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Wooden boats and iron men


Crippled Caddis

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From Charles Watermans' article: 'Ozarks and Time Passing'.

'The two men didn't talk very much and every day they built another johnboat and painted it dark red like an Ozark barn. When the paint had dried they put a chain on the bow of each and slid it into the James River at Galena, Missouri. The planks soon swelled tight and the boat was ready to run the river and come back on a flatcar.'

So begins his memories of the Ozark floatfishing scene in the days between WW1 & WW2. It is an historical perspective and overview of the place and time through the eyes of one who was there and revelled in it in the heyday of both the floatfishing industry and a young boy whose over-riding passion was the pursuit of the Smallmouth of the Ozarks streams.

I found it in an anthology (The Armchair Angler by Galahad Books) sent to me by a daily e-mail correspondant and friend in Pennsylvania, a short, passionate 3rd generation Italian with good taste in reading, a great heart and an overriding desire to forsake his native environs and join us in God's country as soon as he qualifies for retirement in a few more long years. I suspect, like almost everything else the article might be found on the internet with a diligent search.

If, like myself, you have an interest in that era and the wooden boats and iron men who paddled for the 'sports' floatfishing pleasure it is a wnderful peek into the past and a great, however short, read.

"You need only reflect that one of the best ways to get yourself a reputation as a dangerous citizen these days is to go about repeating the very phrases which our founding fathers used in their struggle for independence." ---Charles Austin Beard

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Thats one of my favorite short stories by Waterman...if youd like to know more about that era in the Ozarks, I'd recommend a copy of Larry Dabblemont's book "Rivers to Run" its got a couple good chapters on Barnes & Owen. Plans for a couple wooden boats, etc. Cheers.

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Thats one of my favorite short stories by Waterman...if youd like to know more about that era in the Ozarks, I'd recommend a copy of Larry Dabblemont's book "Rivers to Run" its got a couple good chapters on Barnes & Owen. Plans for a couple wooden boats, etc. Cheers.

Such was my intention, but an e-mail I sent to him with some questions was finally answered after a few weeks with only "Buy my book". Had he read the letter and replied to the questions asked I had every intention of buying his book but since he was too busy to be courteous I have been too busy to send $. ;)

"You need only reflect that one of the best ways to get yourself a reputation as a dangerous citizen these days is to go about repeating the very phrases which our founding fathers used in their struggle for independence." ---Charles Austin Beard

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Thats OK...I got mine of Alibris for approx $10 including shipping. Another good one is "Stars Upstream" by University of Missouri Press. Not much about wooden boats, but its has some great stories about the Current and Jack's Fork.

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Thats OK...I got mine of Alibris for approx $10 including shipping.>

'Alibris' I'm not familiar with----got a URL???

"You need only reflect that one of the best ways to get yourself a reputation as a dangerous citizen these days is to go about repeating the very phrases which our founding fathers used in their struggle for independence." ---Charles Austin Beard

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