Next door, back then, there was Sparkie’s Fish Camp. He had a big floating fishing dock where my Cousin Simp used to hang, when he wasn’t running eggs to his refrigerated automated egg vendor. In 1960, cous’ was ahead of his times.
He liked to Bream Fish and he always had a hammer in his pocket. I thought he was a carpenter and one day we stopped to see iffin the Bream wuz a bitin’.
Cousin Simp was there fishing one mid-afternoon; it were purty hot that time of day. Simp, is they bitin’?”
“Come here let me show u my trick.”
I walked out on the dock. It had a roof and the floor was shady under the roof. Simp said “Tait Tate look here”. Well, he baited up some baits on the hook. Just a weight a hook and piece of line on a short cane pole.
He dropped it between the boards on the dock as soon as the hook disappeared that short pole bent double. Simp was having fit,
“Hep, hep, get me my hammer out of my pocket.”
I did. He said “Tait Tate don’t let go” and Simp bent over, pulled the board up with his hammer and when the plank cleared I pulled a big Cutoff Black Bream out from under the walk on the dock.
Simp smiled and said that’s why I tote a hammer. He would let me carry it. He walked down to the corner said “Hey Tait Tate come pull up my stringer and han’ it here.
Must have been 20 big Black Bream on that stringer. Simp slid the stringer spear though that big Bream gill and eased that line back in the water. C ous and I walked back to the egg truck. In the back was a red cooler full of ice water and salt an a good ole Coca Cola, and a Grape for me.
Simp smiled, took his hammer an popped the caps off those two and we had a cool one, just cousin Simp and his hammer and me.