Fishing on the Thornapple River

This is a picture rich with story. My mother asked my aunt Dutch to tell her how much she spent on cigarettes every week. My mother put that much money away for a year. She took that money and bought this great big tent. Behind me. She told me this weekend that they set this tent up underneath the tree. And it was very hard to set up. They tied the top of the tent to tree limbs above to keep it standing..

This is what I remember:

We camped in a farmer’s field next to the thornapple River. No electricity. no water hookup. Primitive camping. It was my mom and dad and my two brothers and my sister and me. My mom cooked everything on a campfire. It was a lot of work.

We had a borrowed boat and we all went fishing in the thornapple River. I remember my brother Mark catching a big fish. It was a lot of fun. The fish in this picture were mostly suckers. We ate them and they were delicious. My mom was a good cook. A very good cook

During one of the nights we were there, there was a very severe thunderstorm. I remember the loud thunder and the wind buffeting the tent. Looking up, I could see the flashes of lightning through the openings in the tent. I also remember the water seeping through the tent floor. Our sleeping bags got soaked. We hung them out to dry the next day.

Mom said this weekend then if she hadn’t tied the tent to the tree limbs above, it would have come down. (I think it’s probably very dangerous to do that during a severe thunderstorm.)

I don’t remember this picture being taken. But I apparently wasn’t too thrilled about holding that line of fish. I also wonder if this was the only picture they took during this camping trip.