Many of you know that I grew up around the Mississippi River. The 1811 New Madrid earthquake produced a lot of lakes and there were many where I lived. Just about at every lake was a fishing camp. There were some people who lived year around at them, but mostly there were a lot of fishermen/fisherwomen coming from Memphis. Mr. K and his wife, who were good friends with my parents, ran one of the fishing camps.
One of my earliest memories of going to the fish camps was of the fish fries. At least once a month my parents would load all of us kids into the car and we would head back into the woods to Mr. K’s camp. We would drive down the gravel roads, finally to a narrow dirt road with thick woods on both sides. Finally we could come to a large opening with cabins and boats on the lake. A lot of the people who came to these were our friends, but a good number were Mr. K’s customers. It wasn’t unusual to have lawyers and doctors with their families, who drove from Memphis to attend these things. Mr. K would start his fish fries in the late afternoon and they would go into the night. He would have lights strung from cabin to cabin so the whole opening was lighted.
Now when you think of fish fries, you think there will be fish of course and coleslaw, french fries, hush puppies, and lots of beer/cold drinks. Mr. K never stopped at just that. He would have a variety of wild game too. Venison (deer) would be the most tame thing to eat, while along side that could be squirrel, possum and other stuff he could find. Fmom and Aunt K always stuck with the fish. At my age back then, there seemed to be hundreds of tables filled with food and drink. Needless to say, beer flowed freely and the adults had a great time. We kids would always have a good time running/playing and taking some of the boats out on the lake.
One time FDad and my Uncle L worked up something with Mr. K, and it was going to be a big to do for Fmom and Aunt K. They were told they would be treated like queens and everything would be perfect. So the upcoming fish fry was to be just for them.
Fmom told me about what happened that night. She said everyone there treated them just as they said they would. She said doors were opened for them, and any and everything they wanted was bought to them. However, they forgot to mention to Fmom and Aunt K that it wasn’t exactly a fish fry. It was a wild game/anything they could find or drag out of the wood dinner. Fmom said there was things she had heard about but never seen, and thing on the table that she didn't know what was, but it was all food. Needless to say Fmom and Aunt K always veered away from these foods during a fish fry, but that night, they couldn’t. The whole thing was set up for them. So she said they took a little of each and piled up on the coleslaw and other sides, but since everything was cooked for them, they ate a little bit of each. She told me after the dinner there was a lot of laughing and people would tell them they really thought Fmom and Aunt K wouldn’t have eaten some of the stuff.
Well like I said, Fdad and Uncle L had set this up. I don’t remember this specifically, but Fmom said, she and my Aunt got both of them back really good. She just wouldn’t tell me what they did.