Cars, fish, family keep Coach busy

Published 12:44 am Monday, May 19, 2008

NATCHEZ — For Alfred Coach, it’s all about family and everything he does, maybe even inadvertently, comes back to that.

When the Dart fell on Fourth Street, Coach was working on his car.

Coach said he likes to fish and hunt in his free time but doesn’t enjoy the fruits of his labor.

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“I just never liked eating wild meat,” he said.

So when he goes out fishing off of U.S. 84 or on lakes St. John and Concordia, he brings the white perch he catches back to his family.

“They’re good, everybody loves them,” he said of the fish.

On Sundays his family gathers at his house and they have a big fish fry.

“It’s a family thing,” Coach said. “We’ve been doing it for 25 years.”

This includes not only Coach’s self-proclaimed huge extended family but his immediate family, too, which consists of his fiancé and her son but also his own brood of nine children.

Coach laughed at the suggestion that he must have a lot of patience to have nine children.

“I put up with them,” he said, with a grin.

He said some of his children are adults and the youngest only 8 years old, but despite the wide range of ages, he still likes to do family activities with them.

“I take them fishing with me,” he said.

But hunting he likes to do alone.

Coach said he likes to hunt deer, squirrels and raccoons.

“I don’t fool with the rabbits,” he said.

He said rabbits are just too quick for him to hunt.

Again, all the meat he brings back goes to his family.

“What I kill I give away,” Coach said.

Curiosity as to what squirrel even tastes like hasn’t tempted Coach, though his mother has tried to make him eat it before.

The importance of family in Coach’s life drew him back to Natchez.

He was working in Fort Wayne, Ind., driving the elderly to and from doctor appointments, a job he said he enjoyed, but he missed his family.

“I didn’t have any family in Fort Wayne,” he said.

When it came time for him to leave his job, the only place he wanted to go was back to Natchez.

“Well, it’s time to go home,” he said of the thoughts going through his mind when he left his job.

Coach said he’s looking forward to his wedding in October, but not as much as his fiancé.

“She can’t wait,” he said.