I spent a lot of time down on the banks of Goose Creek when I was a kid. I would walk up the street and go down under the Park Street bridge, sit on a rock, watch the water flow by, and think. It was a place of solitude, which scarcely exists anymore, what with cell phones and cameras and all that stuff. I would go down there when I got into trouble with Grandma Fat Man. Staying home was not the best option when she was ticked at you. She had a sharp tongue, sharp aim, and was fast as lightning when irritated. But mostly, I couldn’t stand her being disappointed with me……..because I really loved her, and still do. So off to the creek I would go, to give it all some thought. When I was in junior high, I was in mighty big love with a cute little blond haired girl. She had such a sweet heart, and was about as pretty as anybody ever was. I liked her so much that I went on a strict diet and exercise plan. Anyone who knows the Fat Man now cannot imagine him doing lap after lap at the school gym track. It was true love for sure, all be it the puppy variety. It turned out to be the unrequited type too, so up to the creek I went, to give it all some thought. Sister Fat Man and I spent many hours there together. We talked, looked at the rocks, walked up and down the banks, found a few old fossils, and several old bottles from when people used to dump their garbage onto the creek banks, we even went fishing down there several times. One time, Sister Fat Man caught a huge fish, and just as she was about to land him, he got away. The memory is as clear as if it happened yesterday. My best friend and I spent a lot of time there too. We fished and talked, and grew up together along those banks and elsewhere around our home town. He lives 1450 miles away now, but I still feel an incredibly strong bond to him. So many good times had there, and so much angst and so many hurts were brought into perspective there. The good things have taken their place in the museum of my memory, the angst and hurts mostly flowed on down stream with the water. I would imagine that my experience there was not unique. There is probably some kid down there right now doing some thinking. That little creek was another one of God’s tender mercies to me, it made life a little bit better……..I believe I’ll take a trip down memory lane next time I go back home, and go sit on a rock under the Park Street bridge, and give it some thought.
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FM, I knew a kid who lost his glasses tubing down that creek–gave his mom gray hair when I heard about the goings on later. Memories—-
Rose, that kid grew into a fine man.