Texas treasure

“Things are fixin' to get real good…”

Dateline: Dining Room Table Story

You may not know this about me,

but I was raised to be a cowboy.


My baby room, back when I was a baby in my 571 Montrose Avenue house, my first room ever, had this wood burned sign on the door,

Donnies Corral.

It did.

I, of course, didn’t read it or realize it right away since I hadn’t been formally introduced to readin’ being only recently formally introduced to livin’ as a newborn in the corral.

My corral.

Now, to be honest, back then when I was new to all of this, there probably wasn’t a real corral with blocks of 571 Montrose Avenue, maybe several thousand blocks, and I can tell you from my last trip by the old house, them corrals ain’t getting any closer.

But back then, with me saddled in the full body cast thing, the west, with horses and corrals, was REAL close to me…just a few inches below my nose actually…because when my parents laid me down on the floor in the cast, down on the floor was where I stayed, down there it was just me and,

Hop-A-Long Cassidy.

“…in them honky tonks…”

It was down there, a couple of noses above floor level, that I learned that there was a world outside of Donnies Corral.

The Hop-A-Long Cassidy Linoleum on my corral floor showed me that.

PAUSE HERE:  It has been brought to my attention by my wife Barb that most people who will read this may have no idea, #1 who Hop-A-Long Cassidy is, #2 who or what Linoleum is, and while I find that extremely hard to believe, if you happen to be that one person on the planet, take a moment and google those two things and catch up to me here…I’ll wait.


Fast forward a few years, I’m still in Donnie’s Corral, but now I’m standing in it and on Hop-A-Long’s Linoleum…I’m in there with a cowboy hat on and a quick draw metal cap-gun six-shooter…I’ve pretty much quicked drawed and capped out the Hop-A-Long lampshade and was looking for other targets, quick before Mom came in from gardening, when I spot this new poster on my wall.

Dudes…now I can read…so I do.

Turns out it wasn’t a poster at all…but a TREASURE MAP…a Wild Bill Hickok (cereal box give-a-way) honest to goodness how to find the end of the rainbow thing.

Basically, in my new to reading brain, it said exactly this,

…Dig Here.

“…you know I'm understood…”

“So, Donnie, what do you want to do when you grow up?”

“Find treasure.”

“Me too.”

Pretty much got that same answer from every one who asked me to look far into the future when I only had a very little of my past done yet.

So I thought since every one wanted to do what I wanted to do, I thought wanting to find treasure…and be a cowboy…was a pretty normal, attainable grown up thing to do.

I misjudged that some.

Seems the more grown up I growed into, the less talk of treasure finding I heard…by 12 none of my buddies seemed interested in going on to college to be a cowboy…by 16 whenever I said I wanted to find treasure for a living I heard this, “…dude you got anymore of that stuff you’re smokin’.”

All growed up now, actually over-growed at 60, I have pretty much given up the dream of cowboying,

but treasure hunting and finding,


Last week for my 39th wedding anniversary, my wife, after listening to me for 39 years wishing for it, went out and bought me a treasure finding thing…a Metal Detector.

Barb told me, “Amazon doesn’t sell horses or corrals.”

Yep, knows me to well.

So far, in my treasure hunting, I have found a dime, nickel, a bell from one of the dog’s toys, and a paperclip.

All that in the living room, couldn’t wait to get outside with it.

And then two things happened.

My knee feel apart and I wouldn’t be able to make the two Elite events in Texas,


I been treasure finding for years now.

“…I been to the school of…”

As you read this, from points all over America, 100 treasure hunters are heading to the Sabine River in Texas.

The Bassmaster Elites.

The treasure…Bass…4 big bags full.

I came to this sport, not knowing a thing about it, but quickly came to love it, not for the fishing part, not for the catching part,

for the searching part.

I know these anglers NOT by what they do, but by WHO they are.

My roommate, Paul Elias, called me to say, “db as soon as I get done weighing those large sacks at Falcon (the 2nd lake stop for the Elites in Texas) I’ll call you man.”

Paul won an event on Falcon Lake a few years back with a record 4 day treasure sack of Bass weighing in at 132 pounds and 8 shots.

I could hear in his voice the excitement of going back, the same joyful voice of a child of finds his first treasure map on his corral’s wall.

I know from talking with Elite Angler, Dennis Tiejie (TJ) at the Bassmaster Classic that he is very, very excited the season is beginning basically in his back yard.

And every time I talk to fellow New Englander and Elite Angler, Byron Haseotes, he tells me, basically shouts it with excitement, how happy he is back on the tour and chasing treasure lake to lake throughout America.

And then there was this.

“…hard knocks and hardwood and…”

Last night, I’m half asleep, a combination of tired, depression and pain medication.

Trust me, you have know idea how depressed I am for not being with the Elites as they shove off in Sabine this coming Thursday.  If I could gnaw off my leg above the bum knee and crawl there I would.

Barb isn’t letting me out of her sight.

Night time is the worst, I’m going to be honest with you, since it became a reality that I wouldn’t be making it to the event, some tears have hit the pillow.

If you are not all bought into this sport, the brotherhood of it, the family hood of it, if you are not sniffling at night for not being at it, you ain’t a treasure hunter.

So I’m just laying there, when my cell phone rings, and since I’m hoping to fall asleep I don’t have my cheap reading glasses on so I can’t really see whose face it is that’s ringing and looking at me.


“db..it’s me Kevin…just calling to cheer you up.”

And that my friends, is when I knew…treasure…found.

“…things are fixin' to get real good…”

KVD, is driving to Texas, and the Sabine River, and while on the road he calls to cheer me up.

“You certainly have taken not eating Crawfish to a new level.”

Kevin knows that, “I don’t eat bugs.”  To all of you who do, don’t take offense to that since I suppose you wouldn’t be to keen on drinking the bacon margaritas I make.

We talk about getting back on the road, about the dart’s competition we have coming up, and then he says, “db, you have 100 guys out here who have your back, if I think of a story, and it doesn’t have to be about me, I’ll call you…and all the other guys will call you as well…”

And I’m just listening, couldn’t answer him if I had to, words stuck behind the choked-up in my throat.

This morning I txt’ed him back a short note that basically said, Thank You, for calling the cheer me up,

this is what came back,

“We all need a little help from our friends from time to time.”

Turns out, it won’t be Wild Bill’s Cereal Treasure Map on the wall,

or my new metal detector,

that will show me where treasure lies.

Treasure my friends, is found in our hearts.

Treasure, is all around us, in family and friends.

No maps needed,

no metal detectors needed,

just heart.

But I still want to be a cowboy.


“…I made a lot of good friends they came from all around.”

Things Are Fixin’ To Get Real Good

Deryl Dodd

PS:  The next Dining Room Table story, this one from the Sabine River, about a real working stiff who went from painting cars, to running a music business and record label, to hoisting the Bassmaster Classic Trophy over his head…

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