Archive for May, 2012

I really didn’t mean it when I said Bass fear me. I was just trying to be funny, by livening up a story that I wrote some time ago of a rather boring fishing trip with a little humor. I was just joking. So David, what does that have to do with the Henderson Reunion? Nothing! Then, again, maybe everything.


This is the time of year that we have our many family reunions. We are truly blessed with family that loves them. I think we have five on our calendar, and we had our first Henderson one at Lake Talquin, South of Tallahassee, Florida. Cousin Joyce had rented a large house, (that a few of us shared), right on the lake with a nice dock, loaded with blind mosquitoes. However, the landlord said not to worry, that they don’t bite. What he didn’t tell us was that they flew in swarms and being blind they would fly into every crevice on your body, which would be somewhat discomforting. But the Henderson Clan arrived in a swarm also, and when they swarm, things happen! However, I, being the calm, cool and proper person that I am, I won’t go there. For the most part I just sat on the sidelines and uttered a few ‘Tisk, tisk, tisk’ or an occasional ‘Oh, my!’ Mainly because BJ and Cousin Joyce often reminded those of us that were of the ‘In-law’ kind, that no matter how long we have been ‘Married into the family,’ we were not blood, therefore were not entitled to comments about bloods. So, even though the ‘Truth shall set you free,’ I will be kind instead.


Friday night supper was hamburgers and hot dogs cooked by Chef Butch. Watching him cooking them was part of the entertainment. At one point when the flames were about a foot high on the gas grill, I mention to Butch that his grill was on fire to which he responded with, ‘Yeah, we are really cooking now.’ Robert (ever the grill master), was watching closely, so all was ok. It was a good time of fun and fellowship. There were about 50 people in the back yard. Not knowing everyone there, I’m not sure that some were people from the neighborhood that just showed up to see what all the commotion was about. But there we were with Butch a cooking and his wife Jodi forever cleaning up behind everyone, all the while listening to Joyce, BJ and Robert holding court. Becky, Mary, Lavon and I were hanging on every word. Cousin Barbara was reminiscing and Scooter was…well, Scooter was being Scooter, but she had a kindred spirit in Jodi, (the other cousin Jodi,that is), who she was entertaining, or maybe it was vice versa. I don’t know which, but they laughed a lot.  They spent some time ragging Willard, (Becky’s Husband) on the phone about wrecking his boat while trying to come over from the other side of the lake. He didn’t make it that night. Scooter is a high spirited sort that will liven up any gathering.  Her husband, Tom, brought a game where you tossed a bean bag into a hole. It was set up kind of like horseshoes. He and the kids played for hours. Ross finally made it down from Atlanta to every ones delight. Jimmy Joe and Helen made it in later, but that is enough about Friday Night, that I am willing to write about, with one exception that I will finish this story with.  



Saturday morning came early with Robert and Lavon up before 4 AM, for what reason no one knows. I soon followed for my own reasons. At the break of day and after much coffee I headed down to the dock to avenge my ‘Terminator’ from the night before, but to no avail. So it was back up to the house for a breakfast fit for a king. There were mounds of BJ’s pancakes, syrup, grits, eggs, sausage and all the coffee you can drink. I think we went through two bags of coffee in two days. What a great time sitting around talking about kinfolks, (good and bad), other reunions, and such. The landlord, with the contract in hand, paid us a visit and pulled Joyce off to the side to let her know that he didn’t rent this house to 50 people and etc,etc. She had to convince him only about 10 spent the night. It was decided after his visit that we would move supper to the camp ground where most of the clan were staying. In the mean time Jimmy Joe had put his 45 thousand dollar bass boat in the water, and now I’m really excited, because I will get to fish with a real bass fishing pro. Some may say that I exaggerate a little when talking about my fishing ability, and or feats. Be that it may, but today I was with one of the best and I was prepared to put all that talk to rest. As we headed across the lake at speeds that all the pros drive when bass hunting, I looked over his tackle strapped to the deck. The sixteen or so bait casting outfits were all top dollar and each lured for different situations. I then looked at my Shimano spinning outfit, that probably cost less than half of one of his rods, and decided that my real skills in bass fishing may just be a little less that what I have been proclaiming. Worse, Jimmy Joe had probably already noted such.


