Saturday, August 30, 2014

Celebratin' ...

Married September 2nd, 1989; it's definitely been a "Labor" of love!
     Howdy, y’all; in a couple of days ... my wife and I will have officially been married for 25 years.  That’s right, a whole quarter of a century!  Over the years, we’ve purchased plenty of life insurance; matter of fact, the only reason I’m still breathin' & peckin’-out this-here blog is ‘cause she’s not yet opted to cash-in on my policies.  Opposites attract, and we truly are an odd couple.  I really think that we should’ve been considered for the Guinness Book of World Records, bein' that she’s from Arkansas and I’m from Louisiana and we didn’t get married ‘til we was well into our late twenties!  Chuckle-chuckle, y’all; but, seriously … that woman is way outta my league, and has kept me on the straight & narrow (as best as she could) since we first met.  Hell, I was on crutches with a broken femur and hobblin’ ‘round a 52’ Vagabond on a moonlight sail the night that we met.  And yes, the cause of my condition was one of the many, “Hey y’all, watch this!” moments in my life.  As she says, I’m just a work in progress, and she’s stuck with me through thick & thin ‘cause she don’t wanna hafta train another one.  And now that we're soon to be empty-nesters, that means just one thing to me … that I’m about to get my girlfriend back!
     Together we’ve had our ups & downs, raised two wonderful children and we have now reached the time in our lives where we can actually be together a lot more often.  And no, I ain’t talkin’ ‘bout “naked Tuesdays” either.  I’m talkin’ ‘bout hittin’ the road and seein’ as well as doin’ a lot more things together, as in road-trips, campin’, tourin’ and just bein’ out in the great outdoors.  I doubt seriously whether she’s goin’ to be doin’ any serious sloughstalkin’ with me, but I can see some day-hikes through The Big Thicket or campin’ trips to Caddo Lake and kayakin’ together in our immediate future.  That is … as long as I don’t mention the words “Bigfoot”, Caddo Critter, Fouke Monster, Wildman or Wood Ape; ‘cause unless she actually sees one for herself … this cryptoid done married a skeptoid!  I have tried so dang hard to explain to her that, yes … this is just an undiscovered animal; but, I might as well go pound sand ‘til she has sightin’ of her own.  Now, I wouldn’t ever put her in harm’s way just to prove a point, but it’s not likely she’ll ever see such an animal runnin’ ‘round here in town.
     My first goal to her "enlightenment process" will be met the first weekend in October; I'll be takin' her to a North American Wood Ape Conservancy event so she can meet some of the people I’ve been hangin’ with lately.  Not that they can do any better of a job tryin’ to convince her; but, mainly to show her that they are just every-day, normal, professional folks who happen to share a common goal.  These people are doctors, nurses and EMT’s; bankers, lawyers and accountants … as well as teachers, professors and field biologists who seriously dedicate a bunch of personal time & money to eventually once and for all scientifically document this mystery animal.  I feel confident that once she sees that the NAWAC is not comprised of a bunch of armchair researchers lookin’ to gain fame or fortune on some reality TV show ... she’ll finally understand what-all’s at stake, and why we choose to spend so much time in the grime.  This ain’t no good-ole boy's club … it’s a team; and I’d be willin’ to bet that once she experiences that first-hand, she may have more of an open mind to the task at hand.
Is this what they mean by, "through thick and thin ..."?
    I’m pretty-dang sure that she’d fit right in; she’s a worker as well as a seasoned camper, and she definitely ain’t afraid to get her hands dirty.  This woman once wrangled an entire troop of elementary school-aged Girl Scouts during a torrential rain storm on a camp-out one weekend … torrential as in at least a foot and a half of water per day!  Now, I don’t think that this was the trip that she stuck our 4x4 Suburban full of girls & gear in a muddy field.  Good, Lord … a buddy of mine had a wrecker service and was doin’ wheelies in his dually tow-truck tryin’ to get ‘em out!  But I really can’t recall a huntin’ or fishin’ buddy that can maneuver ‘round a camp site as well as my wife.  And a lot of times … she’ll run circles around my hapless ass!  I may be the one who packs-it up, packs-it in and packs-it out; but, as far as settin’ it up, organizin’ everything, runnin’ it and then breakin’-it down goes … I couldn’t ask for a better campin’ partner. Yeah, I truly believe she’s a good fit out there in them woods, and I am truly blessed!
     I’m sure we’ll be celebratin’ even more when we start gettin’ some trail time in, or go on some camp-outs with some friends.  I’m lookin’ forward to the good times and the great memories we’ll share out there in them woods; and who knows what-all we’ll see, hear and experience together.  Just like the last 25-years of our lives, I’m sure that whatever we do together will be an adventure.  I may be her tinkerin’ redneck comic relief, but she’s always been my solid ground no matter how wild things tend to get.  On top of that … that woman can cook!  Seriously; I ain’t fat due to drinkin’ beer alone.  Matter-of-fact, if you don’t go back for seconds at our place … you might just have somethin’ wrong goin’ on with ya.  I’ve been mowin’ down on her cookin’ since we met, and I ain’t had a bad meal yet!  And as some of y’all prob’ly might already know, I don’t tend to miss many meals
     It’ been a really busy summer, and I really can’t wait for bow season … as well as duck season to start.  Fall fishin’ is always great, no matter whether I’m bustin’ bass, tuggin’ trout or wranglin’ reds.  And speakin’ of fishin’ … next time, I’ll be tellin’ y’all ‘bout my trip to norththwest Arkansas!  Y’all remember my buddy from just outside of Conway from my entry called, Karnack?  Well, I’ll be elaboratin’ a few more details about the Lone Star Army Ammunition Plant parkin’ lot incident.  He and his family have lived in southwest Arkansas for quite some time … so after spendin’ a few days with him and some of his posse, I’ll be sharin’.  It seems that the area truly has had a history of mystery biped happenin’s … prior to any drive-in movie hype.  Folks, I’m very woods-wise & slough-savvy, and can usually tell when someone is just funnin’, out-right lyin’ or when they are dead-friggin’ serious.  And as I had promised y’all early-on … I won’t ever be postin’ any bullsh¡t on this-here site.  Period.  The only kind of fabricatin’ I’ll ever post about here is … if I needed somethin’ special made or welded-up from my buddy in Uncertain.  So until next time, y’all be safe and take care out there!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Wonderin' ...

