Friday, January 13, 2017

The Forks

The newspaper publisher called me recently and asked if I'd do a feature for the magazine on "The Forks." I've written about this place in the past. It's not far from where I live in Empire.

He wants a thousand words on why the place is special. This will be an easy one to write because I'm there almost daily. The small town of Sipsey has a community center, but that's not where they gather. They go to the Forks.

There is a crew of retired folks (both men and women) that come there every day. There are picnic tables at the edge of the parking lot but down by the water is where people gather. They bring lawn chairs and cooler. Some bring fishing equipment. A few weeks ago when I stopped by, the old guys were flying kites. I shaded my eyes against the evening sun and looked at the tiny dancing specks tethered to kite-cord. The guys were having a large time.

They talk to every fisherman who launches a boat, giving advice as needed. "Watch for submerged logs down by the bend." Or, "They're hitting shiners, and shad."

James Bramlett, the man who holds the world record for striped bass (70 pounds) stops by every few days to shoot the bull.

I contacted my 80+-year-old friend Leo to set up an interview and I'll get with him as soon as the weather moderates. I can't wait


  1. My kind of place.

  2. What a wonderful place to gather. The picture is beautiful. Should be an interesting story.

  3. I looked up Sipeley in Walker County on Wiki and got an old census. It's good that you can keep some history alive by writing about the folks who live around your place.
    The Forks should be a place of significance since it's a place where folks like to gather and meet.

    Around here we don't always know our neighbors as people move in and out as the old folks dies and the kids have their new homes in the city or suburbs. But on my street I know most of the people.

    Have a great weekend.
    Hugs, Julia

  4. This sounds like a fun story to write with friendly people and a beautiful scene.

  5. Now I want to go there, too! Real folks.

    Thanks for showing us (that) places like this still exist.

  6. Anonymous1:44 PM

    It sounds like some place from the Andy Griffith Show; beautiful!!

  7. I like small towns with places like THE FORKS! Folks from large towns would not understand until they cut it down to their world, then they have THE FORKS!
    Good stuff

  8. Sounds like a nice place and will make a better story then one about the fork we use to eat with, just saying


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