Children Riding a Flash Flood

June 16, 2013 by Dr Robert E McGinnis  
Published in Motherhood

Nowadays you have to go to North Carolina or a theme park to ride the rapids, but about seventy years ago three little boys jumped into a flash flood alone and in seconds they were swept away and down through the hillside. They traveled for miles and miles before they were able to get out of the raging waters. The three boys in the picture below own this story and they will never forget it.

This is a true story about three adventuous boys who lived without fear and for no special causes until they grew up. The smallest is a girl, but of the three boys, the one on the left became a sailor as did the one in the middle. The one on the far right was the biggest, toughest, meanest and oldest and not so bright, he went into the Marines.


I am the oldest and we range down to the cute little blond haired boy who is exactly three year younger than I. (The smallest person in this picture is my sister and she doesn’t figure in this story. She has a story of her own with a rattlesnake.) I would say we were five years old at the youngest up to eight years in age when this picture was taken. Give or take a year.

We have all seen some very strange rains in our time. There are two rainy days that come to mind today when I think about my childhood. We lived near the Mississippi River and there were times when the rains were so heavy that the roads and fields turned into torrents of water. On one occasion, we found fish flopping on the road after a real heavy downpour. This rain was accompanied by a sixty to seventy mile an hour wind. This was one of the rainy days.

My two bothers and I were raised rather differently than any of the other neighborhood kids. Our parents allowed us to do just about anything we wanted to. However, we did get a daily warning about everything imaginable.

On the occasion, which is the happening of this true story, we were confined to the house by one of the worst thunderstorms any of us had ever witnessed. Our house was the last on the block and the lowest on the hill. Directly behind our house was a clover field which was enclosed by a four-foot high barbed wire fence. When it poured, this field would sometimes get flooded and we would run downstairs to the basement and get our inner tubes for a nice clover field float.

Since we were at the end of the subdivision and at the end of the only road in, all the rainwater came down through the other higher up properties and roads to flow past our house. It was nothing for us to run over to the low end of our lot and get a free ride with a powerful downhill water tumble. On this day, the roar was deafening because the path of roaring water was a good five or six hundred feet wide. Our house was on a hillside and the roaring water came within a few feet of our house.

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