Ike Willis

Discussion in 'In Memoriam' started by Ike Willis, Feb 5, 2017.

  1. Denise Happyfeet

    Denise Happyfeet Very Well-Known Member
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  2. Ike Willis

    Ike Willis Very Well-Known Member
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    Evenin'

    My Brother Goes to Jail
    One fine October Saturday morn in 1952 big brother Ike came into the bedroom I shared with little brother Daryl. Ike gave my bed a healthy kick, jarring me instantly wide awake. "Hey hop, wanna go huntin' "? Silly question. I dressed, dug my shotgun out of the closet, found a box and a partial box of shells and was down in the kitchen in record time. Ike had made us two large bowls of oatmeal and heated up the breakfast coffee. Ike explained the rest of the family had left for town without me, since I fell back to sleep. Chores were done, there was nothing urgent to do. The ground was froze, very lightly covered with snow and it was sunny out. A great day to hunt bunnies. I wolfed down my oatmeal, covered with maple pancake syrup, just like Ike ate his, and we gassed up Ike's old Dodge pickup and headed out. Ike drove down an old country lane leading to several isolated cornfields. We stopped, Ike got out, loaded his shotgun, climbed in the back and told me to drive slowly back and forth over the field. The corn had been picked but lots of stray ears lay scattered about on the ground and there were overgrown pastures between the fields. Drive over those too. He would shoot. When he pounded on the cab roof, I was to stop so he could retrieve the game. Illegal? Yeah.
    Being a farm boy, I could drive since before I was 10. I was having a great time just driving. Ike finally decided I should have a turn at shooting. I got in the back and off we went. Not being as good a shot as Ike, I only managed to roll a few bunnies. Ike stopped and we did a body count. 35 bunnies, two pheasants, one being a hen. We tossed a tarp over them, stowed our guns and headed for a nearby berg with a bar called "Mosey Inn". the barmaid said I could sit in the store room out of sight so I settled in with a handful of Police Gazette's while Ike and some girl named Rite danced to the jukebox. Bad mistake. I helped myself to warm beer and little bags of chips. Sometime later Rita shook me awake and helped Ike into the cab of his truck. Ike was passed out. Rita asked could I drive. I don't know what I answered but I got behind the wheel under my own power. I did my best to keep the old Dodge between fence rows, but a deputy found the truck at the fairgrounds, on the race track, out of gas, full of illegal game, Ike and yours truly sound asleep. Needless to say, this didn't go over good at all. i was confined to the farm, except for school and church. Ike being 22 then, went to jail for a few days. The Korean fight was still raging. A judge told Ike he should really think about enlisting. Ike was becoming well known to the law enforcement people around our county by then.
    Ike did enlist, didn't see much action in Korea but stayed in the army long enough to be killed in Nam.
    I always felt responsible. Had I not got drunk too, we would have got home ok. I still struggle with that.
     
    #77
  3. Chrissy Cross

    Chrissy Cross Veteran Member
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    He was hoppy on another forum, starting to get a picture of how he chose some usernames...neat.

    Didn't know that about his brother. :(
     
    #78
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  4. Patsy Faye

    Patsy Faye Veteran Member
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    Dear Ike - not your fault, what a burden to carry around ..................
    Ike and Hop together again
     
    #79
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  5. Ike Willis

    Ike Willis Very Well-Known Member
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    Hi All...your comments are so nice about his latest stories, but remember some parts are true & some parts are not, just so he could weave it all into a story.. :)

