the house. Women are like duck hunting. After so many quacks, you know when you’ve gotten more than your share.
Some Boudreaux Fun
Boudreaux took his wife, Clotile, to a dance down on the bayou, last weekend. There was a guy on the dance floor dancing like crazy – breakdancing, moonwalking, back flips, the whole works.
Clotile turns to Boudreaux and says “See dat guy? 25 years ago he propose to me and I turn him down. Boudreaux says “Looks like he still celebrating."
One day Thibodeaux went up to Boudreaux. "You know Boudreaux, I think somethin' wrong wit me." Boudreaux said, "Mais, Thibodeaux, tell me what's your problem.?" "Well, Boudreaux," Thibodeaux said. "My whole body is in pain. Everywhere I press on my body it hurts." "Thibodeaux, I think I know what's wrong with you." Boudreaux replied. "Tell me Boudreaux, what could it be?" "Thibodeaux, you need to see the doctor because your finger's broken."
Above from www.cajunlegacy.com
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Trahan only has a few days to live. On his deathbed, he tells his wife, "Make me a promise, Chere. Swear to me dat after I'm defain... dead and gone, you will marry Boudreaux."
"Boudreaux?" she exclaims. "Boudreaux? You always said you hate dat no-good fils-putin and you wish nuttin' but BAD on him!"
He answered, "Yeah... I still do."
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