     Howdy, y’all … it’s been awhile since my mini-man madness has kicked-in and I posted a good rant.  I try and stay out of the world of “Bigfootery” and the trappin’s of callin’ folks out.  I'd much rather be known as the Oldsloughstalker and not some Web-trollin' trash-talker, even though I can talk some smack with the best of 'em.  I also believe in Karma … and what comes around, goes around, so I try not to intentionally stir the pot.  But I was just wonderin’ … when in the Hell did “Bigfoot” get tangled-up with UFOs or the paranormal?  Now, don’t y'all go hittin' the Back button; nobody get excited, 'cause I ain't tryin' to get anyone's panties in a knot.  What my quandary is ... is that, here we all are, just tryin’ to figure-out exactly what this mystery animal is (and yes, it’s a flesh & blood animal) and yet ... I keep readin’ these accounts about folks who are seein’ mysterious balls of light, floatin' and glowin' orbs or “Bigfoot” gettin’ beamed-down from a UFO!  And then ... there's the shape-shifters and spirit people.  Really?  Well, I’ll be the first to tell ya, I done me a bunch of dang partyin’ thirty some-odd years ago in my art school days.  But in the sorriest of conditions … I ain’t never seen or imagined that I seen anything like that!  Now, I ain’t sayin’ that someone else didn’t see these things … but it kinda makes me wonder what state of mind they was in when they seen ‘em.
     For example … a good friend of mine Todd and I were doin' some night fishin’ off the South Jetty of Galveston several years back, and we seen a UFO.  That’s right; I said it ... ‘cause, we seen it!  We had launched the afternoon before, and it was now somewhere ‘round 2:30 A.M. … and in that time-frame, we’d both knocked back (quite) a few beers … as in at least a 12-pack each!  But keep in mind ... ‘specially if the game warden is readin’ this … that we was anchored and didn’t plan on goin’ anywheres ‘til we slept it off.  I was lookin’ up at all the stars and appreciatin’ how absolutely beautiful it was out there, when all of the sudden … I seen it!  It was a very bright point of light, movin’ across the sky from the eastern horizon ... arcin' up and across to the west.  This thing was faster than any aircraft I'd ever seen, but not quite as fast as a shootin’ star ...
     I immediately yelled at Todd, “Holy, sh¡t dude … check this out … it’s a friggin’ UFO!  And Todd replied, “You stupid-ass, there ain’t no such …” as he just about face-planted into the gel-cote ... trippin’ as he saw it too.  He  was prob’ly wonderin' what-all else I'd had to drink until he stumbled from the bow and followed my index finger as I pointed.  Even though it was a dead-calm night, we both just swayed in awe at what the Hell we just saw (three steps forward, two steps back, y’all).  After soberin'-up later that afternoon, I had a hunch that it may have been a satellite or possibly even the space station in orbit. I had called KHOU’s (then) Chief Meteorologist Dr. Neil Frank and told him what we had witnessed.  As matter-of-factly as he could, Dr. Neil excitedly explained to me that what we had seen was actually the space shuttle as it had passed.  Cool!  Man ... that dang-thang could really haul-ass!  But the point I'm makin' here is, until Todd & I were enlightened ... to us, it had been a genuine UFO.  At the time, it was unidentified, it was definitely flyin’ and was obviously an object.  This-here is just a prime example of why I don’t like tellin’ somebody else what they did or did not see.

