Chapter 1: Trip to Ascertain Bend


Jackie and his brother, Stephen, had grown up fishing in the various creeks, ponds, and lakes that populates the Bibb and Perry county area. While growing up in Marion, they fished at Shady Grove Lake in Bibb County with their father and grandfather. Now grown, Jackie and Stephen often traveled over to Lakeland Farms. They spent hours fishing on the numerous lakes that characterize the large dairy farm.


Jackie Brandon decided that he had enough as he closed his Dell laptop. He was in court for the last nine weeks. He was ready for a weekend of fishing. Jackie was one of the best lawyers in Perry County. He practiced from his small office in Marion. He worked hard to become a lawyer and assume his father\'s role as an influential leader in the black community. Jackie graduated from Westside High School in 1982. After graduation, he attended the University of Alabama for his undergraduate and graduate studies. He graduated in 1990 from the law school and opened his practice on the corner of Washington and Jefferson Street in Marion three years later.


Jackie retrieved the light brown canvas rucksack from the floor of the closet in the hallway. He packed his fishing gear earlier that week. They were lying on the floor of the closet beside the rucksack. He picked up the gear and rucksack and headed for the front door. Jackie really loved to fish. He dreamed of and planned this fishing trip for two weeks and nothing was going to stop him from going. He picked up the maps and keys from the wooden table by the door, turned off the lights in the den and closed the door to his house on West Lafayette.


Jackie jumped into his dirty brown pickup and started the engine. He slowly drove the truck to the shed to hook the trailer hitch to the chromed rear bumper of his pickup. He carefully secured the silver boat trailer to the back of the truck and checked to make sure that the cover was tight on the boat. Jackie purchased this fishing boat three day ago just for this fishing trip. He carefully pulled out of the driveway and headed across Marion to pick up Stephen.


Stephen lived on the corner of Davis Street and Tutwiler Road. As the boat and truck pulled up in the circle driveway, Stephen came out of the brick home and ran toward the truck. "You are late, Jack. I thought you changed your mind." Stephen said as he placed his fishing gear in the bed of the pickup. After Stephen got into the truck, Jackie replied, "Quit complaining. I had to gas up and pick up a few things but at least I made it. Do you have the map?" Stephen fished the map out of his blue gym bag and handed it to Jackie. After looking over the map, they drove the thirty miles north on Highway 5 to Tabor Mill Road.


Jackie carefully followed the instructions that Stephen had given to him. During the entire one-hour trip, Stephen constantly talked about this secret fishing spot way out in the county. "This is known as the best spot to catch blue catfish. Jack, I heard a story about a prized catfish that no one can catch. I think Galloway Branch Lake in Ascertain Bend is the best spot to catch Big Old Joe." After reaching Tabor Mill Road, Jackie continued to drive his 2004 Dodge Ram 2500 four more miles down Highway 5 before he reached Wisdom Farms road.


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