Weekly NewsCast

Water temperature: creek arms, 76 degrees; main channel, 74degrees

Water clarity: gin clear

catch ratings by species:

Black bass, 5; white bass, 3

Crappie, 2: Catfish, 4

 

 

The Strange Life Around the Resort

In the early 1950's my main job was washing boats and helping customers with their tackle and in most cases their outboards. This was when the Theodosia boat dock consisted of a small office dock, a main dock plus a slip dock on either side of the office dock where we stored some of our more than 50 14 foot Loan Star aluminum retail boats. All of the docks combined could only hold about 40 boats so that left nearly 20 which we stored on shore until they were needed and that was every weekend in the Spring and early summer so every Friday starting in mid to late March through early June we would turn the stored boats over and carry them to the water, float them to the dock and tie them in front of the slip docks ready for the rush early Saturday morning.

It seemed to me that it always rained while the boats were tied up in the open and it was my job to bail them out when that happened so I was always looking for empty bleach jugs to use as a dipper because you could cut out the bottom and one side leaving the handle and you had the perfect tool to bail with. I was paid 10 cents per boat to clean them after each rental but it didn't take me long to learn that carrying the customers motors paid a lot more than that in tips and a dollar each trip was not unusual. In those days fishing guides were paid $10 a day an on a good weekend I could make $25 to $30 but I'm talking about outboards weighing 50 to 80 pounds each so it was a real job.

Most of our customers were from St. Louis and would drive ll night to be waiting at the dock well before daylight Saturday morning to rent a boat so our day started before 6am and would end well after dark. Our clientele was a cross section of humanity from corporate heads to carpenters and everything in between including radio and newspaper celebrities. Bull Shoals was the hot new lake and fishing was so good we had no idea it couldn't last forever so all that was required was open the doors and business was there.

One of the strangest things I saw was a customer who drove up in a new pink Pontiac convertible on a cool morning in the Spring with the top down. I helped him with his motor and commented it was a little cool to drive al the way from St. Louis with the top down and he informed me he put it down shortly after buying it and never planned to put it up again. I asked him about the rain and he raised the floor mat to show me where he had drilled holes in the floor for the water to drain out.

Another good customer was a railroad employee who would come 2 to 3 times each year and stay a week each time with his lady friend who was a married lady but not to him. He came after the Spring rush and trotline fishing was his thing but his part was only baiting the trotline then paying some of the young guys who worked at the dock (me included) to run the line each morning. He then went back to the cottage they rented from us to have cocktails and we wouldn't see them again until the next afternoon when they came to the dock to clean the fish taken off the trotline that morning and bait it for the night.

Another customer was a window washer from Chicago who would bring his pop-up camper and stay 2 weeks each summer mostly to get away from Chicago and his job. What we knew him best for was his stories about his window washing job that he hated but was all paid for and couldn't give up and shortly after his arrival he would start drinking and stop only when i twas time to sober up and go home. He was the only window washer on his building and I don't remember how many stories it was but it took him about 6 months to wash all the windows and then start all over again and it was very monotonous except on the top floor where there were condos and in one condo was a young lady who liked to be seen as he would say and with more details but not in this newscast and he said that condo had the cleanest window in the entire building. The best advice I ever got was what I thought was a joke many years ago from a customer who was a doctor and I saw maybe once a year the most recent being about 5 years ago when he told me the same thing and that was keep your bowls open and your mouth shut. 

PS: Don't miss customer appreciation day at Cash Saver Pantry uptown donations for fireworks accepted.