Tuesday, June 1, 2010

A Changed Scene


Odd as it may seem, after 62+ years, I remember this day. Mom was concerned that I might stand too close to the creek because it was deep and I could slip beneath its muddy water. Mom baited the hook. Of course, Dad was already fishing. I’m not sure who the other people are in the picture. But this is one I love. I’m even wearing a hoodie and little saddle shoes. A sweet moment and memory not necessarily of the day, but of the smells, the crispness of the air and my parents.
Dad often talked of swimming in the creek when he was a boy. He and his brothers would swing out over the water and drop to brown surface.
Mom had good reason to worry that I might plunge into the creek. A girl had drowned in the creek over by my granddad’s bridge. The creek could move quickly given the right circumstances and was full of rocks beneath. This would all change a few years later.
I vaguely remember when the creek was dredged. Big equipment came in and cleared out the creek bed.  The water level dropped and the creek became nothing more than an over-sized stream. Fish no longer had a deep place to hide, though eventually, minnows and tadpoles would come back to the creek. Wading was out of the question because of leeches in the stream.
Not many people now residing on Neff Road will remember the creek as it was back then. They will not see the raging water under the bridge when it rained for days on end. They will not catch fish for dinner. However, they will see large trees that now fill in the areas once sparse along a lovely gentle creek.
Ah, Neff Road, I remember.

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