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Welcome to Sweet Tea Tuesday, where we can talk about whatever comes to mind and exchange stories and ideas.  Join in and leave a comment if the feeling strikes you.  So what do we want to talk about on this Sweet Tea Tuesday?  Humm, let’s think about it for a second or two.  While we do, just go ahead and pull up a rocking chair.  Take a load off, and we’ll share a tall glass of refreshing iced tea to cool us down.  ~clinks glasses~ That’s some good advice from a friend. But do we always take good advice? Truth be told, we don’t know good advice from bad, except in retrospect. Advice can come from anyone in any setting, and it is up to us to distill it and act upon it, or not.  Hey, how about that for a discussion topic, “Taking good advice.” 

One of the best pieces of advice I ever received on fishing was from an old man that ran a bait and tackle store on Kentucky Lake. Mr. Armstrong was his name. He never took much interest in me, but I guess I caught him in a good mood on that particular day and he decided to place a gem of fishing wisdom into my 12-year-old mind.

“Red-winged black birds.” He let the words hang in front of me like dangling a steak bone in front of a trained German Shepard to see if he’ll break.

“What?”

He smiled and said it again, emphasizing each word as he said it, “Red..Winged..Black..Birds.” When I shrugged my shoulders, he explained that large bass wait under the nests of red-winged black birds and if a chick falls into the water they have a tasty meal.

I was only twelve, but I wasn’t naive. Now my dad had told me about large bass taking a wayward duckling on occassion.  So it made some sense to me, but I quizzed him about his fishing secret until I was convinced I wasn’t being who-do’ed. I figured I would give it a shot when I went fishing that afternoon with my dad. Man, was I glad I did.  I out fished my dad that spring day, which is one of the few times in my life that I did so. Let me tell you, I was a believer. It seemed that every time I saw a red-winged black bird there was a bass sitting under the bush he was perched on. It was like he was there calling to me as if to say, “Don’t wait too long, or I’ll be gone.”  I’d sail my spinnerbait past the carrion bird as he sat waiting on the scraggly buck bush.  Easing the chrome blade up from the depths to slow roll just under the surface like a torpedo. When it approached the bush, I would give it a slight jerk and the water would explode underneath my bait as the bass hit it as hard as it could, and the fight was on. It was a great day on the lake.

When we went back by the store, Mr. Armstrong asked how things went. My dad told the old man that I had laid it on him. Mr. Armstrong looked at me and grinned. Good advice taken.

I eventually told my dad what the secret was, and to this day if we’re fishing together and a red-winged black bird lands on a bush in front of us, he’ll leave it alone so I can throw to it. If I catch a fish, it just adds to the legend of Mr. Armstrong’s secret.

So, do you have a story of good advice taken, good advice not taken, or bad advice taken? Share it with us here on the front porch or just enjoy the refreshments. We’re friendly, and the sweet tea is cold. ~clinks glasses~ Come back Friday for some Fried Green Tomatoes, where I’ll share a video sure to give you a good horse laugh. Until then, I’ll keep the pitcher full of sweet tea and the stories full of…..

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