They all took dramamine before they got on the boat but several of them still felt sick. One of the cousins couldn’t even fish because he was so sea sick. For many of them, including Nolan, this was the first time on the ocean. It wasn’t a great feeling to be moving with the waves constantly, Nolan didn’t love it but he managed to enjoy the day anyway. There were about 40 people on the boat with 20 fishing off of each side. It was hard to keep from getting the lines tangled up when someone caught a fish because they kept swimming into other people’s spots.
Nolan caught about half a dozen red snapper, a sea catfish, two sea trout, and a skipjack. They through some of them back but between the bunch of them there was going to have to be a fish fry this afternoon with all the fish they caught. A few of the younger cousins and one of the great uncles didn’t catch a thing but most of them pulled some delicious dinner out of the ocean. It was always funny to Nolan that dinner meant lunch with this part of the family. At his house they said lunch and dinner but in Mississippi they said dinner and supper, even his grandparents said it that way. But lunch, dinner or whatever it was going to be a day of good food.
On the boat Nolan heard his great uncle that used to be in the FBI, Uncle Jim, telling stories of what he had been doing back home in east Texas. A woman had come in to his office to ask for advice. Her son was on drugs and she was trying to help him. She had gotten a big inheritance and life insurance when her husband died a few years ago and her son was the only family she had left. She loaned him money for a car because his credit was shot and he was supposed to repay her. He didn’t repay her though and she wanted Uncle Jim to go get the car for her.
That wasn’t a problem for him, he got a car hauler (this was the first time Nolan ever heard that term and he could only imagine what it meant but wasn’t about to interrupt and ask), tracked down the car and drove it back to the woman’s house. Then the woman asked him what to do to provide a home for her drug addicted son without him destroying what he was given. Uncle Jim knew just what to do about that. He set her up a trust for the boy’s housing. He would manage the trust and make sure it paid for rent or mortgage plus basic utilities and repairs if needed, that way the boy couldn’t go homeless as he blew every dime he made on drugs.
This story was fascinating to Nolan, he had never been around people with drug problem or trust funds. Nolan was hanging on to every word as he fished and learned from the old men. Then Uncle Jim said something very odd, it jumped out at Nolan as if it were extremely important to him but he really didn’t know why it would be important. Uncle Jim leaned over to Nolan and his dad and said, “You know much of this world is run by trusts”. What did that mean? Just as Uncle Jim was about to begin expounding on the role of trusts in global finance and the control of the world, his brother Uncle Charles gave him a strange look. He picked up a hand off of the fishing pole and with his thumb he began to tap the big ring on his finger.
Uncle Jim smoothly changed the subject by leaning over to Nolan and asking him very abruptly, “Nolan, what are your views on hushpuppies? Do you like em’? Do want us to make some hushpuppies with all these fish you’re catching?” Nolan smiled and jumped all over that conversation, he loved hushpuppies. The best part of having fish wasn’t the fish, it was the hushpuppies. Still he wondered about the ring and the trusts. He looked at Uncle Jim’s hand and he had the same ring on his finger. So he waited a little while and asked Uncle Jim while they were getting off the boat what kind of ring he was wearing. “Well that’s a freemason ring Nolan.” Uncle Jim said just as wide open and honestly as could be. “Oh, ok I was just curious” Nolan responded unsure of what a freemason might be.