Making 'some good money' is usually good fun, too

By W.C. Abbott, Jr.
Journal Correspondent

Mr. Will Ferris, a pioneer of Union Parish, Louisiana, once told me about making "some pretty good money" trapping raccoons and mink along Corney Bayou when he was a young man and raccoon coats were popular. At the time I didn't know what "some pretty good money " was but I wondered about it.

When our family was growing and money was tight, Dad saw a chance to make a little extra by catching buffalo fish to sell. Dad learned how to make nets and he caught lots of fish during spawning season when the "run" was on.

The buyers came every day and paid the going price, about a penny a pound, for live fish. Dad kept accurate record of the receipts and expenses of the fish business, and I wondered why he was so careful to put the money from the sale of his fish in the old safe in the dining room.

Then I thought about Lynwood Abbott, my brother Bill's oldest son, who always had extra income. He lives near Amite River and over the years he has set catfish lines in the river when the water was rising and he knew they would bite. The fish he caught and sold brought in "some pretty good money."

One time when he worked in Donaldsonville and had to cross the river on a ferry boat, he got several shrimp traps and left early enough to set the traps in the river before going on to work. Then when he returned home he checked his traps, and the shrimp he caught and later sold brought in "some pretty good money."

Lynwood knew where large snapping turtles could be caught and he know they were worth a high price, so on occasion he caught these scarce denizens of the swamp and their sale brought in "some pretty good money," according to what he told me. Lynwood had a regular job and a good salary, but he considered the pay something that was owed to him for his work and expertise. The other money was extra and he was rightly proud of the chance to get it. The amount was not important. The "extra" was what made it "some pretty good money." I now know why it was important to Dad. It was because it was pretty good money.