Well I’m getting up in years and I have
a friend, or two friends we fish together. We graduated high
school together and now we’re fishing together again. But, our biggest problem with our old age is we sit in a
boat for a while and we get all stiff and bound up. And, one night, my buddy Harlan he fell in the river and then I was getting out of the boat and I
fell in the river so we just got one to go now. Mister
Pence’s day’ll come we’re gonna have to push him in the river I think. Rivers meander through the lives of everyone.
Rivers and streams connect all of us. Water knows no city boundaries, county boundaries, state boundaries, or property boundaries. We are the rivers and the rivers are us. My mom wouldn’t let me go down by the
Cedar River when I was little, but she let me go to a stream called
Prairie Creek. It was about the size of this stream.
Starting when I was about eight years old, I got to go down there by myself. It was about a mile from my house, and I’d
walk down there with my friends and we’d walk around in the woods and we’d build forts, wade in the creek, build rafts that always sunk, so you never wanted to be the first person
to test the raft. We had a great time. Sources of abundance, and destruction. Life, and death. Creativity, and imagination. Rivers and the fresh flowing waters are at the heart of human existence.
Rush Creek to me has kinda been a blessing and a curse. On a day
like today, it’s a good place to come down to and
kinda recharge your batteries. Just the beauty of it to me even though
I’ve been here over 30 years, the newness hasn’t worn off. When it’s wild, when it gets to
flood stage, she does do a lot of damage. Rivers
and streams are so interwoven into our lives, that at times we don’t even see them. One
thing I found when I first brought students down here was that when I said we were going to
the river, they said, “Well what river?” and I said
well we’re going down to the park just down the hill, and they said “Oh
that’s not a river.” They called it a ditch, they called it a creek. They were very surprised, or at
least some of them were very surprised when I said that no
this was a river, we showed them on the map, how this river actually flowed to