Tadpole's Outdoor Blog

May 22, 2012

Grandson Garrett enjoys catching grass carp on rod and reel


May 21, 2012

Mamaw’s Banana Pudding

Filed under: Family — Freddie Keel @ 6:20 am

I can’t remember when mom started making banana puddings.

I can remember many of their guest requesting her recipe

which she generously provided.

At church bazaars, fire department feeds, community fish fries, and

any time our family got together her banana pudding was a hit.

In this video she enjoys a banana pudding made from her recipe.

Bottom right icon of video give you full screen

and ESC to return.

May 20, 2012








The boarding house on Wettermark street near the campus of Stephen F. Austin State College was the setting for many a juvenile prank during the fall of 1955.  I was a freshman student at the Nacogdoches college living in the large, two-story house with eight other male students at the time.  More time was invested in playing pranks on each other than in studying the expensive courses required for a degree.

Looking back on this year I am amazed that I passed any courses at all as so much time was spent playing dominoes or forty-two than anything else, except perhaps jokes and pranks on the other residents.

One of the residents was a young man from a small town near Tyler.  He was somewhat socially inept, the perfect target for innocent harassment.  One fall afternoon while *Jim was gone someone of our group devised the perfect practical joke which had Jim’s name all over it.  After explaining the details of the prank to the rest of us, we all agreed.  All the tools needed were as many alarm clocks as we could gather together, which was a total of five.

Most alarm clocks in those days were the wind-up kind not needing electricity to work.  We entered Jim’s room and began carrying out our devious plot.  We set each alarm clock to go off at thirty-minute intervals, beginning at two o’clock in the morning.  Then we hid each one in places such as desk drawers, the closet, chest of drawers, and under his bed.  Our plan completed, we all retreated to our own rooms and waited.

Jim returned home just in time for supper at the boarding house, an experience in itself.  Around midnight we all retired for the night awaiting the results of our plan.  At two o’clock I heard the muffled sound of an alarm clock in Jim’s room.  Then the sounds of someone stumbling over furniture in the dark combined with a few choice words.  Our scheme was working.

Things settled down for awhile as he evidently  located the clock and turned it off.  It would not be long before the second one would go off.

At the sound of the second alarm clock more choice words were heard as he searched out the location of this clock.  This time he yelled out,  “Who the hell is doing this to me?”  I heard several voices from other rooms: “It wasn’t me.”   “I didn’t do it.”  “What clocks?”  “Anybody hear any clocks?”

After the third clock chimed Jim finally got up and began an all-out search for the remaining clocks which he located.  Seems I recall a couple of them being hurled at the wall.  “This is not funny.  I have a test tomorrow”, he whined.  The boarding house was extremely quiet the rest of the night.

Poor Jim was a good-natured fellow and accepted our pranks as just a part of college boarding house culture.  However, I recall that the next week several of us had our beds “short-sheeted” by a person or persons unknown. Tit for tat, an eye for an eye, sowing or reaping, giving and receiving – whatever one wants to call it, it was definitely in effect here.

I have often wondered what happened to Jim.  He did not return to the boarding house the next year.  It was suggested that he probably became a clock and watch repair man, considering his background and experience.

* name changed


About the Author

Neal Murphy resides in his birthplace, San Augustine, Texas, with his wife Clara. He has two children, Kay Fatheree, a pastor’s wife now living in Abilene, Texas, and Douglas Murphy, a police officer in North Carolina, and has five grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. Neal earned a bachelor of business administration degree from Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches, Texas, and a master’s degree in insurance from the Insurance Institute of America. He also attended Baylor University in Waco, Texas, where he studied religion courses. He is a deacon at a Baptist Church, has taught Sunday school classes, and directed church choirs for many years. He began his writing in 2005, and many of his short stories about his life growing up in a small Texas town have been published in Reminisce Magazine, Good Old Days Magazine, Looking Back Magazine, and the Town Square Magazine. He had a story included in Memories of Mother, a book published by Xulon Press. Another story was published in the book Dear Old Golden School Days published by the DRG Publishing Group. He published a book, From the Heart of a Country Preacher, by Xulon Press in 2006. His second book entitled Those Were the Days was published by Xlibris Inc. in 2007. In 2008 he published another book, The Psalms—From the Heart of a Country Preacher, by Xlibris Inc. He is a founding member of the Deep East Texas Literary Guild of San Augustine, Texas, founded in 2009. He has weekly stories in the San Augustine Tribune and the Toledo Chronicle, an online newspaper. He has a monthly story in the Shelby County Today online newspaper.

