Sunday, October 04, 2009

Stories from my Dad, John Johnston

They built a dam to make Lake Maumelle when I was in grade school. They'd dug holes from some of the area that would eventually be underwater so that they could use the dirt to make the dam. Grundy (his grandfather) loaded a bunch of us into his truck. It was me, Terry and Bart Moreland, Judy, Betty Taylor, Jeanie Horsey and a bunch of us. We went to one of the water holes that they'd dug in the bottom of the lake. Grundy had us spitting on the hooks and we caught a bunch of bream. Judy would spit on her hook and sling the line out with the cork. It would make a big splash and she would catch a fish every time. Grundy said it was because she was making so much racket with her cork. I don't know how the fish got in there, but they were there and we were catching a lot of them.

One time, Leonard Carl and Grundy were running a trot line and they caught an eel. Grundy had a new pair of pliers. He was holding onto the line, trying to get the eel off the hook, but he was afraid of the eel. That eel wrapped around his arm and he slung the whole thing into the water, pliers and all...

Once, we all went to bear creek with Grundy. It was me and my Keeling cousins and Judy. We went on the other side of Lake Nimrod to Bear Creek. When we were on our way back, David started crying because he realized that he had left his new rod and reel he'd gotten for Christmas back at the creek. Grundy turned around and drove back to get it, but Leonard Carl and I jumped off the truck and hitched a ride back home. Grundy didn't know it. He didn't whip us, but he scolded us good. He was worried. He didn't realize we'd hopped out. I remember we always had to sit on the left side of the back of the truck because Grundy spit tobacco out the driver side window and it would hit us if we were sitting on that side of the bed of the truck.

We went to Greer's Ferry with Grundy and he bought Barbara Sue, Leonard Carl, David and Robert McMullen. Me and Judy drove up in our parents car. Me and the other boys slept on the ground under the tarp. We caught a bunch of crappie and brought them back. There was a big mud hole and we stripped off all our clothes. We didn't want to get our swimsuits dirty. There was so much mud caked on us that you couldn't tell. We went out in an old homemade wooden boat and a storm came up. We barely made it back. We were baling water. Everytime we hit a wake, we could see the boat twisting. When we camped, he let us just run wild.

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