    The Day I Almost Killed Granny
    So, one day when little brother Daryl was 5 and I was a should-known-better 9, I wandered out to the big barn, Daryl tagging along right behind. Gramps had parked a hay wagon loaded with loose hay, right under the jay loft door, which was wide open.
    I climbed up the ladder to the loft inside the barn. Daryl just had to follow so I pulled him up. We went over to the open loft door and stood there looking around. Granny came out the back door of the house carrying a basket of wet laundry to be hung on the clothesline. Before I gon on, I should further explain the lay of things. From the yard where granny was standing, she could only see the top part of the barn. The lower part was out of sight behind other sheds & bushes. She couldn't see the loaded hay wagon under the loft door.
    Daryl was yelling "hey gramma, look", and waving both arms. Granny yelled back to get Daryl away from the edge, he'll fall and break something. So, I stepped back and gave him a shove on the butt with my foot.
    Poor granny saw her precious little Daryl launched out the hay loft door, arms & legs flailing, and out of sight behind the sheds in the foreground. She dropped the basket of wet clothes and came running and screaming around the sheds. I swear, I never thought a fat old woman could run so fast. When granny saw Daryl standing on the load of hay laughing, she just collapsed on the ground in a sitting position, holding her heaving chest and gasping for breath.
    I panicked, jumped out of the loft, ran into the house to get help. Mom and little sister Angel got granny back into the house, set her in her chair and made her some tea. Then mom shoved me out of the house and told me to stay out of sight the rest of the day.
    The womenfolk were very protective of Daryl. He grew up ok in spite of that.
     
    #80
  6. Ike Willis

    Ike Willis Very Well-Known Member
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    Mornin'

    At What Age Was Your First Alcoholic Drink?
    Both sides of my family were heavy drinkers. Except Dad & Mom. For some strange reason neither drank. I don't know how that happened. Gramps used to make home brew beer. They say in his younger days he also made whiskey with Uncle Earl but Earl took over the whiskey making later. I remember him bottling up the latest batch one day. He stored the bottled beer in the basement on a row of shelves. Something must have went wrong because later we would hear bottles exploding. Every time one went off, gramps would yell '' dammit''.
    I started my drinking career at about the age of 5 or 6 years. Gramps opened a frosty bottle of beer, set it on the table and was busy tuning the kitchen Philco to his favorite news station. That kitchen corner was gramp's spot. An old table radio sat on a small table, gramp's rocker right beside it. We had a parlor radio too. Guess we were rich.
    While gramps was busy I grabbed the bottle and chugged down a few swallows. I don't know what it was about that cold, bitter, bubbly liquid, but I took to it like most kids do to soda pop.
    Dad & Mom tried to discourage me but I always found beer when I wanted it. Gramps quit making home brew but hid store beer in his room. Later I learned to look in Oke's car or truck. There was usually a few bottles rolling around. In desperation I even drained the remains out of whatever empty bottles I could find.
    Brother Daryl got a late start on boozing. He waited until his teens. Once, when he was still married to his first wife, they were living in a rented house half a block from my house. A neighbor called to tell me Daryl was drunk and beating on Amy. I ran over and sure enough. He smacked her aside her head just as I entered. He turned and swung at me and that's the last thing he remembered. I hate mean drunks. During my working career, I bossed crews from time to time. After work we drank. When some of them had a few drinks, they would say things to me they wouldn't dare say sober. Things like "your a nice guy when your drinking". Sober, your an "a*****e". The last time I had to see a doc they pried into my private life on a lot of fronts. Doc started on drinking. When you started, how much, how often, yadayada. Do you use any drugs?
    "Do you own any guns and how many"?
    "I'm not here 'cause I shot myself".
    "I know but we have to ask".
    "No".
    He knew that was a lie so he wrote 'no' with a question mark behind it.
    Next to lawyers, I hate docs. I guess I'm adapting too well to this modern 'enlightened' age. Every day I thank God I got to live in better days.
     
    #81
  7. Babs Hunt

    Babs Hunt Veteran Member
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    @Ike Willis Thanks "Ike" for another great story. :) And thanks Bethanne for taking the time to share it with us. Have a blessed day.:)
     
    #82
  8. Patsy Faye

    Patsy Faye Veteran Member
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    Appreciated Bethanne :)
     
    #83
  9. Ike Willis

    Ike Willis Very Well-Known Member
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    Evenin'

