Memories of the Hatchie River
d n english
Before the Government took over the Hatchie Bottom there were individuals who owned or rented “river houses” along the river bank. My father and a group of his friends had such a cabin.
The men would go down fish ,hunt and cook. Every once in awhile they would invite their families for a big cook. When I complained to granddaddy that I wanted to go down when my boy cousins got to go but not me.
The answer I would get “it is not a place for a young lady” .
Little did he know my best friend lived on one side of the 76 bridge and the cabin was on the other side.Well he knew she lived there but he did not know her brother had a boat ramp on their side of the Hatchie River. We would know when her brother and father would be out of town but that my cousins would be at the cabin.So I would either ride my horse or my bike the 3 miles to her house. This was also before the interstate was built. We would go down to the river get in the boat and row, ok sneak up to spy on the boys. Now you have to understand this was tricky being quite and watching for snakes. In the late 50’s early 60’s it was scary on the Hatchie. We both would take our fishing poles and her 22 rifle since we both loved to fish and knew how to shoot.
So we would float and actually catch a few Catfish then sneak up on the back of the cabin. We would watch as the boys tried to catch fish off the dock, they caught a few . We thought it was funny cause their Dads would not let them take the boat out without an adult.
Soon we would get bored and go back to my friend’s house. Tie the boat up then take our bucket of fish up to her Mom. It always delighted her Mom and she would always invite me to stay for lunch. She tried to teach us how to “skin” the fish but we never learned. Our job was to take and dispose of the guts. Ukk never did like that either but it was worth it for a Catfish, hush puppy and white bean lunch.
Before sunset I would start for home and make it before dark back to my grandparents. I forgot to add this was the time of the “party line” so I knew my grandparents knew exactly where I was and when I would be home. This was a different and simpler time.
I will write more stories about my adventures on the Hatchie River especially the stories of the sand dunes and the Indian drums..