"Pug Yarborough" by Doug Fincher

October 18, 2016 - "And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labors; and their works do follow them."  Revelation 14:13

While my brothers and I were growing up in East Center (Texas), Weaver's Pond was our swimming and fishing hole.   It was located a half mile down the railroad tracks from our house and since Mr. Weaver rarely came there, it became our private place to fish and swim. My brothers, Royce Mills, Pug Yarborough and I went there to swim one day after school.

We'd dive off the dam…then swim to a shallow side to walk out of the water.  The water depth increased gradually toward the middle until it got around neck-deep, then dropped to a bottomless hole.  We called this spot "the step-off" and none of us were ever able to touch bottom there. We heard it was an old well and were careful not to swim past it.  But I did swim past it that day and when I tried to touch bottom, my lungs filled with water.  I was drowning …and well remember my explosion of panic.

Afterwards I remember lying on the clay bank and coughing up water.  When I fully regained my senses, I was looking up into a clear blue sky and into the eyes of Pug Yarborough….(who was blind from childhood in one eye)…. with Royce and my brothers kneeling around him. Bill's voice broke as he sobbed, "Hen Doug… Pug almost drowned getting you to the bank….he saved your life".

When Pam and I moved back to East Texas in 1991, I was at the First Baptist Church in Shelbyville one night when Pug and his wife walked in. I rushed up and thanked him again for rescuing me at Weaver's Pond.  His response surprised me: "Aw, Doug…I don't remember doing that", he laughed…"but I'm sure glad you made it". 

When I recently asked my brother John what he knew about Pug's present whereabouts, he said that Pug had crossed the Jordan several years ago.  And I thought, "Thanks again, Pug". 
"I'm glad you made it, too".