Saturday, January 19, 2013


One of the first steps in getting ready for a fishing trip is to obtain your fish bait.  In the days before the corner store or bait shop where you could purchase your fish bait it was necessary for the diehard fisherman to start out the day before and catch or gather the bait that he needed for his fishing trip.  The fish bait that was free for the gathering in those days ranged from crickets and worms to graveyard grasshoppers and wasp larva.  I will write later about some of the more exotic baits that we used, but in this story, I will be concentrating on the most popular and the easiest to catch – the CRICKET.

The cricket that we used for bait was not the grey cricket that you buy in bait shops today but was the common black cricket that you find in your own back yard.  These crickets could be found under rocks, pieces of wood, or just about anything that had been laying on the ground for a while.  In the photograph above, my grandfather “Tut” and I are searching for crickets under a rock.  Catching crickets was done with the bare hands and was really an art.  When you lifted a rock or piece of wood you had to be quick so the cricket would not get away but you had to be careful of two things:  First, that the creature you were after was actually a cricket and not a spider or worse, a scorpion  and second, you had to be careful that you did not kill the cricket while you were trying to catch it with your hand.  You could look under just about any object on the ground that a cricket could get under and find one or several.  But, the most productive place that I found was underneath a dried cow patty.  The only requirement for finding crickets under this type object was that the cow patty was several days old and sufficiently dried out.

The above photograph shows my grandfather and me looking for crickets in a field behind my grandparents’ home.  My grandfather was very patient with me and taught me many of the finer points of fishing that have been with me all of my life.  He is collecting the crickets in a quart jar and at home they will be transferred to his homemade cricket box (see photo at right) and used for our next fishing trip.

Friday, January 11, 2013


The above photo is the results of a successful fishing trip with my grandfather "Tut" Colvin.  I am standing at the extreme left, my brother Richard is in front center and "Tut" is in the center behind Richard.
This is the first in a series of blogs about my favorite pastime – fishing.  I began this journey early in life in Unionville with the guidance of my maternal grandfather Ernest Richard “Tut” Colvin.  He taught me how to seek out bream in many of the creeks in North Louisiana and I progressed to bass fishing in the many farms ponds around Unionville.  Later on in life, I continued my quest for the elusive bass in many of the lakes and streams around Shreveport.  There are so many stories to tell about the pleasures that I have enjoyed from this hobby of fishing that this series of blogs will probably last for some time.

Fishing has been more than a hobby or pastime for me.  When I am fishing the rest of the world with its cares and worries seemed to fade into the background.  It is a time when my inner man is able to recuperate from the burdens of everyday life.  It is a time when I when I am alone with nature and just waiting for the next bob of the cork or the tap-tap on the line that tells me that my quarry is near.  I rarely have a fishing partner and just enjoy this time to be by myself and take pleasure in what God had provided here on this earth for me to enjoy.

I will forever be grateful to Tut for instilling in me this love for fishing.  I have strived to pass this on to my children and grandchildren so that they can experience the wonderful excitement that comes from fishing.  Even though these last few years I have not been able to go fishing,  I continue to hold on to the memories that this wonderful pastime has left me.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013


How long has it been since I have posted to this web site - Like they say on the Wolf Brand Chili commercial - IT HAS BEEN TOO LONG!  I sincerely apologize for my lack of attention to this web site this past year.

One of my readers wrote me an email some months back telling me how much she enjoyed my site and how it had inspired her.  Well, her email has inspired me.  My new year's resolution for 2013 is to post a new story at least once a week for the entire year.  Okay followers, hold me to that.

To go along with the new year my first story will be one that I wrote several years ago about a spectacular New Year's Celebration in Unionville.


New Year’s Eve was usually a quiet celebration in the small community of Unionville, Louisiana in the 1950’s.  But there is one New Year’s Eve celebration that will be long remembered by the Colvin, Jones and Roberson families.
For several years there was an impromptu fireworks display put on by our Jones family and the Roberson family from Shreveport.  That celebration brought excitement to the local community and passersby on the main highway through Unionville.  Uncle M R Roberson had some connections and was able to get a huge supply of all types of fireworks.  When Uncle M R, Aunt Theo and their two sons Ernie and Mickey would come for a visit during the New Year holidays, they would bring enough of these fireworks for us to put on a first class fireworks display.
When Uncle M R would open the trunk of the car, all of us would gawk at the unbelievable supply of firecrackers, cherry bombs, sky rockets, roman candles, aerial bombs and sparklers.  Each of us would select the fireworks that we wanted and place them in cardboard boxes ready for the night of the fireworks display.  On the day set for the big fireworks show, each of us would choose our position for the display.  The location for the display was the high bank on the side of the “tee” intersection of Highway 167 and 822.  This high bank was across the highway from the Colvin and Jones Grocery Store and the parking area gave plenty of room for passing traffic on the roads to pull off and watch the show.
Once darkness had fallen, we would all take our positions and get ready to start the show.  Now, this was not really a real organized type of show so everyone just did their own little show.  But, once the show got to rolling it was very impressive and many people driving along the highway would pull over and stop to watch.
On one New Year’s Eve when I was a young teenager we had an unexpected, spectacular and unexpected closing to the show.  The show had been going on for about an hour and everyone had used about half of their fireworks.  It has gotten black dark and as I searched around in my box for the fireworks that I wanted to use I could not see very well.  Being a young man who acted first and then later thought about what repercussion his actions would have, I decided that more light was needed for me to find the fireworks I wanted.  The first thing that came to my mind was a sparkler, so I grabbed a sparkler, lit it and stuck it down into my box for light.  What happened next was a total shock to everyone including myself.  As I stuck the sparkler into the box it set off some of my fireworks in the box and I jumped back and dropped the sparkler into the box of fireworks.  What followed was the most spectacular New Year’s Eve fireworks display ever in Unionville as all of the fireworks started exploding and going in different directions.