The day i didn't go with

The day i didn't go with

fiddletim
fiddletim
Apr 3, 2018, 11:15 PM |
4
i am writing today 4/3/2013    its the spring thaw   walking the east shore of the mississippi this a m, memories rushed  into my consciousness        looking at the waters, i was transported back to 4/4/1954    chunks of ice  floating by     it is the same swollen river minus almost 60 plus years of water that had flowed past the place i stood since that day    funny,..like ironic funny big time...because 4/4/54 was the day i didn't go with    4/3/54, 4/2/54 before , joe, erickson,  our new friend from the public school neal weber, and me.   4/4/54, i had walked out of school like i had the 2 days previous...same meetup spot   looked around    my friends are nowhere to be seen   what the heck....    started to head home hurtfully wondering why i was stood up ?   later, ...it had been a snow melting day.... that late afternoon..... i was outside and just as i was hearing sirens, our neighbor van mc connon pulls up on his bike   "some kid drowned at the foot of carimona street"   i'm freaking upset.... finally our mom got it out of me,... my part in this drama    mom had me pick up the dial telephone, to find out which of my friends had perished....it was neil    more details were shared when we were back at the catherdal school a few days later    so... Joe, who was in another class, had to leave school that day early to watch his kid brothers    well..... the way he watched them was to take them down to the foot of carimona with our other friends to that raft.  the kid bros were like...6...7     we were 9...10 years     down there at the street's end are a woods and a bunch of rocks to throw and try to break up the ice chunks    that's where the raft was tied to the shore   we had been on that raft several times the days before, gazing at the swirling ice, talking about untying our find       there was a lot of melt that spring   ...powerful.....    those of you that have been around that river much know what i mean    so..... the story i got from joe:    down at the foot of carimona street went  erickson, joe,  our new friend neal,  and joe's kid brothers      the bunch of them got on the raft   untied it   then finding themselves going away from the shore..farther and accelerating in each moment    erickson was the first to jump in     he reached shore  he passed out    the h2o was the next thing to ice temperature wise   after some moments hesitation and a brief lecture to the younger siblings to stay put, joe goes for help but from further away.....made it... but also passed out    ...can we imagine?...     then  neil?  confused? unsure?   he went in....too far..too cold...the current way too strong... never saw the shore again        the younger brothers?     it was a warm spring day......air temperature anyway    they were in the main channel       a fisherman enjoying the sunny day getting ready for the season by painting his boathouse sees the raft in a river of floating ice chunks with 2 kids on board      can we imagine?   he hops to the rescue as gets his boat out for the chase        rescue was accomplished       the ensuing days, my being was embraced by a low primal rumbling fear concerning the fragility of our existence         to this day, i'm charmed by the mississippi river as i always have been and bonded in a respectful relationship with her.   i think of neal and i wonder what would it be like to be so young and so alone being swept away.       what if i had been there?   what is this wanting to be as close as possible to something so vast and, seemingly, an eternal flow of water ?       i often think of neal and reflect upon the day i didn't go with              tim 4/3/13            Notes:  at that time little was known about PTSD...no treatment...only severe lectures from the parental power structure and representatives. at the time i gave little thought to neil's mom and family. when i do now i can only imagine the pain. the humble house where neil and family lived was but a stone throw from the foot of carimona but is no more.....  i know of some of my friend's difficulties that followed what they had experienced.    looking back, i know i buried the hurt i felt.  we didn't hang with each other any more. i retreated to some older relationships i had. one friend and i were chess buddies.   the games helped       the above photo was recently taken from the foot of carimona