May 19, 2012

Look what the grandsons caught in the live trap!

Filed under: Family — Freddie Keel @ 6:08 am

Lukie should have taken this to school for “show and tell”


And it would have made a great pet for Brett,

but his mom thought otherwise.

May 18, 2012

Our family is growing

Filed under: Family — Freddie Keel @ 6:24 am
Tags: , , , , ,

One of our daughters has a momma goat

that gave birth.

Anyone interested in goat milk and goat cheese?

May 17, 2012

On The Bright Side – Mary Howell – May 16, 2012


The month of May has been designated as Older American’s Month to give honor to those of us who have reached fifty-five years or older.


Senior citizens make up a large majority of our national population.  We outnumber the younger generation.


Although some people think senior citizens just sit in our rocking chairs and twiddle our thumbs,  I’m here to tell you that is not true anymore.  We laugh and cry.  Some still go to work in their 70’s, 80’s and even 90’s. We still go to church and most older folks are more faithful in church than the younger generations are.  We’ re not afraid to speak up.  We speak our mind even though sometimes our brain doesn’t work right.  Some folks can’t remember what happened five minutes ago while others can tell about things that happened to them 70 or 80 years ago.  I recently overheard two gentlemen talking before Sunday morning worship services.  One made a remark,” If I’d known I was going to live this long, I would have taken better care of myself”.  The other fellow smiled and said “I wouldn’t change a thing, I had too much fun getting here”. 


Senior citizens do not take life for granted. They enjoy every day that God gives to them.


My Dad, who lived to be 98, always laughed when he told this little joke.  An older fellow attended a graveside service for a friend.  A young fellow walked up to his elderly friend and asked “How old are you?”  The older fellow in  a shaky voice replied, “I’m ninety-seven”.  His young friend thought a minute and then said “Well I guess there’s not much use in your going back home.”


I like the saying, Lord let me live as long as I am alive.  Every day a senior citizen lives could be a blessing to others and a day on the bright side.


May 16, 2012

May 16, 2012

just one of my golfing buddies

Filed under: Buddies — Freddie Keel @ 6:47 am



May 15, 2012

New East Texas Fish Hatchery

April 18, 2012

New East Texas Fish Hatchery  Holds Open House April 27 and 28

ATHENS—Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) officials have announced that the new John D. Parker East Texas State Fish Hatchery (ETFH) will be open for public viewing on Friday, April 27 and again on Saturday, April 28.

Open house hours on Friday will be from noon until 5 p.m. Saturday hours will be from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m.

The hatchery is named for the honorable John D. Parker, the late TPWD Commission member from Lufkin who was instrumental in securing regional support for the project.

Although construction at the site will continue until July, TPWD has taken possession of a substantial portion of the site and is producing fish at the hatchery this spring.

“The open house is being scheduled now to allow the public to see the hatchery in operation during the peak of its production cycle,” said Todd Engling, hatchery program director for TPWD’s Inland Fisheries Division.

Following the open house, the facility will remain closed to the public until construction is complete.

The ETFH is located in Jasper County below Sam Rayburn Reservoir. Planning for the new facility began in 2000 due to the need to replace the 70-year-old Jasper Fish Hatchery, in operation since 1932. Jasper County won a competitive proposal process by presenting a plan that furnished the best value to TPWD. A significant part of the package was approximately 200 acres of land provided by Jasper County.

Construction started in July 2008 on the hatchery’s 64 production ponds totaling 67 acres, a 34,000-square-foot production building and an 8,000-square foot office facility that houses offices for hatchery staff, fisheries management staff, aquatic habitat enhancement personnel and law enforcement. Maintenance and equipment storage areas are also included.

