I grew up up in a four-room house perched on the banks of the Little Scioto River in Southern Ohio. That river provided unending entertainment for us kids. There were crawdads to catch, mussels to track, and ancient grapevines to swing on. We swam, fished, paddled around in an old flat-bottomed boat, took slivers of soap along with us and took a soapy bath when the weather was hot. It even had a nice gentle swimming hole that doubled as a baptistry for our church both summer and winter.
My older sister would sometimes fry up bacon and tomato sandwiches, wrap them in waxed paper, grab her bathing suit and little sister, and we’d go spend the day up the river on a sandbank where she could lie in the sun, and I could play in the water or dig for buried treasure. One memorable day I dug up a snapping turtle.
When the rains came, our mother checked the level of the creek several times a night to make sure it didn’t get into our house. But if it did, we knew we’d be okay because we could climb up the hill to the railroad and walk the tracks to my uncle’s place on higher ground. A mile up the river in the other direction was my Aunt Mary and Uncle Frosty’s home which was filled to bursting with cousins to play with.
One of those cousins recently wrote a song about our river that I thought I’d share.