I want to relate my first floundering trip which has always been a pleasant
memory. I have been floundering several times since but never enjoyed any
like that first trip. I always liked fishing, but at home we used hooks
and lines and never caught any very large ones near my home. It was perch,
trout, and catfish. Father was raised in Florida near Milton and he always
liked to have fish,
About this time of year in 1897, Mr. and Mrs. Bob Henderson
and children came by Uncle Charlie Deen’s and said they were on their
way to Floridatown to go floundering. It was about 4 p.m. They asked me
if I would like to go with them. I was very pleased to go with them. As
we started Aunt Lou handed me one of her cook aprons and told me to wear
it. It wrapped around me twice. It came in very handy, later, as they forgot
to bring a sack to put the flounders in.
On the way to the beach, Mrs. Henderson said the trip had
not been planned, but was gotten up on the spur of the moment, and she had
made no preparation. She said she had material to fry the flounders, coffee,
and what she had had left of dinner. She said if we had any supper we would
have to get the fish.
They had a daughter, Autie, about grown. As soon as we got
there Mr. Henderson said he was going floundering as far as Kelkerfield.
Autie, several neighbor boys and I went with Mr. Henderson. Flounders were
plentiful in the bay. As the flounders were gigged they were put in my apron.
We returned to the camp about eleven p.m. and I had an apron full of flounders.
I had to be helped out of the water.
Mrs. Henderson and the boys who remained at camp with her
had coffee and what she had brought with her ready. It tasted like a feast
to me, as I was really hungry. After eating, Mr. Henderson said that he
was going to the boat landing (this end of the bridge across the bay [where
the bridge is today--there was no bridge in 1897] ), and the same party
went with him. When we returned, I had another apron full and had to be
helped out of the water. When we reached the camp, Mrs. Henderson had coffee
and all the first fish fried and how we did enjoy that meal.
Then Autie and I went into the pavilion and dropped to a quilt
on the floor. We were dead to the world till after sunup. At that time there
was only one building in Floridatown, called a pavilion. It was 40 or 50
feet long and 20 or 30 feet wide, with a roof and floor and benches on the
sides. It was for dancing at Floridatown when people gathered there for
In those days, women did not wear swimming suits, but we wore
long dresses. Any woman, who ever wore one, knows what fun it is wading
in water, but I enjoyed that trip very much.