November 07, 2005


Driving around looking at the leaves this weekend, I passed a familiar spot. Just off the main road over a rapid running, deep creek.

I think I was ten. My best friend Mike and I decided it would be a good day to swim but neither of us had a pool and the municipal pool was 'just gross.' So, off we went in search of fun. We loaded our bikes with goodies and we headed off to the bend in the road where one could catch the dirt path to the covered bridge over the creek.

Years ago, someone had hung a braided rope from the tallest Hickory tree and it was still there and in good shape. Off we went into the water to test out the depth. Yep, just right. The drop off was enough to keep us from killing ourselves. I climbed that rope as far as I could and with a push from Mike I was off swinging. That sensation of air rushing around me as I dropped to the creek was simply exhilarating. I did a quick prayer to keep me from hitting the ledge (or the trees) before the drop off, and splashed into the cool water. This same scenario was repeated all glorious afternoon.

I think back on it now with a bit of dismay. What if I missed the drop and hit the ledge? No adult knew where we were. That was back when you could let your kids run around outside without worry. Bygones.

Anyway, I walked that familiar path this weekend, bathed in golden, red and orange hues. The creek was crystalline and cool to the touch. It was as if I could still hear the laughter and shouts from two kids swinging on a rope that has long been removed. I could still hear the whoops of joy at finding a crawfish or chasing a water snake. I could actually see images of the two of us splashing around in that drop off in the creek and the rope still swinging in the breeze.

I smiled an old smile at the memory. Mike and I are no longer friends. We had lost touch long ago when girls, who were not me, began to occupy his mind and his time.

I wonder if he still remembers our bike trips to the corner candy store, our dirt bike rides and wrecks or our dune-buggy wild rides, sometimes into the lake. I wonder, if when he passes that bend in the road and the covered bridge over Neshannock Creek, he remembers swinging on a rope and telling 'dirty' jokes at the age of 10 or 11. Or whether he remembers dares to jump the falls or walk a ledge over a gorge.

Probably not. But as I walked in the woods along the creek bed this weekend, I remembered it all as if it were just yesterday.

Posted by Oddybobo at November 7, 2005 10:42 AM | TrackBack

a great read as always, please enter in Carnival of Vanities.....please.

Posted by: armywifetoddlermom at November 7, 2005 10:59 AM

And the way you write it, I could see it too. What a nice spash of summer you shared.... Thanks.

Posted by: Richmond at November 7, 2005 11:18 AM

I bet Mike remembers, too. Great story.

Posted by: Dash at November 7, 2005 11:39 AM

What a story! Thank you for taking me there!

Posted by: Sarah at November 7, 2005 12:43 PM

Oddybobo! Good writing!

Posted by: spacemonkey at November 7, 2005 01:53 PM

.. oh, you can be sure he remembers...

Posted by: Eric at November 7, 2005 01:59 PM

Of course, he remembers!!

Nice, very nice imagery.

; )

Posted by: Christina at November 7, 2005 05:22 PM

He remembers. Not a doubt in my mind.

Nice picture you painted. Very well done...

Posted by: That 1 Guy at November 8, 2005 12:44 AM

You just brought Autumn to south florida! :) Great story...!

And so true about not knowing where kids were in those days, though I'm probably older than you. ;) My friend and I used to take off on horseback and be gone all day exploring woods... Every weekend. Nobody ever knew where we were and nobody ever seemed to care... though if one of the horses had come back riderless I'm sure they'd have been worried.

Posted by: pam at November 8, 2005 07:29 AM
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