    Wonder How Old Guys Are When They See Their First Live Naked Woman.
    One summer day, I think I was 8, I was told to mow the lawn. All we had was an old iron wheeled push lawn mower. No motor. It was boy powered. It took me near all day to mow with that thing. To make matters worse, my 4 year old brother Daryl, was constantly running, standing or sitting in front of the mower. But mom asked me to watch him while she, granny and my sister Angel did some housework. Dad and gramps were off somewhere in the truck, probably another farm auction. My big brother Ike went to town on some pretext. Ike had a new girl friend who worked at the "he ain't here bar & grill". So I didn't expect to see Ike until maybe tomorrow.
    So, I was stuck with Daryl. Then I got an idea to get him out of the way. I ran up to my room and found the old, cheap pair of handcuffs Ike gave me. He warned me not to lock them because the key didn't always work so well. Outside, I ask Daryl if he wanted to play cops & robbers. Sure. So, I told him he's the robber and chased him a bit, wrestled him around in the grass, which he likes, then told him he's under arrest. We needed a jail. The old wooden wheeled farm wagon parked behind the garage gave me an idea. I took him to it, told him to get under it and pretend the wooden wagon wheel spokes were jail bars, then I cuffed him by one wrist to a spoke. I said he was sentenced to 10 years, I'd be back to let him out then. He was fine when I left.
    Well, I finished the yard about the time dad and gramps got home. It was almost supper time so we all washed up and seated ourselves at the table. Mom looked at us, then asked where's Daryl. Oh s**t. I jumped up and ran out to the old wagon. There he was, asleep in the shade under the wagon. He'd been crying and peed himself. I woke him while trying to unlock the cuffs. Damn, the key wasn't working. Mom kept calling and finally come out to see what was taking so long. She got dad and gramps. Dad couldn't open the cuffs either. I could imagine a whipping coming. Gramps had a look at them, got a thin feeler gauge out of the garage and opened them in no time. A trick he learned the hard way, he said.
    Well, I got to eat supper but had to go to my room right after. I was tired anyway. I wanted to get an early start in the morning, on my chores. The maybe, a movie if Ike could be persuaded.
    The next morning I was up early. Breakfast was being prepared as I ran out the back door and to the outhouse. My bladder was about to burst. I flung open the outhouse door and...WAAAH! There sat a totally naked woman. Quick as I could tear myself away, I ran behind the workshop and peed like a racehorse. Back in the kitchen I stood there, eyes still bugged out, trying to speak. Mom asked what in the world was the matter. I stammered out about the naked woman right there in our outhouse. After they all got done laughing it up, mom told me Ike's gal pal came home with him last night. She was wearing Ike's robe when she went out there but must have taken it off to do her business. I got a biscuit throwed at my head by granny when I mentioned the girl had big boobs. Gramps just cackled and grinned.
     
    #84
  10. Frank Sanoica

    Frank Sanoica Very Well-Known Member
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    @Ike Willis Wonderful story! Always loved rural life, though it took a lifetime of city-living to finally achieve it. By then, well, nekkid ladies were just that.......
    Frank
     
    #85
  11. Patsy Faye

    Patsy Faye Veteran Member
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    Fab story ! :D
     
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  12. Babs Hunt

    Babs Hunt Veteran Member
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    You were "incorrigible" for sure @Ike Willis :) And a great storyteller!
     
    #87
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  13. Ike Willis

    Ike Willis Very Well-Known Member
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    Evenin'

