The Important Places by Forest Woodward & Brendan Leonard
My Important Places (TBP Admin):
Polio Pond, Chicago Illinois
- A swamp in the Chicago wetlands. (yes there were wetlands 20 minutes from the heart of Chicago). I learned to “guerrilla swim” in Polio Pond because you didn’t know when a snake or huge catfish might bite you or a Junior High School student would try to dunk you! Also I learned what skinny dipping was! LOL!
Smokey Mountains stream Tennesse
- 9 years old our family takes car camping vacations because we’re too poor for motels. In the Smokey Mountains near our National Forest campground, a mountain stream wound through and we could hear lot’s of people screaming having fun. Our family wandered over and we saw high school kids sitting in inflated truck tire tubes riding down pretty fast whitewater. Wow that looked like fun. One of the kids asked me if I’d like to try and Mom said yes so i jumped on the tube and what a shock! That water was so cold I thought I’d croak, but after a few seconds the pain passed and I was on the first journey of my life. The splashing water, spinning, navigating, speeding up in rapid drops, then a pool with everyone grabbing hold of each others tubes. It was like a community afloat.
As soon as I turned 16 and had my own car, I dug out of the garage my brother’s 2 man Army Surplus raft and we’d run the Wolf, Pheshtigo, and Menominee Rivers in WI and MI.