by Asa Sparks
Though the day was gray with overcast skies, we knew better than to skip fishing with Uncle Willie. He was a ree-aal fisherman. Two of Uncle Willie's brothers and a couple nephews loaded up in his old blue Pontiac for the day-long fishing expedition on the Warrior River as the sun struggled with the clouds. You see, Willie had been spinning glorious stories about the fishing hole he had found. Clouds were drizzling. Our spirits were our own sunrise as we unloaded at the bait shop
Using rain as their ally, Dad and Uncle Bubba sentenced me and Cousin Cal to doing time under the awning at the bait shop while they meandered down stream to cast their lines. Well, we had hardly been able to work ourselves into a good "pout" before two of the three returned to the comfort of "sheltered" angling in back of the bait shop leaving Uncle Willie to his own devices. Black clouds and hunger set in to stay by high noon. Uncle Bubba sprung for lunch providing a sumptuous spread of Vienna sausages, mustard, and loaf bread. As lunch became a done deal, Dad and Uncle Bubba began expounding on Uncle Willie's fishing prowess.
Lunches continued settling, the talk lazily drifted.
"Yep, ol' Uncle Willie was probably still down there fishing. Yep, he'd probably even made himself a worm sandwich!"
The men slapped their knees at their own hilarity. Cal and I heard "worm sandwich," took side-long glances at each other, and knew our moment of brilliancy had struck simultaneously. I still smile when I remember what Cal and I concocted in our first venture as gourmet cooks.
A dejected Uncle Willie returned late that afternoon with only two small bass to his credit. With gratitude, he hungrily accepted the leftover Vienna's on a waxpaper wrapped sandwich fixed by our dear old dads. Two bites and half the sandwich gone, Uncle Willie glanced up. The grins on our faces and our fixation on "the" sandwich told him that something was up. Willie suspiciously eyed the half-sandwich so easily wolfed down minutes before. Gingerly he lifted the corner of light bread ... remainders of the little wieners lay innocently ... and then, oh then. Memories of that stale "half" joke about "What's worse than finding a worm in your apple?" hit him smack in the stomach. For there among the dormant sausages remaining lay a feeble, but struggling, two-inch Night Crawler.
Ole Uncle Willie just sort of lost his "stomach" for the art of fishing and understandably so. Being an "all or nothing" kind of guy, one fine weekend he gathered all his fishing paraphernalia and hauled it down to the Saturday Swap Meet and in one fell swoop became a bonafide ree-aal hunter. If it looked outdoors and woodsy he traded for it.
[Every fact is true. I cannot vouch for the adverbs and adjectives.]
Copyright © Asa Sparks
*"Caterpillar" graphic above was created by arsidubu for Bug Swap, an advanced Photoshop contest. It is used here at USADEEPSOUTH.COM with permission.
“This is another of my Uncle Willie fact-stretched stories.
“My full name is Asa Sparks, but I am known primarily as AsA all over the State of Alabamer. Until I retired, I worked and traveled for the Alabama State Department of Education. Prior to that I worked with delinquents kids--of whom I was chiefest.
“I have been fortunate to have written several trade books. Hope For The Frogs (oop) was the most popular. Many assumed I liked frogs. I don't. Give me princes and princesses every time. The only other book of mine currently in print is The Two-Minute Lover.
“I am singular and have three wonderful children who all live in the South, but not as deeply south as I. They have provided 8 genius grandchildren for me to dote on in my dotage.”
Another ASA story at USADEEPSOUTH:
Uncle Willie Goes To A Baptizin'
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