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Out On The Mudline

Sadie’s Pond Was A More Fitting Name

By W. P. Sissell

Sissell’s Pond?

  Out on the one-time Sissell Place, where the Mud Line crosses O’tuckolofa Creek, there is a pond back in the edge of the hills not far from the McFarland Cemetery. That

pond would have been built on Spring Hollow, but an underlying strata of sand told the Soil Conservation people that a pond built here would hold little water. The construction had to be located elsewhere. I guess that the name is fitting but I, and my dad, liked to call it something else, “Sadie’s Pond”. That name, my mother’s nickname, we liked to use because “Miss Sadie” loved to fish.

  I guess that my mother came from a fishing family. I never asked her, but I wish that I had. I’ve told you about her brother, who liked to surprise us with a visit. Uncle Nolen, to me, while on one of those visits came to see Nannette and me when we lived on the Dry Bayou Farm at Crowder. One of his first questions was, “William, are there any fish in that bayou?” When I responded negatively he asked if I had any fishing gear that he could borrow. I supplied the gear. He came back in some two hours later with a sting of hand sized bream.

  My Uncle Nolen, a retired painter for the City of New Orleans, owned a house and lot in Waveland, Mississippi on Fink Street. His back yard was in the Bay of St. Louis. He loved that place, along with the street name. During his retirement years he spent most of his time in what he called, “My Little Piece of Mississippi.” I visited him only one time and I regret that for I could have seen him more often. He wanted to teach me how to use a “throw net” and “wade fish” and how Manta Rays were like rabbits—they circle and come up behind you. On the walls of his house there were rows of past calendars with the dates of the running of different fish. On the porch of the house there were several freezers, which he kept full of sea foods. I’m sure that he visited the pond in the edge of the hills on the one time Sissell’s Place.

“Miss Sadie”

  I’ve told you about my mother’s little brother. Now let’s talk a little about the lady that I lived with for the first years of my life. Mother almost always had something to do—work that is. If she knew that she was going to have an hour or so of free time a favorite thing for her was to go down to the creek—Tuckalofa—and wet a hook loaded with nice fat red worms. I think I somewhere found out that the actual name of them is Annelida. We had a favorite place to dig for them in our back yard and digging was my chore a lot of the time. It really didn’t seem to matter whether mother caught fish for she seemed to be at peace with the world just holding that pole. We did sometimes catch a few fish. She caught a trout one time, a fairly large one, but most of the time we caught perch or catfish.

  With the addition of the Cottoner Place to our farm and the use of a large part of it for pasture there was a need for a source of water for many head of cattle (it also would get rid of much of my water pumping chore). Along with this was “Miss Sadie’s” love for fishing. At about this same time a practice of building watering ponds was added to the list of approved practices of the Soil Conservation Service—and Dad was on the SCS County Board. During most of the time that all this was taking place I was on that free trip to Europe, provided for so many of our young men. When I arrived home from the service, Sissell’s Pond had just been completed. I got to drag several big stumps out of the area before

they got covered with water. Shortly thereafter the pond was stocked with Bass and Bream and “Miss Sadie” had a place to fish—all her own—although it was almost a half mile from the house. Dad and I knew where to find her if she was missing from the house. The cows didn’t bother the fish either. Dad and I liked to call it “Sadie’s Pond.”

Our weather was stormy earlier this morning. Now the sun is shining brightly. The wind just goes along with spring. It seems to be early again this year.

Our pear trees will be in full bloom in a few days. Our wish for you is a great week. Thanks for the encouragements. You can reach me most of the time at 23541 Highway 6, Batesville, MS 38606 or (662) 563-9879.

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