Friday we left at 5:10 p.m. to drive to Camden, Arkansas, to see my father and his wife. We saw five deer
on the last leg, from Hope, Arkansas to Camden. We experienced the new 75 m.p.h. speed limit. After we arrived in Camden, we all stayed up too late, having a nice chat.
Saturday morning I sat on the porch and played with my father's cat, Kitty Kitty. She is very old, but surprisingly playful. I tried to help my father learn to use a digital camera we got him for Father's Day. My father's wife made a fine taco salad for lunch. In the afternoon, my wife went to my father's wife's daughter's house to watch Hitchcock's "The Birds". I went to visit the cemetary, where my mother is buried, as well as an old friend whose funeral I attended a year ago. Then I stopped in an estate auction which was nearly completely wound down. I drove from there to Wal-Mart, where I bought an Arkansas fishing license and a Shakespeare Firebird inexpensive rod and reel. Then I headed to the Ouachita River.
I started fishing at a spot in the sun. I decided to talk a shady trail, though. Soon I found a shady place to fish. I went down a bluff to get to it, only to find another fisherman there. He was a local fellow who
caught drum fish using crayfish (crawfish, he called them--crawdad is the way I learned it) for bait.
He caught two drum while I watched. I was fishing for bream,but got only numerous nibbles. I saw a huge raptor, and wondered if it was an eagle, but the head was wrong for an osprey and the season was wrong for a bald or golden eagle. I also saw an eastern kingbird and lots of killdeer. Then I drove home.
I was struck by the defunct businesses and fading houses in Camden. The economy is much harder hit there than here in north Texas.
I finished the novel "Stoner" this weekend, and found it a fine read. I do wonder, though, at all these 20th Century novel male protagonists who marry insane first wives--Lewis Eliot's Sheila in the CP Snow novels, Sylvia Tietjens in the Parade's End novels, and Edith Stoner in "Stoner". It's far less often portrayed that the male protagonist is emotionally shut-in and irritating, and the wife ordinary, non-demoniac and also non-saintly, and sane. Sometimes I think that Zelda Fitzgerald is treated as a kind of archetype rather than one person, largely distorted by her narrators, in one place and time.
We had a great meal of grilled steaks and baked potatoes Saturday night. The dessert was a watermelon frm Hampton. I try to avoid snobbery of all types, but I am a bit opinionated about watermelons. They must come from "the right place", which is not some over-pesticided inland California or south Texas/northern Mexico valley,but instead a proper river bottoms locale. This watermelon was of "proper lineage", and tasted delicious. We all turned in very early.
Today my wife and I drove back to Allen in the mid-morning. We would have preferred to stay and go to church with my dad, but young Beatrice had to be sprung from the kennel early on Sunday evening. We stopped in Sulphur Springs at a very good buffet called Lakeside Buffet for lunch.
I picked Bea up from Pappy's Pet Lodge at five. She was glad to see me, and seemed to lack only skills in English when it came to her effort to narrate her kennel stay to me as we drove home.