Food Matters

Highway One, Greenville, Mississippi, 2013. Photo by Tom Rankin.

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Food Matters

by Tom Rankin
Southern Cultures, Vol. 21, No. 1: Food

"I looked at the glistening beauty of the bluegill scales, looked at my catfish, looked at Bobby. After careful comparison, I told him I wanted the catfish, that it was my first, that it was bigger, that I had caught it. We should keep what we caught, I explained. That was the right decision."

I was in second grade in Kentucky when my friend Bobby invited me to spend Friday night with him and go fish a farm pond the next morning. His father, a long haul truck driver, was off work for the weekend and drove us some thirty miles out of town where we baited simple bream hooks with red worms and carefully watched our white and red bobbers, in youthful hope of success. I have no recollection of how long we fished, how long we anticipated fish action, how big or small the pond was. My only clear memory is that I caught a channel catfish from a place midway on the pond dam. And then at some other time in the morning, Bobby caught a hand-sized bluegill.

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