    We Get A New Bathroom
    It happened in my 9th or 10th year, I forget which. Dad and gramps were to the back of our farm, over some hills out of sight, rebuilding a section of fence. Big brother Ike was in the barn, working on one of our two AC's tractors. I was helping by changing the oil while he worked on the generator, replacing the brushes and new fan belts. When I was about 7 or 8, I was taught to regularly change oil in everything we had that had a motor. Dad said he'd rather buy oil than new engines. Anyway I could crawl under the car and truck easier than the old folks.
    A whole lot of screaming and yelling from over near the house, got our attention. Ike and I both got to the door in time to see flames and smoke coming from a bit beyond the house about where the outhouse sat. Mom, granny and Angel were busy fetching buckets of water from the pumphouse. There wasn't much we could do. The fire had too good a start before anyone noticed it. We saved the hole though, I pointed out, trying to be funny.
    No one knew where Daryl was. We yelled his name, then went looking. Dad and gramps just happened to come back about then. They were plenty upset as they helped look for Daryl. Gramps found Daryl in the machine shed, hiding in an old wagon under a tarp. His sobing gave him away. The bawling Daryl was drug over to Dad, who wanted an explanation, NOW. It was then that I suddenly found myself in deep doo doo.
    Daryl sobbed out about how I would put a strike kitchen match in the barrel of my old Daisy BB gun and shoot it at a hard surface. Upon hitting something hard, the match would make a satisfying "pop" then burst into flame. Pretty awesome stuff for a 6 year old Daryl. And that is what he was doing in the patch of dead weeds behind the outhouse. Mom hugged her little Daryl saying ''so that's where all my matches have been going''. Dad gave me an evil look and started removing his belt. I knew a whipping was coming. Gramps was yelling, ''dang it, where are we gonna crap now. Ya needs a good thrashin''. Gramps had a mean streak.
    Big brother Ike grabbed me by the arm and hustled me off to the barn saying something about needing me to help finish our work, thus saving me a swat or two on the butt. Dad's whippings never amounted to much. They were mostly for show, I think. I knew mom wouldn't let no one touch her Daryl. Our new bathroom wasn't really new. Dad and gramps cleared away the remains of the burned one. Beside the workshop was an old, unused smokehouse. About the same size as our outhouse. The men drug it over and positioned it over the hole and gramps made a seat and floor out of scrap lumber. Next day Dad gave me some cans of white paint and a brush and orders to paint her good, inside and out.
    I never saw my BB gun again either.
     
    #88
  14. Ike Willis

    Ike Willis Very Well-Known Member
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    Mornin'

    Ever Pee Out the Window?

    My little brother Daryl and I shared an upstairs bedroom. We had one window. Since Daryl had a weak bladder and was too afraid of the dark to run out to the outhouse at night, he kept a coffee can under his bed. It was his "peecan". It stunk up the whole bedroom.
    So, one summer night Daryl woke, bladder bursting. He went into a panic, not finding his peecan where it should be. His commotion woke me. He was getting frantic by then. Thinking quickly, I shoved him over to our open window and told him to let it fly out the window through the screen. It worked like a charm. He didn't use his peecan again the rest of the summer.
    The only thing under our window was one of mom's many flower beds. Mom noticed her flowers there were dying. So, she replanted with a different species, thinking maybe something else would do better there. Wrong. They died too. Poor mom struggled all summer with that bed, unable to figure out what was wrong. Flowers thrived there the past summer. What could be wrong?
    The great flower mystery was solved later, after we got our first snow. Dad noticed all the yellow snow under Daryl and my bedroom window. He showed it to mom. She confronted Daryl and myself at supper that evening. I expected some kind of punishment but none forthcoming. Dad sat there grinning. Gramps said we should change Daryl's name to "whizzer". Then the little snotbucket had to spill his guts. "He does it too. Sometimes we see who kin shoot the farthest, sometimes I win".
    Well, we had to endure gramps calling us whizzer 1 and whizzer 2 for awhile. The following spring dad made me and Daryl replace the screen wire on our window. Our urine rotted the old one out.
    Fun days !!
     
    #89
  15. Frank Sanoica

    Frank Sanoica Very Well-Known Member
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    #89 reminds me of a hilarious scene in a Richard Dreyfuss/Nick Nolte movie, something like "Down and Out In Beverly Hills (?). Dreyfuss is a well-to-do family man, Nolte, a transient, a bum, who takes to sleeping amongst Dreyfuss' landscaping, uses a certain spot in the flower garden to relieve himself. Dreyfuss discovers it, with the resulting line, very loud and angry, "Someone is pissing on my Hydrangeas!"

    It was one of the funniest scenes I could remember! Reminded me of my Mother's own hapless Hydrangea in our back yard when I was small. Not subjected to abuse, mind you, but caused consternation because year after year, it refused to bloom!
     