Well, if nothing else I will get some pointers from someone that has fished more bass tournaments than I have read about. So, after checking the charts and the fish finder we found the right spot and started fishing. I was using a spinnerbait, (but not the ‘Terminator’), that I had bought just the day before on our way to the lake. At this time I have to say that I brought all my skills into play, real and imagined, and fished as hard as I ever had at any time in my life. Number one I wanted to impress Jimmy Joe, and two, I really needed to land a big one to live up to my brags. Jimmy Joe started off with a spinnerbait but soon changed to a new style swimbait. I really loved the action of that bait and Jimmy Joe rigged one for me. He offered the use of one of his bait casters, but I declined remembering how long it had been since I used one. Backlashing was not what I wanted to do in front of him.


We fished the grass beds, the lily pads, and around the docks for miles of shore line. Jimmy finally said they must be in deepwater. Using the fish finder to help locate the fish, I watched Jimmy Joe check depth, water temp, cover, etc. We fished with plastic worms, jigs, Carolina rigs, everything. We went back to the grass, pads and docks. I had never fished so hard. I watch the Pro fish using everything in his arsenal. It was about this time, with us going at it for hours, that I then remembered what I wrote some time ago about how bass fear me and when they knew I was on the lake, they would run and hide. That was said in jest about a time when my long time friend Michael and I fished a tournament down at Lake Yale. Now after watching one of the best get ‘Skunked’ for the first time in more years then he can remember, I am now wanting to believe my own lies. But how did they know I was here? Then I remembered the ‘Terminator’ the night before. Finally, after mentioning that we should have brought the kitchen sink, Jimmy Joe headed back to our dock, discouraged, defeated, dejected, and ready to discard his jinks. And me, thinking about how I might salvage this time with a story, was ready to stretch the truth just a little, thinking Jimmy Joe would go along with me, but alas, he loaded up his boat, his wife Helen and headed back south, putting me and Lake Talquin far behind him. Gees…


After that I spent a couple of hours pondering things, it was soon time to head across the lake to the camp ground where Willard and Becky were frying mullet. That was some of the best mullet I had in a long while. BJ, who does not like mullet, ate three slabs herself. Larry and Wendy were there and Nicki, Jodi’s daughter had come in that afternoon along with Sam and Nell, with William in tow. We had another great time of fellowship with family. My mama always said that family was everything and sitting around the campers watching all the kids playing and adults in conversation I thought how true that was.


Before long it was time to head back and spend our last night on the lake. We sat around before turning in and rehashed the weekend while making plans to do it again. They say blood is thicker than water and the Henderson’s blood is thicker than most. Those that could not make the weekend missed out on a lot, but there is always next time, but I thank God for them all. We are blessed, BJ and I, with great a family on both sides, Butlers and Hendersons.


The next morning I tried one more time to avenge my ‘Terminator’ before we packed up and left. I had just bought my Terminator T-1 Short Arm Thumper Spinnerbait Friday Morning for about 8 bucks. While fishing off the dock on that Friday evening, I used almost every other lure I had, wanting to save the Terminator for Saturday, trying to catch the big one. Finally, just before dark I gave in and tied on the new spinner bait and cast it over by the neighboring dock. About half  way back in my retrieve I hooked onto a monster of a bass. He immediately headed out to deep water as I set the hook. He then turned and came right back at me and under our dock. Crying ‘Oh No!’ I fell to my knees and tried to pull him back out, but in a split second he went around one of the pilings and the next thing I know my line was slack. One cast and my brand new 8 dollar ‘Terminator’ was gone. The worst of it was that they now knew I was on the lake and every bass in the lake headed for a deep hole to hide. Yep, after this weekend I now know that bass really do fear me.


We loaded up and said our goodbyes that Sunday Morning, BJ and I headed to Albany to spend Mother’s Day with my Mom, Dad and siblings for another great gathering of family.


What a wonderful weekend. Just can’t wait till the next one.


One last straw on my loaded back came on Wednesday Night at church, after telling how I lost the ‘Terminator,’ my friend, Gene, told me he just bought three of them at a yard sale for a dollar apiece. Wouldn’t you know it…


David Butler






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