As many of you know Bo Snagley
and I have been friends since the summer of 1989. Having been room mates in college we experienced many wild and adventurous times. None were more wild or adventurous than the Saturday afternoon we shared during the bleak early days of my separation and divorce. So here at last I share with you the “alligator story”.
From the time I married and left college in 1991 till I finally returned to the Birmingham area in late 2002 Bo and I saw very little of each other. We certainly kept in touch, talking on the phone once every other month or so. I came back in 1995 to be one of the groomsmen in Bo’s wedding to the lovely Jo and took him out for a two man bachelor party the night before. His wedding is a post in itself and maybe he will write about it sometime. Let’s just say for now that I could have passed out while standing there on stage as a member of the wedding party, and might have fallen into one of those giant potted fern things. Anyway…
When I moved my family back to Alabama from Oklahoma in November 2002 Bo and I were again living within 30 miles of each other. You may remember that it was Bo and Jo Snagley that FA and I had our last dinner with as a couple on Valentine’s Day evening of ’03. She left me days later, but that has all ready been covered in another post.
When I suddenly became aware that I was soon to be a divorced man I turned to Bo for a shoulder to lean on. He came through, as he always did, giving me the support and advice that you so often can see when he comments here on my blog. (yeah right) Seriously though, Bo wasn’t always the heartless-wine-guzzling-chicken farmer he is now. Fortunately he channeled his little used compassionate side and came to my rescue in those dark early days when I needed him most. His solution to my troubles? To take me fishing…
It was arranged that I would meet him early one Saturday morning at his home on the north side. I got there and greeted Jo and all the little Snagletts and he and I loaded into my Taurus and headed towards water. Bo directed my driving, as I knew not where we were going, and soon we found ourselves on some back woods dirt road at a little mom and pop store. Once there he informed me that I would need a fresh water fishing license and I shelled out seven or eight dollars of my dwindling cash fund for a little slip of paper. Actually I think I used my AMEX, but still money was tight. With license, bait and a couple cokes in hand we got back on the dirt road and drove for what seemed like forever.
Eventually he had me turn off the road onto an even more desolate dirt path choked with over hanging trees, dense vegetation and scrub brush. I turned to him and questioned,
“Do you actually know where it is we’re going?”
“Yep, just trust me….its just a piece more up this road. See that bend yonder? It’s right around there.”
I sighed and shook my head and silently hoped he wouldn’t forget again that the window was up when he felt the need to spit out the juice from the tobacco he was chewing.
Within minutes we arrived at our destination and Snagley pronounced our arrival. “Here we are!” He then promptly farted and exited the car.
“Ain’t this the prettiest place you ever saw?” He asked, sniffing the air and farting once again.
I gazed out over the pond and couldn’t help but notice the forlorn and despicable condition of the surroundings. The pond looked to be stagnant in some places. Over on one side there were piles of trash, an old couch, a filthy mattress and what looked to be the ancient makings of a home made still. On further examination we found the bones of several small animals (or maybe midgets), countless empty Milwaukee Best beer cans and a few used and discarded condoms.
“At least the rednecks practice safe sex.” I commented with a laugh as I pointed to the litter of prophylactics.
“Heck, thems most likely left over from some “fam’ly fun.” Bo said with a wink, grin and eventual fart.
“Family fun?” I asked.
He sniffed again and spit a massive stream of tobacco juice then said,
“Yeah, often times when cousins or brothers and sisters go at it they’ll use ‘em a rubber. You ever seen any of them younguns what come from that kind of matting? They can pop out mighty scary looking.”
I suddenly remembered where I was and shuddered. I took a sideways glance at Snagley and couldn’t help but think maybe that was the reason for his large patch of missing hair, lazy eye and difficulty concentrating in college.
Snagley set off walking past the trash, his rod and bait in hand, and pointed to a clear spot on the bank on the far side of the pond.
“The best fishin’ is done over there from that clearing. Follow me and watch your step.”
I fell in step behind him throwing my borrowed rod over my shoulder. My worries and concerns about my divorce were temporally forgotten when I thought I noticed something, from the corner of my eye, staring back at us from the water. I turned and looked but it was gone. In the spot I thought I had seen something there were only a few bubbles rising and breaking on the surface of the grimy pond water. Even that was soon forgotten when I suddenly tripped over a dead log and fell, catching myself with my hands, into a pool of rancid sludge.
To be continued…