I Wuz Just Thinking: Lazy Days of Summer

My fondest memories of my growing-up days include barbecues on July 4 and fishing with my family in a nearby creek with a cane pole, using worms for bait.

Shell Camp was located across from the Elder Elementary school in Kilgore It was one of the oil field camps where houses were built for the oil company employees to make their homes.

There was a little road that cut off just before entering the gates to this camp.

Along this road lived several of my relatives:  Uncle Ernest and aunt Myrtle Mahurin, his sister, Bessie Pearl Mahurin Tyre, and their baby sister, Leona Mahurin Kuchler, her husband Al, and her brother, Orbre “Orb” Mahurin.

Betty Mahurin Baker

Sometimes, my cousins would move in with their mother, Bess, and bring their children with them.  Many cousins lived and played together.

Usually on Sunday afternoons, my Dad and mother would go to Aunt Lee’s house where the adults played forty-two or other domino games.  The kids were out in the yard watching the boys play football or listening to the tall tales their kinfolks told.

I remember one 4th of July as Uncle Al  barbequed venison, quail, rabbit, squirrels, and probably chickens for all the kin. My daddy and Uncle Orb would go hunting during the winter months and bring back enough meat to fill up the freezer for special occasions.  I remember this particular cookout because Uncle Al used beer to pour on the meat to tenderize it.  I was not familiar with anyone using alcohol for cooking. Mother would not allow alcohol be in our home.

Aunt Lee made the best fresh yeast rolls, and my mother cooked biscuits and cornbread.  Pots of vegetables were cooking and a table was set to hold the many deserts.  Aunt Lee always made the tallest and most delicious coconut cake.

After the meal was consumed and the plates cleaned, some of us kids wanted to venture out of the yard.

At the end of the little road was an area where the ground always seemed to stay moist.  I’m not sure why, but we could just barely dig in the dirt to find the biggest and longest earthworms – just perfect for fishing.  All lengths of can poles grew nearby. We were able to find the right-size pole for any child or adult who wanted to go fishing.

If we dug enough worms for bait, Daddy would take us down to the creek to fish.  Mother liked to go fishing, too, and that was the only time I ever saw her wear pants until years later when it became fashionable for ladies to wear pant suits.

Lazy days of summer as we sat on the side of that old creek, barefooted, with cane poles in our hands….as i wuz just thinking.

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