Excerpt from Foxy: My Life in Three Acts
We ate like royalty back then because everything was fresh. This was before the emergence of the massive supermarkets where we buy our food today. We got our protein from the Korean deli around the corner, where they sold freshly killed chickens and recently caught fish. Some of our neighbors had chickens on their property and a cutoff tree stump for slaughtering them. They would catch a chicken, wring its neck and lay it across the stump, chop off its head like with a guillotine, and drain the blood. Then, to remove the feathers easily, they would drop it into boiling water for a few seconds.
When the men took off on hunting expeditions into the high country of Colorado or Wyoming, they brought back pheasant, game hens, wild turkeys, elks, and antelope. They fished for river catfish, bass, and lake trout, and my grandfather taught us kids to fly-fish. Daddy Ray was obsessed with teaching us to be self-sufficient, and we all had to learn to tie flies onto the hooks with pieces of carpeting and feathers and shiny wool. Then we were taught to cast a fly rod so we could catch German brown, rainbow, and speckled trout. We also took turns learning to steer the fishing boat through the water.
Some of the girls said, "I'm scared, Daddy Ray. I don't know how to steer a boat. I can't."
"You can't be scared," he told them, "or you can't come with me. If something happens to me, you have to be able to bring the boat back to shore." We also loved waterskiing and we needed to steer a boat for that, too. I was always the first in line to learn whatever he showed us.