10:00am: Talkline with Hoppy Kercheval

Being prepared for hard times

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — “Give a man a fish and he’ll eat for a day, teach a man to fish and he’ll eat for a lifetime.”

The old adage has a lot of wisdom. We are living in tougher times than most of us have known. I have personally been blessed my entire life to have had more than plenty. But there are many among us who have not. These days many more are starting to feel the pinch and the strain of hard times.

A buddy of mine recently spoke of an eye opener he experienced while fishing in Tennessee. Like me, this guy has always had things in abundance. He was fishing on Cherokee Lake, trolling the bank in his high dollar bass boat. He came upon a fellow sitting on the bank watching two poles he’d cast into the water.

Soon they engaged in a conversation in which my friend opined the significant difficulty he’d encountered just trying to get a bite on a tough day of fishing. The man on the bank agreed, but floored him with his next statement.

“Yeah, I hope to catch a few here. What I catch is the only meat my wife and I can get these days.”

The guy had lost his job and with a mountain of debt was literally on the river bank trying to feed his family. How many of us could do that? Could your woodsmanship skills insure y our family’s next meal?

I’m sure a lot of West Virginians could live off the land, should the need arise. A lot of us already supplement our annual diet with a freezer full of venison and a garden filled with vegetables, but there are a lot of people who don’t possess those skills.   

I was among the chosen few to be raised on a farm. My daddy always had a robust garden and still does. We had a farm with chickens, cattle, and hogs. We had fresh eggs daily and my mother canned everything we grew.  She still does. We lived much they way my parents did during World War II.

Regardless of what Wall Street is doing a lot of folks out here in the land of reality are struggling. The economy isn’t improving for many. Washington leaders frankly don’t seem too concerned about it. I hope it never comes to it, but just in case I am glad I was taught how to raise a garden, shoot straight, and catch fish when I was a kid. You never know. I study about the Tennessee man on the riverbank and think, there but by the by the grace of God go I.

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