4th of July Neighborhood Fish Fry

The Motleys hosted their Annual 4th of July Fish Fry at their home in Crystal Beach. Luke and Silver Motley, from Center, TX, started this event in 1980 as a neighborhood get-together. Originally, there were four Shady Lane families involved: the Motleys, Ostens, Rehos, and Matthews. The next year, the Beckers and the Hughes joined in. Every year more and more folks attended, and over time it has grown to include families and friends from all over the area. All coming together to celebrate the holiday and reminisce.

The gathering begins with a welcome and prayer by Luke and Silver followed by the Pledge of Allegiance by Tom Osten. Before Ike, Tom’s father, Earl, led the Pledge. After his passing and to continue with tradition, an Osten family member took over that role.

For nearly 40 years, Silver and Luke Motley have hosted a 4th of July Fish Fry for family and friends.

The main fare is freshly caught Toledo Bend catfish, expertly breaded and deep fried to perfection. The fish is served along with all the fixings. The hushpuppies had the perfect jalapeño kick, the shrimp kisses were crispy and delish, as well as various other sides to meet everyone’s desires. And of course, the desserts did not disappoint. In the early days, Luke and Silver caught all the fish by trot line. Luke was the main cook for many years, but now the responsibility has passed on to the next generation.

Chef duties have been passed on the the next generation. Pictured here are Colin Matthews, Luke Motley, and Brian Morris, members of the original founding families.

There was an interruption for a couple of years after Hurricane Ike took many of the homes of the families involved. Once rebuilt, the party resumed. Some of the original families are no longer around, but their memories are still at Shady Lane.

The annual 4th of July Fish Fry has grown to include families and friends from all over, coming together to celebrate the holiday and reminisce.

Meredith is always the life of the party.


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