Thursday, January 31, 2008

My Best Friend Junior (Jr)

I think everyone has a BFF while growing up. Junior was my best friend while growing up in the 50's. We were the same age and must have naturally become best friends. Things weren't easy but we did have some special things going for us. As Jr often said we had things that a lot of people never had. We were rich in places to go and play.

We had our own swimming place. It was the Shenango River which was a Sharon Steel Mill river. I often wonder if the Prostate Cancer could be related to the river. The river was polluted for sure. We also fished the river and only caught bullhead catfish. We never ate the fish. There was a tree near the river with a branch which we had a rope tied onto. the bank near the tree was about 4 foot high. This gave us the ability to swing out onto the river and drop into the water. I wonder how much of that river water we swallowed.

There was an underground spring that always was running out of a pipe at about 60 degrees F all year round. This was great on a hot summer day.
We had our own football field. There was a machine shop that had an open field next to it. The field was always cut and made an excellent place to play. The field was 60 yards by 100 yards so was perfect for football. We played tackle football with no padding. I don't remember anyone getting hurt.

We had our own baseball field. It was a bowl where they had dug sand for someones use. The bowl was about 10 foot deep and rounded with a big sandbank on one side. The sandbank gave a perfect backstop and when we were younger. We hardly ever hit the ball out of the bowl. Jr's Uncle, Digger Dave, played with us sometimes. He was about 6 years older then we were. He was able to hit the ball out of the bowl. There were woods around the bowl so sometimes we had to work hard to find the ball if you hit it out. The loss of the ball sometimes ended the game.

We were rich in places to be a child. Jr and I were together all through the summer dats as we were growing up. What a wonderful time to look back to find how your life has developed.


Carletta said...

Fishing Guy: I think memories keep us grounded. No matter what's happening in the here and now we can look back and see from where we came. We can always go back to an easier, sometimes happier time. Childhood memories are the best! Are you and Jr. still close?

fishing guy said...

Jr and I are still friends and we see each other at least once a year. I'm also friends with his two sons. Jr also had Prostate Cancer and retired early. He lives in Florida for the winter and comes to PA for the summer. We golfed together several times two years ago but last year was a tough year for me to get out golfing with him. I will post later on this years golf outing and relate a story that he told which I had forgotten.

Shark Girl said...

Your story reminds me of the places I used to play as a child. We (seven kids) had 120 acres to romp around on.

Down the road was a stream with a culvert that we used to run through. The culvert ran under the highway. It was tall enough to where we could duck and run through it, hopping across back and forth over the stream, trying not to fall in. But you had to run a couple of steps and then jump to the other side and run a few steps and keep doing this, since it was round and if you stopped running, you would fall in the stream. That was our game. Whoever could make it the fastest through and without getting wet, won.

We also played kickball, baseball and we built forts in the woods.

My brothers and sisters were my best friends.

Thanks for your story. It reminded me of some of the best times of my life.

Jo Castillo said...

I enjoyed the story. We never had a swimming hole in NM. Every once in a while my brothers would swim in one of the metal tanks by a windmill. I was afraid of water...still am.

I loved drinking from a spring. Great water.

Thanks for the memories.

fishing guy said...

SG: We also had a little stream on the way to the river to swim or fish. There was a large culvert that we would go through under a major highway. It had a flat bottom so we just had to try not to get to wet. I'm glad you have fun childhood memories.
Jo: The water from the spring had an iron taste. It was cold and was always good on hot days.