As you may recall, I was back home in Nashville last week for my high school reunion. We were all piled into my parents’ house for the long weekend which always produces a certain level of
chaos entertainment. One morning I wandered into the kicthen/living-room area where my mother was scrambling eggs for Little Chick.
I glanced up to see fishing on the television. Mindlessly, I kissed Little Chick good morning and uttered “You catching up on your fly-fishing shows?”
My mother interjected, “Oh, that’s my friend Frank.”
I focused in more closely on the TV show. It was an episode of “On The Rise” with Frank Smethurst. Che? My mom doens’t know who Frank Smethurst is.
“Mother, you know who that is?”
“Yes. I told you, that’s my friend Frank. We used to fish with him in Colorado.”
Pointing at the TV and trying to get her attention, I added, “Well, you know he’s kind of a big deal? He was in one of the films in the Film Tour that we just did in Austin!”
Scooping eggs onto Little Chick’s plate she seemed unimpressed with my Frank newsflash. “Oh well, we used to catch a lot of fish with him ages ago. He’s from Georgia. Used to work at the Fish Hawk in Atlanta.” (Later I googled Frank’s bio and she was absolutely correct.)
Right about then, my dad sauntered into the room. I pointed at the TV and asked if he knew who that was.
“Yeah,” he replied. “Frank Smethurst. We used to fish with him on the Dolores all the time.” He proceeded to pull a picture frame from the bookshelf — a picture I’ve seen no less than 1,000 times mind you, but apparently I never offered it much attention. Because sure enough, there was my mom with Frank Smethurst.
They regaled me with stories about fishing with Frank. Apparently he nicknamed two of the big fish they caught Sam & Dave. My mom caught Sam, and my dad caught Dave. Or was it the other way around? They couldn’t recall. But my mother could tell you in detail about fishing with him on Halloween and the hours of conversation they had about what his costume would be that night.
Then, as if she had it tucked right there in the fridge, she produced a shoe box of photos. She shuffled through and handed me a rubber band around a stack of photos with a sticky note that said “Frank Smithhurst — Colorado.”
Misspelling aside, sure enough there were more pictures of my parents fishing with Frank…
Small world stories never cease to amaze me.