This '53 Packard was new when I got snake bit.
My dad was assigned a pastorate in Valdese, NC, a small mountain town in the South Mountains. The church was full of working folk, mountain farmers and mill workers. I remember the Garland Page family. Both parents worked. There was Jim & Bub, about my age and a sweet younger girl.
They also farmed the side of a big hill. A barn was built into the side of the hill and they had a Pinto Pony called Frank. Frank could pull a plow and was also the boy’s riding pony. I loved the place and that family.
Many evenings Garland would take his guitar to the porch. He would pick and sing. He had such a soft sweet voice. Sons Bub and Jim could harmonize and sounded like the Everly Brothers. Before bed time I would jump on my bike and head home.
I rode Frank (after he threw me off once) and we had many adventures climbing the mountains, including High Peak.
They also taught me to gig frogs. One day I spotted a nice cottonmouth about 3’ long and pretty fat. I was going to show off.
(While seining for perch the year before, I saw BIL Dick grab a moccasin by the tail and ‘pop’ his head off like a whip.)
So I decided to show Bub and Jim a trick. I stuck the gig over the snakes head and called out, watch this! I had the tail in my hand and the gig holding its head. I pulled the gig, and like a coiled spring the rascal bit me. I guess I thought he was going to lay there and let me use him like a whip. I threw it down and stomped it to death.
Then took my pocket Knife, cut x’s in the teeth bites like I had been taught, sucked blood and spit it out. Evidently the cottonmouth had not bit deep, I don’t think any poison got in me. We went on gigging, but I never tried that again. I was still cool, being bit by a cotton mouth and lived. LOL