Another 52 ancestors over 52 weeks (Week 2)... When I try to think of my favorite find, I think back to one of my favorite places from childhood. We would head down the river several times during each summer and leaving from a property we call the Ranch was one of our favorites when we were going to spend the whole day. We had put in and take out spots on the Salt Fork starting at the Ranch, going past the Dangerous bridge, adding the Bottom Field, and finally at the place we call Bailey’s Bottom. All of our places have names and we knew approximately how long it would take to go down the river from any of the 4 to another.
As the parents would put the canoes in the river, we would explore. At one point we stumbled upon and old kid’s clubhouse. The area was once a town named Conkeytown and we first got the property there had been an old barn and even a house. Foundations littered the area from the former town.
The old kid’s clubhouse was such a cool find, every so often I think about going down and see if it’s still there. The property was one that my father (Bob) and his cousin (Don) bought together. Bob and Don grew up together, their father’s were twins and they were close in age. My dad’s nephew Buddy also was near the same age and joined them when he could. They rented out the house on the property until a fire took the house. Don once told me that the reimbursement for the house paid back a lot of the cost to buy the whole property which was about 45 acres. We still all have the field and the pond they put in on the property. The beach and picnic area was removed by my dad when the local town found the area and turned it into a hang out spot.
Stories about the area included the day they decided to burn the barn down and thought it would burn slow. While my dad got the fire started, Don was in the hayloft. The fire went faster than they expected, and Don had to jump from the hayloft. Hearing their stories always makes me wonder how they survived childhood. Knowing my own childhood though, I’m always amazed my brother and I made it to adulthood also.
Childhood for us included everything from riding ATVs as fast as we could, racing snow mobiles across fields, and climbing grain bins to jump into the corn. Somehow, I not only made it through childhood, I didn’t break a bone while I was under 18. I definitely thought I did a couple times, including after being thrown from a horse that acted like a mule and wrecking a mini-bike in the holler by the house.
Watching the river flow is still one of my favorite pastimes, though I’m just as happy walking through the woods in the stream. Hot days are the best for walking in a cold stream or river.