    #90
  16. Ike Willis

    Ike Willis Very Well-Known Member
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    Afternoon,

    Friday Night Fun
    One crisp fall evening when I was about 11, maybe 12, I was at the kitchen table doing my schoolwork. It was Friday night but I didn't want it hanging over my head all weekend. It was 9:30 pm and I just finished it up. Gramps was sitting in his corner of the kitchen, listening to country music on his old Philco. Real country, Bob Wills or Hank Sr.
    I heard Ike's truck grind into the back yard and squeal to a stop. Doors slammed, kitchen door opened and in came a short, round gal followed by Ike. Ike said this is Terry and introduced Terry to the family. Gramps just sat there grinning, not taking his eyes off Terry's chest. Then Ike asked Dad if Hop can go with us, I need him to help me move some of Terry's stuff. Everyone called me Hop. Dad said yeah, if his schoolwork is done, have him back by midnight. I squeezed into the truck beside Terry. She took up a lot of my side of the seat. Terry wasn't really fat, just comfortably so. She has a very cute face and bubbly voice and laugh. And, she smelled good. We headed back to town, skirted the edge and wound up a steep hill overlooking part of town. Ike drove back into an unfenced field far enough the truck wouldn't be seen from any roads or streets. Then, we all got out and unloaded the back of the truck. Out came a large tank, like the ones they have oxygen in and two boxes of stuff I couldn't identify in the dark. Terry held a flashlight while Ike layed out a large dark fabric object and a big spool of thin nylon cord. "This is a balloon and that tank is helium, help me fill it." I helped Ike hold the balloon up while he fastened the end to the nozzle, turned it on and we could hear helium hiss into the balloon. It slowly took shape into one, huge dark blue balloon. Ike taped a strip of foil to the side of the balloon, tied off the end then tied a small flashlight to the line as we released the balloon. It rose into the night air fairly fast, the lit flashlight swinging underneath. Higher and higher it rose.
    The gentle breeze took it out over part of town. Eventually we could hear voices and shouts as the swinging light on the balloon was spotted. The balloon, being dark blue, couldn't be seen. The foil on the side reflected light in an eerie way. We played around with our "mysterious light in the sky" as the local radio station and newspaper called it. We would rell it in low, let it rise high, up and down long into the night. Finally tiring of our sport, Ike cut the cord and let it drift up and away.
    Terry worked at the town's Woolworth store. It's what we had before WalMart came to town. The helium tank belonged to the store and we had to sneak it back. I don't know where Ike got the balloon. All went well and we headed home, to wait and see what commotion we caused. Terry came home with us. Somehow I knew she would. Well, the strange swinging, rising light in the sky was the talk of the town for several days. It even made newspapers in other towns. Sheriff Hagan came by and visited Dad and Gramps a few days later. As he was leaving he noticed the spool of nylon line still in the back of Ike's truck. He looked at me, grinned, then left. I think Sheriff figured it out but nothing was said.
    And that's how farm boys amused themselves in the late '40's early '50's.
     
    #91
  17. Chrissy Cross

    Chrissy Cross Veteran Member
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    Haha...my favorite so far!
     
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  18. Ike Willis

    Ike Willis Very Well-Known Member
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    Mornin'

