Years ago when I was young, (sounds like the starting of a song) I was a proud member of the Up- Town Fisherman’s Club in Neon. We had a total of seven members, and fished together at the old Barlow Lake in Neon.
Most all have now crossed “The Silent River” by now, but my friend Charles “Charlie Bear” Sexton is still on this side with me.
I was the manager of the radio station, the owners say otherwise now, but that is for another place and time, and Charlie Bear was the manager of the Neon Water Company. Don’t know what those people say, if he was or wasn’t. But at 1 p.m. sharp, the club would meet to fish. We had a blast!
Think of how happy I was when I was asked to take Charles’s grandson, Kevin Hollifi eld, a 12-year-old eighth-grader who attends Letcher Elementary School, turkey hunting with me. The miles have not been as good to Charlie Bear as they have me, and he can’t get around like he once could.
Kevin seemed as excited as me, and his mother, Melanie, brought him to me right on time, at 6:45, and I could tell he was a chip off the old block. He even walked like Charlie.
We got into the woods in perfect time and within minutes the turkeys started their gobbling. I looked at his face, and you could see the excitement. Then panic struck,. We had chosen to sit under a tree that an old longbeard had picked to roost close by, too close, within touching close, and the thought came to me, it is never too early to panic.
Kevin watched as the longbeard flew to the ground, but out of gun range. Turkeys hammered all around us. But they went away from us, which tells me, they had hens.
Kevin wasn’t one bit down, and as we start our long climb to the top of the hill, I watched as he did everything right. When we sat down for me to try and call the longbeards back, he never made one bobble, and did everything he was told.
Kevin and I never got a turkey that morning, but we will return, and the odds are in our favor. We made a lifetime of memories that day, Little Kevin Hollifield and me, and I was proud to be part of the story.