By Greg Gelpi
Clarice Mealey got hooked on fishing more than eight decades ago. And now she had decided to do something about it.
Mealey, who was 10 at the time, was crawling through a barbed-wire fence when the hook at the end of her fishing pole snagged her finger. It broke off leaving a part in her finger. A country doctor told her the rest would work its way out; but it didn't.
Through the rest of her childhood, a career at a glass company, marriage, children, grandchildren and "more great-great grandchildren than I count," Mealey carried around that piece of hook in her finger.
But that's soon to change.
"Nubbins," as she is called because of her 4-foot-11-inch frame, can no longer bend her finger and decided to have the hook removed.
"It's bothered me off and on," she said. "I always knew it was there."
Mike Sawyer, a spokesman for Southern Regional Medical Center, said it really isn't that uncommon to find metal objects inside of people.
Mealey said she hopes the surgery will relieve the arthritis-like pain in her hand.
"I used to crochet and do ceramics for 20 years," Mealey said. "It's on my left hand, so it doesn't bother me a whole lot. It's the little things. I can't button my shirt or thread needles. I have so much crochet thread that I don't know what I'm going to do. I have done a lot of crocheting. I miss it too."
Her great granddaughter, Morgan Hollis, 9, said Nubbins tried to teach her how to crochet once, but she couldn't catch on.
That day 82 years ago was also the last day she ever went fishing. She leaves that enjoyment to family members.
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