On Sunday, September 10th, the Cataract Sportsmen’s Club held their 71st Annual Cataract Field Days. As people pulled into the gravel driveway, at 5984 Cannon Road, they were given an immediate reminder of the country feel that Cataract provides, as they chose where to park on the grassy field. This set the Western boarder, for the long-running country celebration.
Smoke from the Chicken Q rolled southward, setting the righthand marker for the event. Bouncy houses, a trout pond and a sawdust pile set the lefthand boundary. Shotguns echoed their attention-demanding blasts throughout the forested terrain, with orange circular discs enjoying a brief flight, before being shot down by expert shootists. This drew the line of the Eastern end of the event.
Jack of the Stone Trade
There were many goings-on in-between the boundaries. Jack Larson had set up his collection of rocks, which were all part of his Buy, Sell and Trade business. In the afternoon, Larson held a flint-field fire-starting class, which was well attended by eager and curious folks. Larson also demonstrated the shaping of basic arrowheads in the afternoon, where kids were given the opportunity to shape their very own primitive survival tips.
On display, in a glass-covered wooden-framed box, Larson had the arrowhead artifacts, allowing the attendees and passersby to learn about and view the historical pieces, firsthand. Larson also sold quite a few of the eclectic stones and rocks that he had brought along.
Larson knew that the kids would be running around, trying to burn off their youthful energies by lunch time, and that he would see the majority of interested attendees in the afternoon. “The kids come here [Field Days] and hit the bouncy houses, fishing, and do a lot of running around,” Larson told the Herald. “When they start getting tired, that’s where I kick in, as the entertainment in the afternoon.”
Slippery and Elusive Trout
The trout pond was a massive hit, with there rarely being an open rod and reel available for use. The children stood around the square pond, where the water and their chances of pulling in a trout were both murky. Conversations amongst the angler hopeful spanned everything from baseball to school and fishing pro-tips to pizza.
At one end of the trout pond, Taylor Noland, of Little Falls, could be seen helping her younger brother, Tenesse, bait his hook. Tenesse was sporting a face tattoo of a green dinosaur eating his left eye. While the Herald was interviewing Taylor and Tenesse, another angler had hooked into a large trout, in the belly. It was clearly stated on the rule placard that this was not the proper technique to be utilized at the fish-in-the-barrel event. When pressed by the Herald on what his favorite part about fishing was, Tenesse simply stated, “Catching them.” He further added that they can be super slippery.
With an overcast sky setting a calm ambience to Field Days, the family-friendly event brought a lot of joy in a centralized area. Horse carriage rides saw many smiling people being clip-clopped through the countryside; parents sat with their children in sawdust or enjoyed seeing their kid’s energy levels being subdued by bouncy houses and playground apparatuses; young anglers were set to go down in legend and lore, amongst their peers, if they could simply pull in a massive trout; and folks caught up with each other over beer, brats and chicken dinners.
I grew up in Cataract, and Field Days holds a very special space in my soul’s recollection. I entered the blueberry pie eating contest, at age 12. I plunged my face into that pie and blueberries went straight up my nose. It was embarrassing, but a hilarious memory. I used to set trap in my teens, having once been hit by the strong metal arm of the clay pigeon machine. I still have the scar on my forehead. I also played baseball on the field there and partook in trying to cut-a-string with-a-.22 event. I recall horseshoe throwing and unparalleled accuracy from the men of the community. Yesterday was a nostalgic walk through my memories, which were forged in my youth, by an amazing community — Çataract.
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