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Morning Sun
  • DABLEMONT: A grizzled old outdoorsmens’ get-together

  • Jim Barr and I have similar backgrounds. We both grew up on the Big Piney River, both of us spent most of our boyhood years fishing from wooden johnboats, and we both were doing some guiding on the river when we were just kids.

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  • Jim Barr and I have similar backgrounds. We both grew up on the Big Piney River, both of us spent most of our boyhood years fishing from wooden johnboats, and we both were doing some guiding on the river when we were just kids.
    Jim recalls two old uncles who lived near him in the little community of Duke, up on the hill above the river just northwest of Licking, Mo. As a boy, Jim paddled those two uncles down the river quite often.  He says they took along a shotgun and an ample supply of moonshine. The shotgun was for shooting snakes, and the moonshine was for treating snakebite!
    “They fished with old reels,” he says, “and had to crank them as hard as they could to retrieve a lure at a decent pace.  So they liked to fish those top-water lures, like the old Lucky Thirteen, because you could fish them slowly.  They’d catch a twelve- or thirteen-inch bass and I’d have to paddle to the bank so they could land it, then they’d swear it weighed three or four pounds.”
    They’d occasionally use the shotgun to shoot a limb off a tree where a lure was hung, too high to reach.  “One day one of them was catching all the fish on an old wooden Lucky 13 and the other tried to get him to quit for awhile and let him use it,” Jim says with a smile.  “When he wouldn’t, the other one blasted it with the shotgun while it sat on the water about twenty feet from the boat!”
    Barr recalls that when the snakebite treatment got severe enough and the jug was nearly empty, they got cranky and hard to paddle for, and he would just get out and walk down the bank, threatening to go home.  When the two old uncles had to paddle a ways, they got less critical of how he was handling the boat.
    You can talk to Jim Barr at the swap meet, where he intends to bring 40 or 50 old antique lures to sell, and because of his Ozark mountain upbringing, I am afraid he’ll get skinned on most of them. One is a Heddon River Runt No-Snag lure in the box, made only from 1941 to 1943.  Another is a Deep-O-Diver made in 1915.  
    That is the kind of thing you’ll find there, hundreds of them I suppose, being sold at bargain prices by grizzled old outdoorsmen who have great stories to tell.  Jim hand-carves wooden lures with glass eyes, whichare duplicates of some of those old-time lures, Lucky Thirteens, Tadpollys, and River Runts.  They are beautiful lures, and so effective that — and this is the honest truth folks — he once cast one of his lures next to a log in deep water down on the Piney and several big bass got into a fight over the lure. One of the bass was seriously injured in the tussle!
    Page 2 of 3 - Our swap meet is March 17, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Brighton Assembly of God Church gymnasium, just off Highway 13.  Take the Highway 215 exit east toward Pleasant Hope, 16 miles north of Springfield, and watch for our signs to the church, which is just a stone’s throw from Highway 13.  I am looking forward to seeing many of you there.  To get more details, see my website, www.larrydablemontoutdoors.blogspot.com.  You can email me at lightninridge@alltel.net.
    Many vendors, treasures to be found at swap meet
    Larry Eggers is another grizzled old outdoorsman who will join us at our swap meet on March 17.  Larry will have four or five of the various box turkey calls he makes, some of them for only ten bucks.  Hand-made calls like that ought to be worth three times that much. A lady by the name of Tammy Scheirer will be there painting strutting turkey gobblers on the calls if you want a really unique one. She is a great artist, and will paint a turkey on anything you want to bring her — turkey tail feathers, rocks, saws, whatever.
    Eddie and Will Davis will be coming again, with hand painted wing-bone turkey calls which are treasures for  collectors.  Another tremendously talented artist, Michael Landeros, from over around Sikeston, Mo., is bringing some of his wildlife art which he will be selling, and will be actually working on a painting while there. This guy is as good as there is, folks. One of his paintings will make your old cabin look like a Cabelas showroom.
    For you ladies, one grizzled old outdoorsman makes butcher board-type cutting boards from various types of woods, and cedar jewelry boxes and other wooden gifts. Those cutting boards are so economical and unique that last year he sold all of them long before our swap meet was over, so this year he made a lot more. Generally speaking, a get-together of grizzled old outdoor veterans doesn’t have so much stuff for ladies, but this year we are setting up a whole room for some ladies who call their offerings “candlelight creations.” Lightnin’ Ridge editor, Sondra Gray, says they have some of the most beautiful and affordable bracelets and necklaces and that type of thing.
    Heather Hill, from Ozark Mo. will have a table full of cheeses and jellies and relishes and pickles and other kinds of edible things that ladies like.  Another lady from Camdenton is bringing hand-painted feathers and handmade pillows.  But the rest of it is for us men!    With forty tables of bargains, you figure there will be absolutely hundreds and hundreds of used fishing lures and antique fishing gear, but there will also be tables of new lures, and one of our vendors creates some of the most remarkable custom-made fishing rods you will ever see. He says he can repair valuable fishing rods as well, so you might want to bring any broken rods for him to look at.
    Page 3 of 3 - We have one vendor bringing hundreds of hunting knives and pocket knives, and there will be wild game seasonings and jerky, a limited number of old guns and all kinds of miscellaneous camping gear, old magazines etc. Out in the parking lot I will have those old wooden johnboats on display, and there will be some boats and motors out there for sale, too.
    At 11 a.m., I will use a side room to show folks how I make my famous five-minute box turkey calls, the ones I have used for forty years.
    Of course, Sondra Gray will be there handing out free Lightnin’ Ridge magazines, and I will look forward to talking with readers and signing my books for anyone who wants one.  We’ll be giving away lots of valuable prizes by drawing.  You can see some of them on my website, www.larrydablemontoutdoors.blogspot.com.  There, you can find directions to the church gym.  The swap meet is on March 17, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Brighton Assembly of God Church gymnasium, just off Highway 13.  Take the Highway 215 exit east toward Pleasant Hope, 16 miles north of Springfield, and watch for our signs to the church, which is just a stone’s throw from Highway 13.  I am looking forward to seeing many of you there.
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