Fire ants, blue sandals and a black blouse

Published 12:00 am Saturday, April 29, 2006

Last Thursday, April 20, I received a phone call from Mr. John Wise, Sr., of Hicks, Inc., inviting me to come out to the Luverne Rotary/Lawson Richards Fishing Rodeo at the Crenshaw County Lake.

Well, I was more than happy to go and see all of these sixth graders get to do something that many of them have never had the opportunity to do

before-fish. When I was their age, my grandfather, Hollie Sexton, had a big pond in Searcy, and we went fishing many Sunday afternoons. Of course, we didn't have fancy rods and reels – try a cane pole and fishing line that had been tied together in knots here and there where it had broken due to one mishap or another. Every kid needs the experience of fishing….I find it hard to believe that so many of our young people today don't have these simple yet profound experiences to add to their childhood memories. It's sad. Actually, I say it's simply because of too much time spent in front of the TV or the computer…..but, I digress.


I headed out to the Crenshaw County Lake. You know, that BIG dip in the road in the curve at the lake really does make you feel like you're about to plummet headfirst down a rollercoaster. And my car sits so low to the ground I just knew something really important that my car needed would be left behind after I scraped down that hill.

But, I survived the cavern in the road, and on I proceeded. Now, if you remember, it was about 103 degrees in the shade last Thursday, at least according to my body temperature. You know, the older I get, me and the heat just do not get along, and on this particular day, I'm wearing a black blouse. Anyone with any lick of sense knows that a black blouse on a hot day causes one to be hotter than is necessary. So here I am, retaining heat and fluid but actually having an enjoyable time watching the kids.

I walked around and laughed and talked with the students and took pictures, trying to get some good candid shots.

There are two things you don't want to wear around a lake on a hot day, and we have established one of those – a black blouse. The other would be blue sandals.

Blue sandals on any other given day would be just fine. However, on this particular day, while I'm talking with one of the kids, I happened to look down and see my feet covered in fire ants. I'm standing right in the middle of an ant bed. Well, you'd think having been born and reared in the South, I'd have better sense than to wind up in an ant bed at a lake.

However, things just kept getting better.

I finally got rid of all the ants, finished taking pictures and talking with the kids, said my good-byes to everyone and headed for my car.

That's when it hit me…the smell, that is.

Somewhere around the lake, I had managed to find a nice big surprise left behind by some wandering canine.

By the time I got back to the Journal office, I was rubbing and scraping my blue sandals all in front of Mr. Johnny's hardware store. It didn't do any good.

Mr. Alvin Bland got a kick out of me walking in my bare feet around the office the entire rest of the day while those sandals sat outside.

Ah, the joys of being a newspaper editor.

When I got home that night, Samson, my 21-pound tomcat, took one whiff of my shoes, looked up at me disgustedly and turned around and walked off. How many of you have ever seen the south end of a northbound tomcat? It ain't a pretty sight.

Needless to say, those sandals are history.

Regina Grayson is managing editor of The Luverne Journal. She can be reached at 335-3541 or by email,: