“I’m a trapper, a scrapper, & a wild bull crapper!”


Gerald. Those who know him need to read no further.  Because they know that “Gerald” sums it all up in one lone word. I can say his name to anyone who knows him and I forever get the same response:  A silly grin or a chuckle.  You see, he is my dad. And no one, absolutely NO ONE is like him on this earth. To say he is not afraid to be himself is a huge understatement.

He just left my house. And 20 minutes down the road he called me saying that he seen about 20 pairs of shoes slung up over a tree branch. Obviously some kids were having some fun. “Come on over and look at em!”  He then said  “Drive on over yonder and you can come away with shoes for the entire family!” I think I will pass just this once.

To say that my dad is a “character” really does zero justice in describing him. In fact, the word really does not exist so I will let you just imagine based on a few tidbits of info:

One time Gerald came to my house after I had just gotten married.  We had just had a huge ice storm and he was going to do some business of cutting trees in our community. 3 months later he was still there. We finally just left him and went out of town for Christmas. When we got home there was a array of pork-chop bones scattered here and there and I finally told him maybe it was time he went back home……..

I grew up in a 2 story log-home that my dad built. It was pretty rustic to say the least. The cabinet doors were fashioned from old barn doors and today they would have been the envy of interior decorators from across the globe. Gerald is a mountain man, an avid hunter/fisherman and trapper. As in furs. He would skin the animal and then bring the hide into our living room and stretch it on a board to dry out. Then after that process he would take all of his furs and sell them at a fur trade show. I remember smelling those hides and I remember my mother STRONGLY disagreeing that the process was taking place in the house.

Along one of our walls was a display of his turkey “trophies.” There were feathers fanned out and turkey beards hanging. Apparently the longer the turkey beard, the more bragging rights you had. And so, he had a horse tail hanging amongst the beards that was far longer than the rest. You could not tell the difference between them and no one was none the wiser.

One year he ordered some kind of a basket out of a trappers magazine. I really do not know what it was made for but I remember it was expensive back then . When he received it in the mail he was very proud of his new toy and in pen he wrote on it… “I’m a trapper, a scrapper, and a wild bull crapper!”  I got the “trapper” part but the rest was left to the imagination…….

Imagine if you will the wild game that came into our home. Raccoons, rabbits, squirrels, fish, muskrats, opossums, etc. Let’s just say if it had four legs (and sometimes less) we most likely ate it. There was never any waste of food in our home and a lot of what we ate came straight from the woods.  One fall day a wonderful aroma sent me to see what was cooking on the stove. There was a large dutch oven full of pinto beans and a nice meaty “ham-hock.” I love a good pot of beans with some wonderful smokey hocks to flavor it up and so I decided to sample some of the “meat.” When I lifted a piece of it out, I noticed it looked a little strange but figured no two hocks are alike. I bit into it and immediately GAGGED. It was chewy and exactly the consistency of rubber. It also had a “twang” to it that I cannot describe. Upon closer examination I noticed a “grid” like pattern. I had just sampled a beaver tail.

When Gerald calls me and he gets my voice mail on my cell phone I think he believes he is talking into an answering machine. Every single time he says…. “RACHEL??? Rachel…. RACHEL???? Rachel…………… this is yo’ daddy, the one that borned you…. Pick up that phone…. RACHEL??? Rachel……………….

Oh how I could go on… and on….and on…………………story after endless story……..

If you have never heard anyone pick a banjo you should call him. He will play for you over the phone for as long as you will listen.  He will also sing. And he can flat out carry a tune. He is in his mid to late 60’s and he can still walk straight up a mountain and beat anyone in their prime. He can look at an entire tract of timber and tell you how many board feet there is in one glance.

He is a veteran. He is very intelligent. He is even more quirky. He is “Gerald”… and he is my dad.

 

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Categories: family, food, funny, people

Author:onemom4rugrats

I am Rachel. I have a skewed sense of reality and I like to live through my imagination. Unfortuntely, that has taken me down some rocky roads and I am here to share some snippets of what happens when a girl has a mind of her own.

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6 Comments on ““I’m a trapper, a scrapper, & a wild bull crapper!””

  1. March 28, 2011 at 3:58 pm #

    I love this! I’m a little teary. I feel bad for girls who aren’t close to their fathers. There’s nothing like the love between a daughter and her daddy.

  2. March 28, 2011 at 4:24 pm #

    I don’t know what to say! Amazing painting with words Rachel. Given the pork bone incident, I’m surprised you are still married! Ceertainly a character! A very lovable character by the sound of it. Apart from perhaps the beaver tail…..

  3. lifewith4cats
    March 28, 2011 at 7:28 pm #

    I read in an indian book about how they used the brain of an animal to tan its own hide. Since I used to skin and cook a lot of rabbits, I tried the method out. And so learned that the smell of boiling brains is the most horrible smell on earth. I did it in my kitchen which was a mistake. I am sure you know what I mean. Funny about the horse tail. Your dad is great.

    • March 28, 2011 at 10:39 pm #

      What the heck? I’m gonna have to research this one!!

  4. March 29, 2011 at 12:03 am #

    story goes: the brain of said animal is exactly the right amount of stuf you need to tan that hide. Boil, then smear. I cant say it works cause the stench made me quit after smearing. But the book I got it from was from a “backyard tanner” and they used the method on dear

    • March 29, 2011 at 11:13 am #

      That is amazing and downright disgusting. No wonder you stopped!

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