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Raw Chatter

Wow, my childhood!

I had a blast and would return to it today, if only I could.

Growing up in Thomson, I've always thought that I had the best childhood in the world. I've mentioned that to many family members, friends and co-workers over the years.

The recent snow that turned Thomson into a winter wonderland was gorgeous. As I drove around covering the rare event for the newspaper, I came upon my childhood neighborhood -- along Forrest Clary Drive.

One of the most beautiful photographs I snapped of the snow that blanketed the area was of a ditch with snow-covered trees in the background.

When I was a little boy, my twin brother, Bobby, along with a half dozen close friends of ours, played in that big ditch. We all had the most fun.

Some of the fun we enjoyed was building wooden ships and floating them in that big ditch, which was directly across from where we lived in a little white house. We took our time crafting the little ships. They were equipped with guns, so that we could engage in war battles on the water against one another. Some of our ships even had little green plastic toy soldiers attached to them.

It made everything seem a little more realistic.

It was so much fun. Sometimes, we'd even slide into the water and get all wet. It didn't matter. We were kids for goodness sake.

That big ditch was special and my childhood memories came rushing back to me when I saw it again in a much different setting -- snow-covered recently.

In that same ditch, we not only played with wooden ships and pretended to do battle with one another, we also staged races. We were curious as to whose boat or ship was fastest.

My memory is that Bobby always seemed to win.

Till today, I can't figure out exactly why he always seemed to come out on top. But he did. I guess he was a lot more crafty building his wooden boat or ship than the rest of us.

It really didn't matter, though, because we all had fun.

Aside from playing with our wooden boats in that big ditch, we also had fun wading in it during the summer -- getting our feet cooled off.

We all spent some time searching for tadpoles in that ditch, too. You know - the little black creatures that turn into baby frogs later.

In addition, we also enjoyed turning over rocks in the water and finding crawdads. The only thing about finding those creatures was that they varied in size. Some were small and some were big. No matter their size, they had sharp pinchers and would bite your fingers if you didn't hold them correctly.

We all learned early on just how to handle them.

Boy, what a childhood!

Web posted on Thursday, March 04, 2010

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