I was talking to Gordon Hutchison, who wrote The Shootist column for Louisiana Sportsman for years but retired when he ran out of topics. I told him about the Rock Wall and sent him the column last week. He said it must be tough writing a personal column. I was fresh from a six-day visit with our grandson and felt like I was bursting with news – naw, not a problem.

That was last week before the cold weather really hit. We’re going to have to make it a short visit this week or my hip pockets may freeze to those blue and gray sandstones. You know that we actually sit on the Rock Wall to have these conversations, don’t you?

While we were in Baton Rouge, one day Adrian told me bad weather was coming so I had better get the 34 Pink Lady bulbs planted I took up here and Kimball mailed down. I took that to mean something like: if you create a job, you do it. So, I got busy on Friday in bright sunshine and 75 degree weather. I talked to Adrian about mid morning on Saturday or so. When I told her it was 10 degrees here, she told me it was 20 at her house.

Good grief that is bone chilling cold. We saw it -5 ̊ one morning. I haven’t held still for it long enough to really suffer.  I know I can’t take the cold like I did a few years ago. Either that or I’m just not as mad at the deer or fish as I used to be.

I and a partner fished all day in a Birmingam Bass Masters tournament on Smith Lake north of Birmingham when the thermometer never got above 19 ̊. I fished several all day winter tournaments out of Venice, LA, and loaded the boat with black bass the locals call green trout. Once, a couple of days before Christmas vacation, Harry Brannon, who I carpooled with to New Orleans from Slidell, and I took off a day and went to Venice targeting redfish. A smoke colored grub tipped with shrimp loaded the boat. I brought home a 48 qt. Igloo cooler full of redfish fillets. Mom and Dad divided them up into 56 zip lock freezer bags and ate fresh fish all winter. A redfish is just a saltwater drum averaging 5 to 8 lbs. Big ‘uns run 10 – 12 and monsters run above 20. We caught good eating size for Dad and Mom not necessarily by design.

– Gordon and I are putting the finishing touches on my article, with his editing, on how to pattern a turkey shotgun. I’ll have to see if they will let me reprint it for you. I’ve never been edited by a honest-to-goodness magazine writer before. I thought I had a pretty good article, but he improved it and pushed me to take some photos that better illustrated the story. Had to wait for several days for the sun to put in an appearance so I could shoot photos of my gun outdoors. Kimball added her professional touch to some of the photos one of which drew a comment from Gordon, “Now that’s what I’m talking about.”

– It was interesting taking photos of the almost completed electrical sub-station. They didn’t have to tell me even once to stay outside the chain link fence.                      KL

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