Thursday, October 12, 2006

THE "GULLYWAMPUS" STRIKES AGAIN!

When I first started looking at blogs I was inspired to write a lot of E-mails. Through the glory of the Internet I found my Dad's old best friend, Bruce, was still alive and this is what I wrote him:

Bruce Myers was my fathers very best friend while I was growing up which was just fine with me because I liked Bruce maybe as much as my father did. Where my father was dry and always under control, Bruce was effusive and jolly. They never spoke curtly to each other and always had a good time together. Their relationship was centered around fishing and Highballs……..and according to them this is how it all got started.
Bruce and Jack (my Dad) worked together for Hobbs Trailers. It was 1958 life was good and they were in their prime. Jack was a big time fisherman while Bruce was, well, I have no idea what Bruce was before fishing, except a really nice guy. Since they were going to be best friends for a long time it was important that Jack get Bruce onto the water in search of the big Bass or anything that would bite.
So Jack takes Bruce fishing, using all the popular lures of the day. Before too long, Jack catches a fish which excites the very excitable Bruce.
“What did you catch him on? “ Bruce wants to know.
“A Jiitterbug” replies Jack.
“Nah, now Jack, don’t go puttin’ me on” Bruce says, thinking no way could a Fishing lure be named after a 20's dance.
“Not a bit”says Jack and shows Bruce the lure with “Jitterbug” printed plainly on the lure.
“Well I’ll be”says Bruce”I want one of those”
Jack ties the Jitterbug on for Bruce to use. Before too long Jack catches another fish. Bruce is curious. “Whatcha catch ‘im on?”
“A Devils Horse.”
“Nah, now Jack, don’t put me on”
“Here it is written right on the lure, "Devils Horse!"” So Jack has Bruce tie on a Devils Horse.
Now Bruce is very intrigued about the names of these lures and wants to know more names so Jack begins to recite some Lure names to Bruce including the Classic ‘Hellbender’ and “Water Dog” and "Boy Howdy" which Bruce sees in the tackle box as being for real.
Jack sees an opportunity. He was very well known in Sporting Goods Departments as having names for Lures that did not exist. Names like “The Bottom Scratcher” “Doodlesocker” and “Gullywampus”. There was the "Rebel Yell" "Dirty Bastard" and 'Who hit John" none of which were actual lures, just names Dad drempt up.
Jack had a million or so screwball names for lures and Bruce is now a true believer and I’m sure Jack layed it on pretty thick. Dad used to call one ' Swivelhip Susie", probably the dirtiest thing I ever heard him say.
The next day at work Bruce comes in, high on Fishing, and tells Jack that at lunch he wants to go down to Leonards Department store and buy a Rod and Reel, a tackle box and all those lures they had talked about the day before.
“Can you make me a list of those lures, Jack?”
“Glad to, Bruce”
Enter Bruce into the Sporting Goods Department. Friendly salesperson helps him find a Rod, reel and Tackle box. Now Bruce says “I’ve got a list of lures here” and hands it to the salesperson who studies the list for a moment then looks up to Bruce with a funny grin.
Like I said, Dad was famous for these lures.
"Is there something wrong?" Asks Bruce.
“No,no”, says the salesman, and with a chuckle adds “But you must have been talking to Jack
Renfro!”

Bruce wrote back to me thanking me for reminding me of his old friend Jack, and assured me that every word was true.
When I was growing up I must have heard this story a thousand times and never grew tired of hearing it. I'd give anything to be sittin' on a campstool by a fire, listening to the two of them go on into the night with their friendly banter.
I don't know how this comes across to those of you that did not know Jack and Bruce.

4 comments:

Mother of Invention said...

I love it! It's all part of our upbringing and our parents' friends had a profound effect on us, filling our childhood memories. My dad belonged to a fishing club with all his buddies and he took us up in the summers when we were 4 with his buddies and their kids. He'd set up our lines and I loved to look in his tacklebox and ogle the lures as if they were jewels in a jewellery box! The best of course, was a "Williams Wobbler" because it shone silver and Williams was our last name!!!
(I still go to the camp as my husband now belongs...see some posts in Aug. if you ever want a peek at the log cabins)

Stephen Newton said...

Great story. I enjoyed your blog and will be back. Thanks for the link to the song.

Stephen Newton said...

Steve, we used to play "Army" jump out of the barn loft with toy guns blazing and "dying" several times during our imaginary gunfights. The key word back then (50s) was "imaginary"---we knew it was all make believe. We've become jaded to violence everywhere and the line between reality and fiction is blurred.

Thanks for your comments.

steve said...

moi- What a great lookin' spot- I can almost smell the Bacon!
Steve; looks like you do some serious business over at the razer!