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Outboard Motors, Dirt Daubers, Grandpa, and Kickers

February 18, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 161

My parents were separated from each other and my mom, evermore determined to make sure the boys didn't miss out on boy things, bought a brand new outboard motor and affixed it to a small cypress bateau. Off we went to a family fishing cabin on Dead Lakes near Wewahitchka, FL, for a very special fishing trip.

We had been out that morning to test the shiny new Evinrude motor and while just a little disappointed at the speed a four horse power motor could muster, I was filled with pride at my very first hand at navigating the boat at only 8-years old and was quite satisfied with our maiden voyage. By this time the boat was securely moored on shore, Mom was fixing lunch in the cabin and I was exploring the world which included the shoreline, an old barn, dragon flies, and anything else I could discover while making sure I didn't leave the yard; just like I was instructed.

The sounds of the breeze and boats traveling along the lake channel were interrupted slightly by the sound of an old 1965 Chevrolet pick-up truck creeping up the lane, it was green with a white top and had an enormous slide in camper on the back. I recognized it immediately as my grandfather's (my Dad's father) so I stopped noticing all the nature of things and ran to let my mom know that Grandpa was coming.

By the time the truck came to a halt, my mom in her apron, was standing on the front porch of the cabin and there was a strange silentness as my grandpa and she exchanged pleasantries. Little was said and I thought it so odd when my grandpa asked permission to visit with me for a while. Why did he need permission? I couldn't understand it. My mom gave him a brief "of course you can visit with David" and abruptly went back into the house. She didn't invite him to stay for lunch and I didn't understand why.

My grandpa extended his hand to me and suggested we walk along the lake shore. I quickly agreed because secretly I couldn't wait to show him the new outboard motor that we would certainly happen upon and I told him great stories of my driving the boat ever so safely and expertly on my first time time out.

He kept picking up stones as we walked along and that's the exact moment in time that I learned that flat stones with rounded edges are the very best at skipping across the water and I also learned that he was way better at skipping rocks than I thought I would ever be.

He took me to his truck and showed me his CB radio and let me speak on the radio and a truck driver spoke back to us telling us he was on his way with a load of pulp wood to deliver to the paper mill. It was then I noticed something hanging under the dashboard and it was covered in cloth. I asked and he removed the cloth to reveal an electronic device that he referred to as a "kicker" and he said when turned on you could speak ten times further in distance than you could with just the regular CB radio. I asked why it was covered in cloth and my Grandpa said that it was against the law to use such a device and I should never tell anyone about it. I was shocked that he would do such a thing and especially shocked he would tell me about it. I felt like I had just been let in on a huge conspiracy and I was certain that this secret was so huge that I must take special care to not let anyone know about the kicker.

We later went on to the barn and I showed my grandpa a huge dirt dauber's nest and asked him to help me find a hammer to knock it off the wall. He assured me that since we didn't live at the cabin that the dirt daubers weren't harming anyone and this was a great place for them to live.

He then turned and said he had to go and said that he loved me, gave me a hug, and then got in his truck and crept away as slowly as he had arrived.

I remember little else about this fishing trip other than when back home, 3-days later, we learned that my grandpa had died of a massive heart attack. Once I calmed down, my mom had me recount my time with my grandpa and told me how special it was that I got to see him in his last days. Over time she had me recount my visit with him over and over assuring that I would never forget and I always told her everything, except about the "kicker" and I've only spoken of it for the first time just now; 42 years later..

Read more of David Holmes' articles at

Source: EzineArticles
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