     Now, when my son and I had Our Encounter with a bipedal, unknown animal in the back of Smith’s Slough … we both knew what we saw.  We didn't know what kind of animal it was, but we knew what it wasn't.  And no, I wasn’t drinkin’ … and yes, I had a witness.  We'd been told by several people ... includin' the game warden, that it was plainly a misidentification.  But contrary to popular belief … it’s kinda hard to miss-identify somethin’ with brownish-gray hair walkin’ on two legs through a slough at 6:30-somethin' in the friggin’ mornin’!  So, did most people say we just saw somethin’ and thought it was somethin’ else … yep.  Did family & friends think I was crazy? Yep-yep!  But, did we ever see any glowin’ orbs or balls of light?  Nope.  Flyin’ Saucers?  Nope.  And did this critter shape-shift into somethin’ else or vanish into thin air?  Not no, but Hell no!  It was a real animal ... walkin’ bipedally through the flooded forest and makin’ a wake.  And the only shiftin’ this critter was doin' was to shift its weight from one foot to the other as it walked off into the thicket.  It vanished alright; as in, it gradually disappeared into the thick, flooded forest while walkin’ on two feet ...

     When I started this blog, I promised myself that I would report only the facts as far as my sloughstalkin' goes, and stay out of the world of "Bigfootery".  Even though I try to keep things humorous, I promised myself that  I would keep it real.  I don't ever wanna be an ass-clown and post a picture of a bear's butt and try to pass it off as a wood ape.  So when I read some of these bat-sh¡t crazy stories on that-there internet or make the mistake of orderin’ the wrong friggin’ book on Amazon Prime … it pretty-much well p¡sses me off!  But at the same time, it keeps me wonderin’ … why in the Hell would someone wanna add a twist to somethin’ that’s already a mystery?  In all my years of sloughstalkin’ and bein’ out in them woods, I've seen some bizarre thangs ... but I ain't never come across no shape-shifters or spirit people.  Some campin' hippies trippin' on hallucinogenics, maybe; but, no balls of light ... no floatin' orbs and no flyin' saucers.  Period.

      And speakin' of the paranormal ... I have recently gone through a personal “exorcism” of sorts; I’ve tried to rid myself of any “Bigfoot” related books or documentaries that have any hint of “paranormal activity”.  I may be different, but I ain't crazy.  Yeah, I may wear a camo Waffle House cap, but just 'cause I ain’t never seen any camouflaged tin-foil on the shelves at my local grocer … don't mean that I ever plan on wearin’ any on my friggin’ head!  Yes ... I'm livin' proof that God has a sense of humor.  But besides the Lord, the only "spirit" I’d ever sensed out there in them woods was on one brisk October day while bowhuntin’ in the Sam Houston National Forest.  After I’d harvested the first deer with my traditional take-down recurve bow … I felt that maybe the spirit of Fred Bear was smilin’ down on me that day.
     We do see and hear a buncha strange things out there in them woods; most all of which can easily be identified.  Most nocturnal critters rustlin' in the brush at night are just coons, rootin' hogs or armadillos.  A distant cry is usually just a fox, coyote or barred owl.  And that deep, loud bellowin' roar echoin' through the swamp is usually comin' from a large bull gator.  But somethin' large, brownish-gray & hairy waltzin' through the slough remains a mystery ... for now.  What we'd seen out there in them woods would really blow your mind, especially if you were a seasoned outdoorsman and hadn't ever seen an animal like that before.  Nothin' paranormal about it; that's truly the kind of stuff that keeps me wonderin' ...