It’s hard to overstate the entertainment value of growing up with Gary Wayne Purvis as one of your best friends and running buddies. For one thing, GW was spring-loaded to go fishing anytime, night or day, year-round. For another, he usually had a good idea where folks were catching fish and how.
It was my Aunt Ann who first stirred my interest in wooden catfish baskets. Her father was a commercial fisherman on the Apalachicola River and his livelihood depended on them. When I was younger, she actually had one in her living room.
On a hot August night in 1985, I answered the phone and the first words I heard on the other end were, “You’ve got to wax the bottom of the canoe.”
It was my friend Shawn Wood who, along with Jerry Peacock, Jamie Maupin and me, was competing in a Marianna-to-Blountstown canoe race down the Chipola River the following day.
Writing and running.
Of being on the water and in the woods,
Buying and eating more local-sourced goods.
Of calling turkeys and shooting hogs,
Throwing nets and gigging frogs.
Of gathering and growing,
And the Big River flowing.
Of family and laughter,
And friends and stories and fun ever after.
I was cleaning out my mind’s closet at year’s end and these were some odds and ends I ran across.