A boy needs adventure, and boy I had em. Seems every year my boundaries expanded. When I was 9 or 10 years old my family moved to a small town in central Connecticut with the suitable name of Forestville. We lived at the top of Pine Street Hill on Hillcrest Court, a tree shaded dead end road of a dozen 1930s era homes. My boundary was the end of the road but I was free to roam the 3 acre patch of woods in back of the house. It seemed as large as Winnie the Pooh’s 100 acres at the time. Every afternoon you would find me there, in the wild, discovering the works of nature in that patch of woods. There were paths and secret trails to follow, squirrels and birds, butterfly’s to catch, beetles to examine, trees to climb and many a defensive fortress was built of broken branches and cast off boards.
Within a year my folks allowed that I could expand my realm. A school chum lived three streets over and in his field team sports were played. Each team had 3 or 4, however many we could muster. At that field I learned the disappointment of defeat and the joy of triumph. We matched our strengths, swapped tales and stories and sharpened minds and tongues on the braggadocio of young boys.
At the age of twelve I argued for my right to be the captain of my destiny. I was almost a teenager I defended, why should I not be allowed to go further afield . Besides I was a Boy Scout, already 2nd class. I could read a map, knew First Aid and always had my pocket knife with a compass in the handle in case of an emergency. I promised I would not ride my bicycle past Higgens Pond, only two miles from our home. Man I sure did roam, shoreline paths to fishing spots, the swamp, a marsh, winter, summer there was always life unfolding, plants and places to discover. Those were big times in a boys life. Adventures, I sure had em.
Higgens Pond had a little wooden pier and you could jump right off into water twice as deep as me. There was a floating raft and you could swim out there. That 1st year I did not try to go so far but on the next I did it on a dare. I made it, but man I sure was glad when my fingers latched onto the wooden rail. What a feeling sitting on that floating raft way out there and looking back to shore. Like Sir Francis Drake or the captain of a pirate ship afloat upon the sea. Just like Tom Sawyer and ol Huck Finn floating down the Mississippi River. Except this wasn’t a real raft, the kind made out of logs and rope. It floated on some empty barrels and must have had a big ships anchor that kept it tethered to the spot. Someday I’d build an authentic raft of hand cut poles all lashed together and maybe have a sail. I’d steer it down a river and sometimes just let the current carry me along. Someday I’d let the current carry me along.