Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Water Sliding at Love Bridge

Entertainment is hard to come by when you live in the middle of nowhere. No, that's not true...one just has to be creative to make the good times happen. Water usually makes for a good time. So do water slides. Water slides can be really, really fun. They can be painful, too.

The stinky boys and I used to swim in a local creek that had a large trestle bridge spanning it. It was called Love Bridge. Naturally we called the creek - Love Bridge because that's how people talk out in the country. The banks of the creek were about 15 feet high and one form of entertainment was to get a running start and jump off of the "cliffs" into the water. There was a certain area we'd have to jump from in order to hit water that was deep enough. If we didn't we stood the chance of hitting either the shallows which would shatter our ankles, or hitting a submerged car which could shatter our ankles. I'm not really sure that there was a car submerged there. I never saw it. Even when the water was low. Supposedly, it was in a deep area and that's why we couldn't see it. Looking back, I think it was simply Love Bridge lore.

The second form of entertainment at Love Bridge involved hauling buckets of water up the "cliffs", then pouring it down the sides while smoothing out the mud. We created our own water slide. We slid down the cliff! There was one small problem though - mud creek banks have roots. And rocks. And bits of detritus that wash up when it floods. These items can be a little rough on the old hiney-roo. We wore blue jean cutoffs because the material was thick and offered some protection. More so than a swimsuit. In the 70s, the cutoffs looked a little bit like this:
 By the time we finished water sliding they looked more like this:
Or This. That's why I said water sliding could get rather uncomfortable. A itty bitty innocuous looking tree root could inflict some serious skid marks! And ruin your good cutoffs. Being young-uns, we healed quickly and forgot about how much tree roots hurt, because we swam in and slid the banks of that creek all the time.

It seems like these days, everyone is concerned with safety. I'm not sure if the kids today would be allowed to jump off a creek bank into water of questionable depth (or content). Moms carry Neosporin in case their little darlings get a scratch.  But back in the day, I remember that even my Mom took the leap off of the "cliff!" I'm sure she was safety conscious enough though to avoid the submerged car and she made sure to leap out far enough so that she wouldn't shatter her ankles.

Long live the Love Bridges of the world!

1 comment:

  1. Oh, such good memories! We used to go to The Rope Swing on the river. We'd drive through the neighborhood, round up a bunch of kids with the battle cry of "Goin to The Rope Swing". One important thing to remember when swinging out over a river is to LET GO OF THE ROPE while you're out over the water. On more than one occasion, some stupid teenager would wait too long and release as he (cuz it always seemed to be a dumb boy) was headed back to the shore - and the tree. One guy even hit the tree, and broke his arm. Safety? Never thought about it. We just knew the water was deep and cold...if you dropped off at the right place!