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Dirt Roads

Stop Laughing, It Wasn't Funny!
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09-14-03 Update
 This little article raised a bunch of questions from my readers that I didn't expect. I have tried to answer most of them below.

As a young girl, my family lived next to a river that flowed through the valley. My brothers and I spent our summer days swimming, or building sand castles. We hiked for miles up and down the levee, having the freedom to do as we chose, most of the time.
 
We loved the life, and I lived in my swim suit. I would pull a pair of jeans or shorts up over it, if I had to, but I wore it almost constantly, always ready for a quick swim. I had to be ready, because if my brothers decided to go to the water, they wouldn't hang around waiting for me to change clothes.
 
We lived so far off the main road traffic was rare, although occasionally, fishermen would drive by on their way to find the perfect fishing hole.
 
One day, I was playing with a ball out in the dirt lane, close to the canal that ran off the river. I was throwing it up and catching it, bouncing it, and not paying any attention at all to my surroundings. My ball of course, bounced into the canal, and began to float away. I wasn't too concerned, because I knew I could retrieve it. Quickly, I stripped my shorts off, preparing to jump into the water.
 
Standing in shock, I looked down at my under pants, wondering where my swim suit was, at the same instant a car drove around that last curve, about fifteen feet from my flaming red ten-year-old face.
I didn't know what to do, so I hid behind the closest object available, a telephone pole. As the car slowly passed me, I circled, inch by inch, around the pole, keeping it between me and those laughing faces I knew were inside the car.
 
I know now, the only thing I hid, was my sight of them. I don't know why I didn't just jump into the water, except we were told not to swim in our clothes. After peeking around the pole to make sure the car was gone, I rescued the ball, and ran into the house to find my swim suit.
 
Questions the readers wanted the answers to.
 
Question: Quite frankly, most girls of that age would be wearing underpants which look very similar to a swimsuit, so a quick glance by the occupants of the car as it drove by would probably not reveal the truth since she still had her shirt on. Of course, if the 10 year old were actually a 16 year old, the whole scenerio might be more believable.
 
Answer: I think this reader was disappointed by the  Description. He may have been hoping for a sixteen-year-old's story.
In that forgotten era, girls were Modest. From birth until death. Not like today, when they throw a T-shirt over their boxers and wander to the Mall, believing they're dressed. Underwear looked like underwear, it wasn't disquised by color.
 
Question: Why werent you wearing your swimsuit that day? You say early-on in the story that you wore it almost constantly.
 
Answer: the key word here is 'almost'.  If I couldn't remember the day this happened, how in the world could I know now? Sheesh!
 
Question: What kind of ball was it? How deep was the canal? What kind of car, year and make and model and what not? ...they're just questions that immediately sprung to mind...
 
Answer: Well, I believe the ball was round. The car was a 1936 Ford, 2-door coupe, black, with a motor, and a dented left fender.  It was very dusty from the dirt road, scratches on the left door, I was unable to see the right side, sorry.   Or, was it the other way around?  The scratches may have been on the right, but was it my right or the readers right?  The memory plays tricks now-a-days, sorry.  I see it clearly in my head.

The water came to my waist when the gates were open, it dried up to mud when the gates were closed. That particular day the gates were open because the ball was floating away.
 
Question: Need to add more about what went through your mind before hiding behind the pole. Perhaps consider letting the reader in on the thinking process that ultimately led to the least effective choice. Just a thought.
 
Answer: Thinking process? Do ten-year-olds have one yet?  I didn't have time to think!  The car was right there! 
 
We were told not to swim in our clothes. I didn't want to get into trouble. Period. Children used to do as they were told. Not like today; why, in my day...this question would not have even been asked.
 
Question:  i want to find out what happened to her and if she found her bathing suit
 
Answer: This incident traumatized her so much, she's still writing about it years later. She must have found her bathing suit. I would guess, and it's only a guess, please don't ask me for proof,  her mother probably had insisted she put it in the laundry basket.
 
Thank you all for your comments, and I hope I have answered a few of the questions that popped into the readers heads.  Please ask if something is confusing, I will do my best to clarify.

Normal everyday doin's of country folk who didn't miss the 'stuff' they never knew, and the kids who wondered how city kids ever had fun.