Sepia Saturday challenges bloggers to share family history through old photographs.
This week the Sepia Saturday prompt is a photo of a market that is rich with inspiration: boys holding watermelons, baskets of fresh fruits and vegetables, signs advertising the catch of the day, signs promising “Honest weights, Square dealings.”
So many ways to interpret this week’s theme! But the drawing of the fish caught my eye – probably because I remembered this picture.
I have no clue who these men were except for the 2nd man from the left. That’s my maternal grandfather Orvin Davis as a young man in Shenandoah, Virginia. Judging by the first man’s waders, I imagine they had gone fishing along Naked Creek just a mile and a half from town. It looks like they had only one pole between’em, but they caught a nice string of fish, likely smallmouth bass, catfish, or trout.
My grandfather was not really a fisherman, or at least when I knew him. But he did enjoy crabbing. My grandparents often took me along to a ramshackle bait shop on Military Highway in Chesapeake where they rented a little rickety boat. Some string, some chicken necks, a net and a basket were all we needed for cheap fun in St. Julian’s Creek.
After we caught a bushel, we’d go home and Grandma would rinse them off with a garden hose. Sometimes crabs got loose sending me squealing all over the yard, but a crab was no match for my grandmother. She knew where to grab them.
Then she would steam those beautiful blue crabs in a pot. She’d cover the kitchen table with newspaper and everyone would gather around to crack and pick crabs all evening. The only “side dish” was crackers and mustard.
Looking at this photo makes me wonder what yummy side dishes the guys had with their fish that night.