Memories of Benson: Perry’s Pond

One in a series

By George Potter

 

When we were about the 6th or 7th grade we often went to Perry Trian’s ranch a couple miles from town — me, Bobby Caballero, Conrad Caballero, Joey Cota, all cousins — and others as well. We would mainly fish, but also we built a small raft of wood planks by tying them together, that we’d take turns with in the pond. We caught mostly perch, using baloney as bait, but if we kept real quiet or left our lines in the water for a while, we might get lucky and catch catfish. We always took our sack lunch and made a day of it.

 

This pond had lots of cat tails and reeds so was best for fishing. A hundred yards away was another pond — maybe a tank to water the cattle — that we swam in. A few times we picked out one of the smallest calves, got it in a head lock and mounted it to ride it like a rodeo bronco.

 

The ground was soft when we fell off.

 

There was an artesian well on the ranch that flowed water continuously. that produced the best tasting water and at just the right temperature. Adjacent to it grew wild a type of green vegetable that we ate. In Spanish it’s called berroJ.  In English it’s water cress.

 

Perry was an old codger and would show up once in a while. He was mean. His wife was Bobby and my first grade teacher in Pomerene. She was old and petite and genteel; he was old and rough and gruff.

 

One night we attempted to sleep there out at the pond. We told lorona stories, and I could swear we saw her lurking in the mesquite trees that were faintly lit by the fire we built.

 

Late that night, we’d had enough. We got on our bikes and headed for home without lights-or maybe a hand held flash light. We went weaving all over the pavement, as there was no traffic, but after a mile or so a cop came by and told us to stay to the right side of the road. We ended up at Larry and Emilio’s house. (The lived by themselves at a young age for the summer, or maybe it was just for a few weeks.) We spent the rest of the night there.

 


During the summer all of us would get our fishing poles and go down to the small lake at Comstock addition. We used dough balls and anything else for bait. We’d often catch a large amount of perch and bring them back to Bobby Caballero’s house and flour them up with salt and pepper and have a big fish fry. They were really tasty fish and as fresh as could be.

When I was younger and living in France with my dad he bought me a slick fishing pole with a spinning reel. I was the only kid who had one and I used spinner lures. I had little to no luck until one day I walked to the opposite side of the lake, about 60 yards from where the others were fishing.Isaw a bunch of rings in the water several yards out. I thought a fish had surfaced and caused the rings, so I aimed my cast to the center of the rings and started reeling in my lure. BAM! A large bass struck my lure and I reeled it in, backing up the dirt slope so I would not lose it. I landed it and it was a WHOPPER. I was el rey por un dia — king for a day! We brought it home and took pictures with all my cousins. What a memory! I still have the photo.