The Early Times

Sitting at home in a nearly empty house with my car in the shop for several days. And, being retired, there is not much to do but remember.

I was born in Atlanta, Georgia, during the Great Depression. When my father left my mother before my sister was born, we moved out to East Lake to live with my Grandmother and Aunt.

We lived in a house that had belonged to the overseer of a dairy. Behind it was a large garden, we grew most of our food, and a chicken yard and the dairy pasture full of cows. A small stream separated pasture and garden and that where my brothers Charlie and Tommy and I, spent most of our time when not doing chores.

We decided to build a dam and make our pond larger. Soon we had a pond about 3 feet deep and 20 feet across.

Eventually the pond attracted a muskrat, which made a burrow in the clay bank. I remember it as having long whiskers, big teeth and bright black eyes.

What good is a pond if you cant sail on it? We took off one of the garage doors and made a raft. A board was our paddle and we made plans to try it out. But who would be the first?

My brother Charlie, always a dare devil volunteered. He was paddling away in the middle of the pond when the muskrat poked his head out, probably to see what was going on, but we thought he might attack Charlie and started yelling warnings.

“let him come. I ill whack him if he does,” said Charlie. The muskrat went back in its hole and we enjoyed our raft until our aunt tried to close the garage after parking her car.


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