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Interview with David Smith

Smith, David
Smith, Kelly
Date of Interview: 
Overcoming obstacles; Relationships with people and places; Stories and storytellers; Childhood adventures
David Smith talks about a canoeing adventure.
Charlotte Narrative and Conversation Collection
Collection Description: 
Kelly Smith interviews Charlotteans to collect stories for a class project at UNC Charlotte.
Interview Audio: 
DS (David Smith): ( ) And we went down the Uhwarrie River. And it was my brother, my son, my nephew. And we went way back in the backwaters and we were going to do some exploring and we were in canoes and we were just paddling along and each one of us had our own boat. It was real swampy looking the limbs were hanging all over the, the water so you had to kind of duck down and paddle under to go around the rocks and watch out for snakes and wasps nests. Just kind of go. And we'd go along and we'd look we'd see a snake on this limb and just looking at different stuff out in, out in the wild it gets kind of spooky looking. Some big spiders we've seen some, we saw some spiders as big as your hand, they were fishing spiders. They'll jump in the water and they'll get a little fish and eat it.
KS (Kelly Smith): ( ).
DS: Nah, I'm telling the truth. A little tiny, they're fishing spiders. And they get about as big as your hand.
KS: ( ).
DS: Um-hum they'll hang on a rock and then when a little tiny minnow goes by they'll jump down in the water, grab him and drag him up. And so you're paddling along and you're just enjoying everything and everything is pretty but everything's kind of icky so you kind of, it doesn't take much to, to get your heebies up, where your hair comes up on back of your neck where a snake could drop in your boat or something. So we're paddling along and, uh, my nephew ducked under a tree limb real low to go along and, and paddle by. And as we went under a tree limb, he went under it, and when he ducked down, somebody had a trout line which is just where the old country boys go an they tie a string onto a tree limb and have about ten foot of string and tie a hook on it for weight and they usually take a piece of chicken-.
KS: [Laugh]
DS: -[Laugh] And they'll go all through the woods and hang that and let that be hanging down in a water and then the next day they'll come back and-.
KS: They'll hang it from a tree.
DS: -Hang it from a tree limb and let it hang down in the water and then they'll come back in a day or two and, and get their catfish off of their hooks. And uh-.
KS: Catfish still alive?
DS: Yeah catfish usually are fine but usually those, oh yeah, but those old guys are usually about half losers and they leave them down there and catfish will be there for like three weeks or something.
KS: Oh.
DS: So Jarrett ducked down to go under the tree limb, and when he did, there was a, a trout line hanging out of a tree limb and when he came up the string caught him in the face. And when it did, and, the skeleton, it wasn't a skeleton, it was half skeleton, half decomposed catfish about a foot long nothing but nasty and stink-.
KS: [Laugh]
DS: [Laugh] Come up on that string and when he ducked when he looked up that thing was swinging in the air and it slapped over an slaps him in the face. And when it did, the string got caught on his braces so [laugh]-.
KS: That's not ( ) [laugh].
DS: So [laugh], that's the truth, and he was under there and he was grossed out and we were grossed out but we couldn't help him for laughing at him. He was trying to get that dead fish off of his mouth and it was stuck on his teeth and of course, you know, we had to stick our hands in his mouth to get the string off his braces.
KS: That's good.
DS: But I mean how, how odd would that be? Oh, but that was one of our Saturday excursions.
KS: Anybody get a snake in their boat?
DS: No, nobody got a snake in their boat.
KS: ( ).
DS: Uh, [pause] that was another day we had Jack with us [sniff]. And he'd never ridden in a canoe before and he was fishing.
KS: Same back water kind of place?
DS: Same back water, same nasty spooky-looking, snaky-looking water. And, um, we were out in the mouth where the water starts getting big and it was October and it was cold. And, uh, Allen was on the front of the boat, I was on the back of the boat, and Jack wanted to go so Jack was just sitting on the floor in the middle of the canoe. And, uh, we were paddling along and we're all fishing and having a good time and about that time Jack thinks he's got a bite. Well on a canoe you sit facing front to back. You don't go side to side, and before I could catch him Jack had turned sideways in the canoe, reared back like them guys on TV setting a hook on a bass show, flipped that canoe completely upside-down.
KS: Oh.
DS: All of us the-, um [laughing], J-, Jack was so scared, he flipped that boat upside-down and his head never went under the water.
KS: [Laugh]
DS: [Laugh] And it was over his head. Allen and myself, we all went under the water. And, uh, we'd been keeping our tackle boxes closed but jack had his open and all his, you know, we're just sitting there and there's lures floating all around us and, uh, oh it was expensive but it was gross. And, uh, we're out in the middle of the river a-, a-, a-, at the canal and, uh, all up under you, if you let your feet hang down, there's old dead trees down there, so they're like holding your legs like dead people's hands you know.
KS: Eww.
DS: [Laugh] So Allen was grossed out, he wouldn't let his feet flop down. And none of us had our life jackets on, but that was another beautiful day [laugh] at the river. Water was cold, the air was cold. Um, the boat was hard to turn back up but we were able to get it all done. The beaut-, the thing about a trip like that, it gives something to talk about. Do what?
KS: If you were, um, in the water and the boat flipped upside-down and it was over your head would you be able to flip it back up? It just fills water up.
DS: Yep. Yeah you, you, you're pretty much in trouble, um, you can roll it, you can roll it back up and, uh, if you have something to start dipping the water out then it will start floating up out of the water. But, um, then you'd have to get someone else to get on one side of the boat while you grabbed hold of this side and climb up in it.
KS: ( ).
DS: And that's my fishing trip and-.
KS: ( ).
DS: Is that long enough? Okie dokie.