I recently came across this essay my father wrote for an English class during World War II among the pictures and letters I have to remember him by.
Young Boys Solve Meat Shortage
Last Tuesday evening at dusk the Ridgedale and Valley Road “ginsters” solved the meat shortage by having fricasseed garter snake a la “57” sauce. The novel adventure took place in the ravine called “Second Creek.”
This outing was led by “Willy” Burns head of the “ginsters.” Burns presided as chief broiler and was assisted by the notorious Frank Buck of the crowd, Jimmy Staker. The snake was fricasseed to a savory brown. Vitamins A, B, C, D, and Z were all extracted but plenty of minerals remained. The reptile was served with plenty of relish, the main course being pickles. There was plenty for all, the snake being a garter.
The meeting closed by all members participating in an enthusiastic snake dance about the dying embers. . .
My father died eighteen years ago. And while I don’t think I’ll ever try fricasseed garter snake, today I will smile a little imagining how much fun he must have had, that Tuesday evening long ago, snake dancing with his friends around the dying embers of a campfire.