    Fishing
    Anyone here fish? Best sport there is. Anyone can be a good fisherperson, no matter your physical condition.
    One Saturday morn in the early spring of my 10th or 11th year, dad and gramps left for town in the truck. Ike was in the garage getting both tractors ready for field work. I was helping, whatever I could. After they had gone, Ike fished a quart bottle of warm beer from behind the tool boxes. "Last one Hop. Find a clean coffee can and I'll split it with ya". We saved all our empty coffee cans so I was soon sipping the warm bitter bubbly liquid. A few hours later dad and gramps came chugging up the lane into the yard. The truck had an odd assortment of boards in the back. I went to help unload asking what was this for. Gramps answered it was a boat, what in hell's it look like? And that was the beginning of many happy hours spent on the water.
    Dad and gramps went to work on the boat the very next day. I was amazed at how they could work without plans or blueprints. They wrote measurements down on paper, cut lumber, drilled holes to bolt rib pieced together and in a few days, a beautiful jon boat was ready for paint. Back then, good wood was still easily obtainable. The ribs were redwood, the rest cypress. No plywood whatsoever. Dad bought some dark green boat paint and gave me the job of painting it. Angel wanted in on the painting. We gave it two coats. When they dried, dad filled the boat with water to swell the seams tight. Then came launching day. Dad, gramps and Ike got it on the truck and off we went to the pond. A lot of happy hours were spent in that boat that summer. At some point an old Evinrude 1 1/2 H.P. outboard motor was acquired. It was perfect for that pond. It would idle down to barely moving and throttle up to about as fast as a man could row. One afternoon stands out in my memory. Gramps and I were fishing by ourselves. I was in the stern running the motor and gramps was on the bow. I ran in close to the bank under a low hanging tree branch, knocking a huge snake off his perch and into the boat. All hell broke loose. Gramps, nears as afraid of snakes as Daryl, grabbed up the canoe paddle and started wildly whacking at the snake, shouting the whole time. I cut the motor and drew my bare feet up so the snake wouldn't go up my pant leg. Snake was thrashing frantically, looking for a way out of this crazy place. Gramps was yelling, hitting everything but the snake, with his paddle. I was fearing for my life when gramps hit my big toe a mighty whack, breaking it. That was enough. I went over the side, along with the snake. Gramps sat down breathing hard from his workout. When we got home dad asked " Hop why you limping"? Another time dad and Angel were fishing together. She was using my casting rod and reel and was not quite up to par yet. Dad was running the motor, Angel was on the mid seat. She rared back to make a cast, snagged dad's hat with her bass lure and cast it out into the pond.
    We kept our boat chained to a tree at the pond but took our motor home each time. One day while getting ready to go out in the boat, some other guys were fishing at the pond. One came over and asked dad if the boat was for sale. They haggled awhile ending in the sale of not only the boat but the motor too. I was crushed. But, before that summer was over, dad and gramps built another boat even better. Best yet, dad got a 5 HP outboard motor that ran great. We had that boat and motor for a number of years. I still have my first bait casting reel that was dad's and given to me. It's still in perfect working order. I think of those days whenever I handle it.
     
    #93
  19. Patsy Faye

    Patsy Faye Veteran Member
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    Another great story :)
     
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  20. Babs Hunt

    Babs Hunt Veteran Member
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    You're doing a wonderful job of sharing "Ike's" your dad's stories with us Bethanne....thank you so much. :)
     
    #95
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  21. Ike Willis

    Ike Willis Very Well-Known Member
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    Mornin'

    "Nother Fishin' Story
    About 5 miles from our farm was a place called "tractor pond'. A bridge crossed the pond and the road led onto a river and another bridge. The pond was quite large and deep in places. Like one end of the bridge where a tractor slid over the bank and into the pond. It totally disappeared underwater. No one tried to get it out.
    One end of the pond was swamp, which drained into the pond. The other end of the pond drained out and into the river farther off. When the river flooded so did the pond. Some great fishing could be had there. Dad loved to fish for largemouth bass.Big brother Ike didn't like fishing much so Dad did his best to teach me the art of casting a fishing lure to a point exactly where I wanted it to land. At home, I would lay a short piece of 2x4 on the ground, back off a distance and cast a line with a lead weight at the board, hour after hour. Not to brag, but I got very good at it. From different distances, using Dad's old steel casting rod and Pflueger Akron casting reel he gave me and I still have to this day. I could plop my weighted line down near either side of the board or on it if so desired. Many a summer evening, Dad and I would sneak off to our pond hidaway and fish for bass until dark. It would take too many fish to feed our family of 8 so we released them back into the pond. I've never seen Dad so relaxed and happy as during those stolen moments on 'our' pond.
    Bethanne
     
    #96
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2017
  22. Ina I. Wonder

    Ina I. Wonder Very Well-Known Member
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    Thank you Bethanne, You are such a good daughter to help us deal with Ike's passing, and at a time when you're grieving for your father.

    I know that I miss the encouraging conversations that he and I would have through PMing. Your father did much to help me except the passing of my husband.

