Sambo and his brother, Doug, grew up on one hill; my brother, Tom and I on the next hill, a quarter mile apart. Our hills were located a mile outside the city limits, if you could call Goldonna a city. It was more like a village, actually.
There was a post office, a high school and two churches. Jack Easley and Drape Reed and Dyson Gibson had stores in town where you could buy everything from bolts of cloth to mule feed to kegs of 10-penny nails to rolls of hay wire to staple groceries to nickel candy bars. This was the Goldonna that molded and shaped the four of us.
Doug and Sambo are our first cousins. I'm the oldest, Doug a year younger than me, Tom a year younger than Doug, and Sambo a year younger than Tom. Stair steps we were and back in the day, our bare footprints dotted the sandy banks of Molido Creek that trickled cool and dark through the woods behind our homes.
After graduating high school, Tom, Doug and I headed for college while Sambo took a different route; he joined the Marines. Prior to joining the Marines, Sambo became smitten with Judy, a pretty young blond from Winnfield, their relationship fading after he left for basic training. After college and the Marines came marriage, jobs and children; activities that scattered us. Except for funerals or infrequent family reunions, we were running down different tracks and didn't see much of each other for a long time.
One of the funerals I attended was for Sambo's wife, Danni, who passed away after a long and lingering illness.
Funny how fate can take some interesting twists and turns. That little blond from Winnfield eventually married and settled in Ruston and raised a family. After her husband died, she secured employment and I was in her office one day several years ago and mentioned that I had seen someone within the past year she probably remembered – Sambo.
She said to tell him "hi" the next time I saw him. I did, and within a few months, you can probably guess what happened – Sambo and Judy reconnected and rekindled their high school romance and married, settling down in Goldonna.
A few years ago, Doug who continues to live within a couple hundred yards of where he grew up, sent out an inquiry to Tom and me. Would we be interested in meeting back in our old hometown and spend the day fishing in Doug's pond, fry up the fish and catch up on old times? This has become a much anticipated annual event; our fourth Cuz'n's Fish Fest was held a couple of weeks ago.
Sambo has always been the quiet one of our foursome but he enjoys nothing more than to pull a prank or good naturedly kid one of us, especially me.
At this year's get-together, he and Doug had already caught enough bluegills for our fish fry before Tom and I arrived. After adding a few more bream to the pile, I decided to try my hand at catching a bass; the pond has some big ones.
Armed with my bass rod and tying on my favorite bass fishing lure, a wacky worm, I cast to the base of a big cypress, listening to Sambo chuckle and kid me about my fishing with something with a goofy name like "wacky worm".
On the first cast, I hooked something solid; it was a root on the cypress and while I attempted to free the lure, Sambo continued to lob crickets to the hungry bluegills. While I worked with my hung up lure, I heard Sambo casually say, "Check this out". His slender rod was bowed and I assumed he, too, had hung his hook, until I noticed the line moving. His little bream hook was in the jaw of a fish – a big fish.
He carefully brought the fish, a 5 1/2 pound bass, to the bank. Sambo never said a word as he lipped the bass, held it up for a photo, gave me a wink and grin and slipped it back into the pond. I'm guessing I was seeing the same quiet resolve and determination he showed in hooking and landing Judy a few years ago.
Glynn Harris Outdoors is proudly sponsored by DSK, Ltd. of Minden.