Fun Side of Life ~ Chapter 6 ~ installment 1
cloudbursts got my attention. I pressed my forehead against the
living room window, uttered a deep miserable sigh, and moaned, "There
goes the swimming hole again."
A voice in the room, usually Bill's,
answered my misery. "Yeah. I guess we'll just have to make
it deeper, won't we?"
That comment broke the gloom. We'd
burst out laughing, get in a huddle, and start making plans. Even
if we had to work at having fun, Paw Paw Creek was the place to
be on a hot summer's day.
Hard rains washed everything down
from Fairview and swept away our dam and make-shift diving board,
a railroad tie contraption. To bring back the swimming hole, the
first thing we had to do was pull out all the big rocks, branches,
and anything foreign in the pool. Then, without any thought to time,
we replaced our diving board and dammed up the lower part with discarded
railroad ties that lay along the tracks. I tried to help with this
heavy work, but I was too small. Brother Bill was our commander-in-chief.
Most of the fun came in designing a better diving board and scheming
to make our pool ever deeper and deeper. Sometimes we got it to
five feet. Definitely over my head. Then the next storm swept it
Most of us boys swam naked until
the girls came by to steal a peek. Then we all exploded in dares
and jeers and endless laughter. During their surprise visits we
stooped down in the water until one boy, who never swam naked, went
to gather our cut-off pants and bring them back. The girls screamed
at us and tormented us, but no one bared his all!
When the water receded below our
dam, my friends and I walked the creek banks with rolled-up pant
legs searching for pieces of junk. Metal buckets, lids, and pans
washed down from homes upstream all the time. We also found children's
toys, balls, scraps of metal, and the best treasure, automobile
wheel covers. I dragged my junk home, stored it in my yard, and
waited for Saturday morning.
Printed from the book Black Days,
Black Dust, by Robert Armstead as told to S.L. Gardner,
published by the University
of Tennessee Press, 2002
You'll have to wait until next month to discover what Bob did with
his mighty fine junk. I know--rats! Wait! No! You don't have to
Read Installment 2