“This state-of-the-art facility offers expanded production capability and operational flexibility,” Engeling said. “The hatchery is expected to produce four to five million fingerlings of various species—largemouth bass, channel catfish, blue catfish, bluegill sunfish, striped bass and hybrid striped bass—for stocking into Texas’ rivers and lakes.”

Through the purchase of the Texas freshwater fishing stamp, anglers paid for the majority of the $43.3 million project. Additional funding sources include the department’s Game, Fish and Water Safety Account 9, assistance under an agreement with the Texas Department of Transportation, and Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration funds. Many other costs of managing Texas fisheries are paid for with funds from the Sport Fish Restoration Program, which returns proceeds from a federal excise tax on fishing-related purchases to state fish and wildlife agencies through matching funds.

Additional support and assistance with the project was provided by the Lower Neches River Authority, Campbell Group and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Public freshwater resources in Texas include more than 800 impoundments and 190,000 miles of rivers and streams. An estimated 1.8 million anglers a year fish in those waters, contributing an estimated $2.38 billion in total expenditures to the Texas economy.

Texas’ five state fish hatcheries play a vital role in maintaining the quality of Texas fisheries. “More fish in more places in support of fisheries management objectives provide better fishing and more fishing opportunities statewide, with accompanying benefits to the state’s economy and our citizens’ quality of life,” said Gary Saul, TPWD Inland Fisheries Division Director.

Access to the new hatchery is via Jasper County Road 218, which joins Texas Recreational Road 255 just east of the Sam Rayburn Dam about halfway between Texas 63 and US 96 north of Jasper. Physical address is 900 CR 218, Brookeland, TX 75931.


May 14, 2012

Luke celebrating Cinco de Mayo

Filed under: Family — Freddie Keel @ 6:19 am

I’m thinking he was force into this celebration!

May 13, 2012

Mother Knows Best – By: Neal Murphy

Filed under: Neal Murphy — Freddie Keel @ 6:12 am

Mother Knows Best


“Now, Neal, I want you to ride the school bus straight home today.  Your dad wants you to start weeding the garden”.  Those were the words of my mother that spring morning in 1944;  words that eventually were providential.


My mother and father both worked in town.  Sometimes, after school, I would walk the three blocks downtown and just “mess around” until closing time.  I would go into Dad’s office (he was the county clerk) and play with a typewriter.  Then I would go into my mother’s beauty shop and see who was getting their hair fixed and listen to the gossip.


I was in the third grade in San Augustine Grammar School at the time.  On this particular day, a friend, Donald Renfro, asked me to ride with him on his brand-new bicycle downtown after school.  He was persistent, but my mother’s words kept coming back to me, “Ride the school bus straight home today.”  So reluctantly I said,
“Sorry, Donald, I have to go home after school today.”


When school was over for the day, I boarded the school bus and got out at my home.  I was a “latchkey kid” at the time and did not know it. I began the unpleasant task of weeding the garden.  But I was still thinking about Donald’s new bicycle.  It was a really pretty Schwinn, bright red.  It even had a front fender light and a luggage rack.


My parents came home around five-thirty, and I noticed that they were rather quiet.  Finally, my mother said, “come here, son, I need to tell you something.”  I could not imagine what news she had to tell me, but I went over and sat down by her at the dining table. She looked at me and said, “I have some bad news for you.  Your friend, Donald, and a Mitchell boy were killed this afternoon. They were run over by a pulpwood truck near downtown. Donald was giving the Mitchell boy a ride on his bicycle. They were both killed.”  



At nine years of age, I was somewhat confused by all this talk about death.  What did it all mean?  Why did it happen? And then it came to me – I could have been on that bicycle instead of Drew Mitchell!  And then it could have been ME down there in the funeral home, except for the fact that I obeyed my mother’s instructions.  “Take the bus straight home today.”  This is when I began to realize the truth to the saying “God works in mysterious ways His wonders to perform.”  This should be  a warning to all kids – obey your mother. Whether you like it of not, you should do what your mother tells you. Sometimes, it seems that they receive special revelations from God himself.  And I am not one to question thinks like that.


Neal Murphy


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