This, what I am about to say, happened when my ma went north for a time to live with a man named Graves near Apalachicola. She left me in the care of the man who was my father, and so I lived with him in a dollar-a-night fish camp along the Indian River, where we fished during the day, climbing mussel shoals and oyster mounds to cast for sheepshead and red drum. We ate what fish we could and sold the rest to the barge fishermen when they came back into the channels from the deep sea. At night we had our supper on mess plates while we sat around a yellow bug lamp, and we took our sleep on top of crushed shells in an old oilcloth Eagle Scout tent.

I had with me a picture of my ma. In the picture she is taking clothes down from a line in the backyard of the house where we lived with my father before the two split up. The picture was taken before I was born. Ma gave me the picture the day she told me I was going to live with my father again.

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