I took a memory to lunch — well sort of.
I got a call this week from my lifelong friend Archie Crawford of Mayking. (I guess you can call someone that has been a true friend since 1972 a lifelong friend.)
Archie, as well as several other friends, was concerned about my post that I would no longer be the county’s Santa Claus. Fearing I was sick, Archie checked up on me. I assured him it was just the years and miles that had caught up with this old soul.
Archie has had my back every time I needed help with anything. When we were in the mines and worked together, Archie helped me stay in office. Once when I was locked up on the street of Whitesburg for a charity, they had my “bond” so high they never thought I would get out. I saw Archie driving by, he saw me, and he paid big bucks to get me out. Within a few minutes, they had me in their cell again. Those were fun days.
Archie could always be counted on to donate to the “Letcher County Kids Day Committee.” But this is an outdoor column about hunting and fishing, mostly hunting, and Archie and myself have history there also. Here is such a story:
Archie had bought a camper, the kind that fit in the back of a pickup truck. He gave me a shout to head to Tennessee, to German Creek to catch some stripers. We loaded up and headed out on our trip, Archie pulling his boat with his camper in the back of his truck. All I had in this trip was me.
We set up camp along the river and the next morning started fishing. We were catching fish, sometime two to the cast, and Archie decided we needed to move up the river. Problem was Archie’s boat was not made for shallow water. Archie at the helm opened it wide open and up the rapids and river we went until we came to rest on a big river rock. I thought for a few minutes I was on a hydroplane. Archie never said a word, just got a rope, tied it to the front of his boat, and started pulling toward the bank. It was all we could do to get it from the swift river, and that was with other fisherman helping.
We loaded it back on the trailer and Archie headed to Morristown, to the nearest boat shop. He had broken the foot shaft off — fishing trip over. We had a blast, so there were no tears. Just two friends out together having fun.
Instead of Archie having his boat fixed he just replaced it. That is my friend Archie Crawford. It you see him, tell him I said hello.