    And, I'm happy to tell you that his advice on talking to myself is working rather well. Since your father has passed, I've started acting like it is his voice that is talking to me. I find I'll listen to him when I know I won't listen to my self. :rolleyes: :D
     
    #97
  23. Ike Willis

    Ike Willis Very Well-Known Member
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    Thank you so much for the compliment !! Doing this is also helping me as I type his stories out !! I am SO glad I made this book for him years ago, I'm sorry I don't get a story out everyday as I planned. I went back to work 2 weeks ago, but I plan on posting all his stories that I have, just may take a little longer then I planned !!! :)
     
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  24. Babs Hunt

    Babs Hunt Veteran Member
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    We are just so thankful you are posting "Ike's" stories Bethanne, and we don't want you to feel any time pressure in sharing...just share them as you feel you have the time to do so. It means so much to all of us just to be able to read them and hear your dad talking with us still through each one of them. :)
     
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    Last edited: Mar 5, 2017
    Ina I. Wonder and Ken Anderson like this.
  25. Ike Willis

    Ike Willis Very Well-Known Member
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    Mornin' All
    Bethanne here....sorry so long since the last story! We had a major storm here Monday night...tornado did quite the damage. It hit my neighborhood as it cut across town. My house was spared by just 3 houses between mine and the worst damage in our neighborhood. It is a terrible mess !!
    But on with the next story !!

    First Date
    Bet you all remember your first date. Where did you go on that magical moment in your life? Me, mine was unremarkable. When I was a freshman in high school I only befriended 3 other guys. They were considered undesireables by the little student groups, just as I was. So, I wound up going on a double date with one of my pal's sister. He could legally drive and had a car. I didn't yet have a car or license. She didn't seem to pleased to be with me. She must have heard the rumors too. One date stands out in my memory though. Before I met the girl I would mary, I had moved from the farm to town to work in a woodworking plant. This was about '58 or '59. About 15 miles north of my town was a small Mayberry-like town. I dated a girl named Kay whose dad was a barber in that town. I'll call him Floyd, in keeping with the Mayberry theme.
    Well, Floyd forbid me from coming to his house. He told Kay he probably couldn't keep her from dating guys like that G*d damn Hoppy but he could keep me out of his house. My popularity reached everywhere. Mayberry was still in my county, on the Northern edge. That'll be important later in the story.
    I picked Kay up one Friday night and we headed back to my town to attend a drive-in movie. In the back seat of my car was my steel picnic cooler, full of ice and beer. All the makings of a fun evening. After the movie, we rambled about town awhile, then drove back to Mayberry. I should mention here that I was driving a mildly hopped up '48 Plymouth club coup. It had a racing cam, hi compression head, dual carbs and more.
    Mayberry is bordered on the South side by a railroad track and the North side by a highway. You turn off the highway at the main street, left, back down the main street. We were on our third lap when I got over ambitious rounding a turn. Too much gas in second gear, tires squealing, car skidding around, all that attracted the attention of Barny Fife, lawman.
    Well, on the next lap through the down town, Barny Fife runs out into the middle of the main drag, waving his flashlight , about a block ahead of me. I stop, Kay yells "back up around the corner and let me out, my dad will kill me."
    Fat Barny is still a ways off, huffing and puffing closer. I stomped on the gas, slammed the shift lever into reverse, popped the clutch, horrors. I had hit second instead of reverse. We leapt forward, nearly mowing down Barny, and stalled. By then Barny was standing beside my door, gun waving at me, blowing his stupid whistle until he saw his backup running over. Kay buried her face in her hands and sobbed.
    So, they got us out of the car, Barny's partner drove while Barny made us walk down the street the block to the combo police station/ city hall/ courthouse, with our hands up. He was putting on a show for the few townspeople still out on the streets.
    They searched my car, found the beer, said something about a drunk driving charge on top of the attempt to run down a police officer. Then they found a .22 air pistol under the seat. I used it to put rabbits on the dinner table. Barny mumbled something about a concealed weapon. A search of the trunk turned up a spotlight, binoculars and two cased shotguns, probably stolen, Barny wrongly surmised.
    Kay was released to her dad. I was locked up. Before Kay was sent off, I asked her to call a number in the morning. Next morning, Sheriff Hagan came by. Mayberry was still in his county. Sheriff Hagan joked about how he should leave me there, just because. He said a young lady phoned and told him an unbelievable story and he just had to check it out. Then he talked to Barny, no doubt telling him how honest, upright and harmless I really was. In the end, I was let go but told they wouldn't mind if I never came back there again. I never saw Kay again.
    Thank God Sheriff Jack Hagan was a childhood pal of my dad.


    Bethanne
     
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