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Fishing trip

By Billy Pressley

I got back recently after spending a week on our annual men’s fishing trip. For years we have gone to the Outer Banks for our trip, but this year we traveled to the Newport River in Morehead City, NC. The fishing got so poor at Nags Head our group decided to change sites and travel in a different direction.

The change in sites proved to be worthwhile as in the three days of fishing our group landed a total of 211 assorted species of fish; mostly spot, which was really what we were after. The weather was bad a couple of days so we stayed at the cottage and played set back (a card game), ping pong and corn hole. I am waiting for the results from Tom Smith as who was the top set back game winner. The first and second place winners get their name put on a trophy that is kept at the Senior Men’s Club building in Gates. I want to make it perfectly clear that no money is ever involved in our card playing, we only play for fun!

We had a new member in our group this year, Zack Ward, son of Kenny and Tammy Ward. Kenny has been going on this trip for fifteen years. Zack and I battled at ping pong table on several occasions and he proved to be a good match for this old man. Of course, Alan Jeffries is by far the best ping pong player in the group and if you don’t believe that then just ask him!!! Zack and I were partners in corn hole and we played a lot of games against Alan and another friend, Leland. I really don’t care to talk about how those games turned out.

I had the privilege of having David Harrell as my boat Captain. David waited on me on the fishing trip in every way including furnishing the boat, fishing equipment and more often than not, baiting my hook. Brown Smith was the third person fishing on our boat. I don’t think I have ever seen a person who enjoys fishing as much as Brown. He could hardly wait to get his bait in the water and never was ready to leave the water.

This was my 50th year to go on this trip and I must admit it was one of the best trips yet! My cohorts surprised me on Thursday night with a little get-to-together. They presented me with a beautiful cake, a new straw hat (my old one was in bad shape), and a lovely card on which all the guys had written a personal note. The group didn’t know it but I was very close to crying. Even Brown Smith, who rarely ever says a word, gave a little speech.

I would like to thank David Harrell’s wife, Carolyn, for her contributions to our fishing trip. The truth is she would have been on the boat with her husband if it had not been for that bunch of heathen men! Thanks Carolyn!!!

Also, a special thanks to my oldest daughter, De Anna, who always bakes us coconut pies for the fishing trip and who continues to type my articles for me. She undoubtedly is the best daughter I have!!!

What the future holds I don’t know but right now I am planning on making the fishing trip one more year!!

I would be amiss if I didn’t express my deepest thanks and appreciation for my wife, Claire, for putting up with me and encouraging me to go on the fishing trip this year. She also baked the group chocolate meringue pies. I love you Mrs. P!!

Finally, I want to thank my God for all the mercies he shares with me, especially the gift of Eternal Life!!

And that’s just my three cents.