My Memory Is Swamped

Today’s technology is great. But so was the simplicity of yesteryear. I love technology…but I love memories too.

Let me tell a story. This has no significance to anyone… in fact, it will probably bore you. It won’t stir any emotions in anyone, yet the brief effect it had on me made me smile.

Here is a picture of a swamp… just a cattail filled shallow swamp. Nothing more, nothing less.

So here’s my meaningless story that may very well rob you of 5 minutes of your life. smile emoticon

About 50 years ago (early 1960’s) we lived in Grand Blanc, MI. Occasionally we would go visit the Pruett’s which lived a couple of miles away. Slim and Stella Pruett had a son about my age (actually I think he was younger than me), but he was a lot bigger than me in both height and weight. I was probably 10 years old and was 8-9 years old at the time.

recollection_swamp It was winter time and very cold…and out behind his house was a swamp we played in from time to time…especially during the summers, but never in the wintertime like it was at that time. Anyway, we are by this swap…on the edges and we decide to “walk on the ice” and ended up in the middle of this swamp playing on the ice. All of sudden, Kevin falls through the ice and sinks down up to his waist…he started thrashing and trying to get back up on the ice. As he did this, he weakened the ice where I was standing and soon after I fell through the ice!

Even though this was so long ago, I remember the PANIC I felt and remembering that every time we tried to get back on the ice, it would break and we would sink back down into the swamp. We broke ice and panicked all the way over to the bank near the road…I remember getting out of the swamp and my clothes already frozen stiff, but thankful we made it out of the swamp. I was scared and cold. But that little episode stuck with me all these years and I always felt my memory of the event was pretty clear.

In retrospect and knowing how the mind works…I wondered how bad it really was, how scared we really were, how big the swamp really was and how deep the water really was…when you’re a kid everything always seems bigger and more important.

I had not been back to that spot in 50+ years...I don’t even know whatever happened to Kevin Pruett. There has been so much development in the area, I even wondered if the swamp still existed or even if I could tell where it was…

Then along comes Google Maps and Street View…a wonderful thing. I pull up our old neighborhood and follow the streets on Google Maps to where I think the Pruett’s live and sure enough, I can see their house…AND it looks like I remember it from so many years ago. I follow the road down behind their house and THERE IT IS… THE SWAMP!!

Not only is the swamp still there, but it’s still big and looks just like I remember it looking. Even the cattails are still there and the bank next to the road. OK…maybe it’s not quite as deep as I remember it being, but it’s there for sure. Seeing it for the first time since I lived there and then it looking just like I remembered kinda just blew me away… I smiled.

So the story isn’t about almost drowning (maybe I wasn’t so close to drowning), nope, it’s more about these RANDOM MEMORIES that come back to ALL of us at the craziest times and wondering if that memory is an accurate one…and if you’re lucky you’ll be able to confirm some of these childhood memories if you’re lucky.

So you just took about 5 minutes out of your life to look at a picture of a swamp.

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