Grandfather has written before about stone and wood — this one’s about water. Specifically, bodies of water and how he’s enjoyed them over the years.
Described earlier were Cape Hatteras on the shores of the Atlantic; the Lynn canal between Juneau and Haines, Alaska, and Chilkat Lake there; the Betsie River in the Northwest lower peninsula of Michigan; and the North Shore of Lake Superior.
They say your earliest memories are the last to go. Anyway, around five years old or so, he exploited drainage ditches alongside railroad tracks in Northwest suburban Detroit, Michigan. In one were bullheads, a small species of catfish which he caught with an earthworm on a hook made of a bent straight pin tied to a piece of string on a broomstick pole. In another were frogs and garter snakes, which he caught by hand.
Each in turn was taken home; the aquatic creatures to reside in a big tin washtub and the snakes in a box made of boards with a screen door top. Totals of each were counted up, like a miser counting his gold.
One day the snakes got loose and arrived in the neighbor lady’s yard, where she was hanging clothes to dry. You never saw so much linen aloft in your life!
Those washtubs also served as little personal watercraft. Their handles were oarlocks for shuffleboard paddles. Later, around 12-years-old or so, Grandfather progressed to a larger craft, a scow he built with board sides and a bent tin bottom, caulked with roofing cement.
Thence commenced a lesson in life: A group of local brats commandeered his boat and sank it with rocks. So, he learned that those who can accomplish will be resented by some of those who cannot.
About the Author: RD Blakeslee is an octogenarian in West Virginia who built his net worth by only investing in that which can be enjoyed during acquisition and throughout life, as opposed to papers in a drawer, like stocks and bonds. You can read more about him here.
Photos: Courtesy of the Blakeslee Family