I don’t know why I am wearing these ridiculous waders, because I don’t fish, much less go wade fishing,￼￼ but this was taken at our family’s fishing shack (see other photo) which both sets of grandparents built on an oyster reef off the coast of Port O’Connor, Texas, on the northern edge of the Arkansas Pass Wildlife Refuge (where the whooping cranes winter!) in the late 1960s. I have referred to the shack as our extended family’s spiritual center, in that multiple generations would gather here, overflowing the one room onto the porch, where I preferred to sleep due to the loud, collective snoring of the elders inside on the bunkbeds. Grandpa Junker would take his pocket knife out to the reef and slurp oysters straight from their shells. My brother was into shark fishing (Steve can tell the story about the boat being drug around the bay most of the night by a huge hammerhead before it snapped off the line). When the fisher folks were tired, we would boat out around the reefs and channels to the barrier islands to play in the waves and hunt for shells, most often being the only humans on the beach. After a morning of fishing for reds and sea trout, my grandmothers would return, empty the crab traps and spend seemingly hours picking the meat from their tiny claws, which was then stuffed into flounder, which were caught when they came up into the shallows at night.
There was no electricity or running water, so days begin and ended with the sun, somewhat extended by gas lanterns.￼
Not everyone in our family enjoyed being there, for various reasons, but my favorite time was dusk, when the birds began their evening songs and the sun set across the water ... glorious abalone colors. And, over the years, I read and wrote and sketched and let my eyes soften, taking in the bay views from that porch, protected from the sun and cooled by the breezes. ￼
Back to the photo ... This was the late 80s.￼ I am wearing one of the original Whole Foods t-shirts from their first store in Austin. Steve is wearing a dog training whistle, so our lab puppy must have been with us. It was a moment of silliness. Steve used this photo in his medical school graduation publication with the simple words “gone fishin’ “
A place to decant my brain, to capture inspiration and share fresh insights. [Posts from 2015 onward]