We’ve all heard of it and some of us have experienced it once or twice in our life: Beginner’s Luck. It is one of those things that can “make a Preacher Cuss” when it occurs and all the “old pros” are made to look foolish by some upstart.
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It’s that time again in Georgia and, I guess, most of the Southeast: its deer season! It’s that time when normally sane, rational thinking, hard working, and reliable men, women, and children are prone to do some things they normally would only do if someone was pointing a gun at them. For example, getting up at 4:30 in the morning when its 28 Degrees and going out to sit in a deer stand in the woods all day, freezing their butts off. Climbing up a slick, poorly constructed tree ladder to sit on a 2′ wide hard seat for hours without moving. Of course, today they have the store bought climbing stands and shooting houses with propane heaters. But you get the drift.
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Do you remember sewing machines? Ever used one? Did they have them in your house growing up? In just about all the homes I went in as a kid down in Sandy Point you would find many common items; stoves, fireplaces, porches, wells, a home remedy stock pile, a family Bible, a steamer trunk, shotgun, and a box for stove wood and one for kindling. The list goes on and on. Most homes also had, set up in some prominent place, a sewing machine. If I went around my neighborhood today I doubt I would find a single one. I still see them in Walmart and Sears so I know some people still buy them and, of course, use them.
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2X Kinda Day
Something I never did in Sandy Point was fly fish. I did have a rod and reel that I guess may have come from Western Auto and it had a braided line that always seemed to be fouled up. I had never heard of 2X Tippets and Leaders. I Knew nothing about a fly rod or lines. More fish were caught with a cane pole, a cork bobber, and some night crawlers or crickets. You would see several members of a family headed to a pond, lake, creek or river with the long cane poles sticking out of pickup truck or tied to the top of the car and they would spend an afternoon fishing.
There were no Yeti Coolers and sometimes only a jug of water that was put in the water in the shade to keep from getting too hot. Bait was dug up out back near the chicken coop or cow pen and put in an old coffee can. Bait and tackle shops were for the rich people.
There was no “catch and release”. It was all catch, cook and eat. Sometimes the smallest fish was kept.
Most of the places that people now take for granted did not exist back in that time. Lake Tobesofkee near Macon was not around until about 1967. Lake Sinclair near Milledgeville was created in 1953. Lake Sinclair was where I rode in my first power boat as far as I can remember. Lake Lanier was still filling up when I moved to Gainesville in 1963. We had a small farm pond built in about 1954 on some farm program and we stocked it with fish. Mostly bream. The springs that fed that small pond have long since dried up and so has the pond.
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The Front Porch
I started thinking about front porches. Yep, not something that is a conversation topic at dinner every night, but growing up in the South a lot of us older people can remember when the front porch, and in some cases the back porch, was an important and useful part of the house. The front porch today is an architectural component, like a dormer, but with little utilitarian usage for many.
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A few days back I bought a new Lew’s bait caster reel and on the box was a special bonus offer: a free new Buck Knife. Never one to turn down anything free, I set about getting the free knife ordered. When it arrived, it made me think about the good ole days at Sandy Point where just about every male carried a pocket knife. Today, I don’t suppose they could go on school grounds with a pocket knife without being arrested and you can’t get through security at the airport with one. I don’t know anyone today that carries a pocket knife but then maybe more do than I would imagine.
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Greyhound and Trailways
Greyhound is a registered trade mark of the Greyhound, Incorporated
Greyhound and Trailways are not exactly household words these days. I would bet that no one in my neighborhood, unless they were in the Army many years ago, has ever been on a Greyhound or a Trailways bus. Like many things that once were an important item or service in days past, the big interstate buses have been replaced in the lives of most of us. Cars, mostly, did that for the closer-by locations and airplanes took over the coast to coast and major destinations.
I would also bet that most people are not aware that there is a bus terminal in Marietta, Ga for Greyhound. I looked up a ticket from Marietta to Bozeman, Montana ( in case I want to go fishing ) and the trip is about 55 hours and 20 minutes and cost from about $234 up.
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Model A Ford
The first car I remember was a Model A Ford. It was not the first of the cars my mother and father owned when I was small but I don’t remember them. I think they had a 1936 model when they got married in 1940.
What is the first car you remember? That might require a considerable amount of thought for many of the younger folks. Many families today trade cars fairly frequently and have multiple units at one time. In this country, we went from parking the cars in the yard to single carports, dual carports and then on to double, triple, and now, in some cases, four and six car garages. Some wealthy families have a “stable” of vehicles and you just go eenie meenie miney moe.
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I can’t remember the first phone book I saw. I also don’t recall the first phone we got in Sandy Point, either. I don’t know when I first heard of yellow pages. I do know that there were no phones there when I was little and it would have been after electricity was brought in about 1946 +/-. Mr. Smith got a phone up on the main highway (US 80) and I think my grandparents used that phone on some occasions. I think they also used a phone at the courthouse. But no phone service was available on the back roads for a while.
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A Place None of Us Want To Be
Irrelevance is not a city, so far as I know. But it is a place in time. It is a condition. It is a “state of mind”.
Looking back at Sandy Point, I see in my memory’s eye that a lot of what was important back then is now deemed irrelevant. Take the old farm bell as an example. That ole bell was truly old and not some reproduction to fool antique buyers. Everybody was an antique buyer and user back in those days. Most didn’t even know it.
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