Outdoors

Cures for the mollygrubs

July 12, 2014 

In my late teens, Eddie Cochran had a smash hit with “There Ain’t No Cure for the Summertime Blues.” Since then others, including The Who, have recorded the song.

If you take enough time to figure out when Cochran made his record, you’ll realize yours truly has had plenty of opportunities to see cures for the summertime blues. Happily, I’m glad to report that there are many of them.

One dandy cureis the annual Quest for the Record Book Sportsman’s Banquet. This year’s banquet, its 10th anniviversary, will be Friday, August 1, at the West End Baptist Church on McConnells Highway. Doors open at 4:30 p.m. Tickets are $20 per person, and they will not be sold at the door. Seating is limited.

Tickets are available at the Nichols Store (803-328-9792), Sportsman’s Inc. (803-366-3466), Double B Graphix (803-980-3312, Hager Cycle World (803-324-8800), Southern Draw Archery (803-328-1414), The Outdoor Shop (803-684-7405), Jamie K Outdoors (803-872-7020), and Aim Right Gun Shop (803548-7999).

For $20 you get a barbecue dinner, the opportunity to browse the wares offered by a number of vendors, and an array of door prizes including a grand prize valued at $7,000.

Best of all, there is the solid camaraderie in a Christian setting and the fellowship which makes the world of the outdoors truly wonderful.

David Hale of Knight & Hale Game Calls is this year’s speaker.

I’veDavid hunted with him and his partner, Harold Knight, shared tales with them, appeared on the television show they filmed for many years – amazingly, I shot at a turkey, missed, and it gobbled and kept coming, the second shot sealed the deal – and long admired the man.

Hale is straightforward, down to earth, and precisely the sort of guy who conveys an ideal image of what makes a true sportsman.

, There are other ways to cure the mollygrubs – that’s the word folks in the Appalachian high country use for the blues.

Take a kid fishing. You’ll have fun and might, just might, send a youngster down a road they can travel for their entire life. Or go fishing by yourself on a farm pond at dawn or late in the day. While casting, or waiting for a bobber to bounce, listen to frogs, to birds, or merely think good thoughts.

If the weather is too miserable to be outside, enjoy the outdoors through the pages of a good book.

I recommend everyone read Robert Ruark’s “The Old Man and the Boy.” You’ll laugh, you’ll shed a tear or two, and if you aren’t entertained then, all I can recommend is psychological counseling. If you are an outdoorsman, and don’t enjoy Ruark, your thoughts are simply out of plumb.

Along with Ruark, a native of neighboring North Carolina, I would recommend two South Carolina writers, Archibald Rutledge and Havilah Babcock. Rutledge, who was our state’s first poet laureate, wrote some two dozen books on hunting and nature including Hunting and Home in the Southern Heartland: The Best of Archibald Rutledge.”

When it comes to quail hunting, bird dogs, or fishing for bream and bass, Babcock is a a teller of tales without peer. An English professor at the University of South Carolina, he wrote on the outdoors to combat insomnia. When you dig into his stories – all of them collections found in books with wonderful titles such as “I Don’t Want to Shoot an Elephant,” “Jaybirds Go to Hell on Friday,” and “My Health Is Better in November” – you will be marvelously entertained. He was a masterful wordsmith.

If you get to the Quest for the Record Book event, keep in mind that the opening day of dove season is only a month away. That thought, some good reading, perhaps a bit of fishing, and dreams of the coming rites of autumn, will dispel the blues in fine fashion.

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