Local Man Wins Odd E-Bay Auction

ATHENS, Texas - Norman Pemberton of Sherman says he was born with a weird sense of humor. That partly explains why Pemberton, 54, and his wife Marilyn bid $71 for two chicken bones regurgitated by Splash, the world record blue catfish at the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center in Athens.

Splash was caught from Lake Texoma by Howe resident Cody Mullennix on Jan. 16. Mullennix donated the fish to Texas Parks and Wildlife Department for display.

The Pembertons won the eBay auction after battling it out with seven other bidders. “I read about the auction in the local newspaper, the Sherman Herald-Democrat, and thought buying the bones would be a good way to help with the funding of the new education building at TFFC,” Pemberton said.

Pemberton said even though the bidding ended at $71, he intends to send a check for $100 to the Friends of TFFC, the support group sponsoring the auction. His $100 will actually be worth twice that, since Bass Pro Shops founder Johnny Morris has pledged to match dollar for dollar all money raised for the project between now and April 16, 2005, up to $650,000.

Pemberton, who owns North Texas Electric Construction, said he hopes to find a place where the bones can be displayed locally for the public to see. Along with the bones Pemberton will receive color photographs of Splash, copies of press coverage of the fish and the auction and a certificate verifying the bones really were once inside the fish. “I’m hoping the display will draw the attention of young people and spark an interest in learning about the fish and conservation,” Pemberton said.