When I was about 12 years old, and the river was frozen very deep, my brother Gaylord and I
got permission to skate down the river, to the little town of Marble Rock. The river ran on the back of our farm, and slanted and curled around to the west side of our home town.
The young people of the town often spent Saturday afternoons out on the river, ice skating. We headed off to join them.
Daddy said, “Now Gaylord, you help Vernabelle get her skates tied tight, and be sure to wait for her. Don’t let her skate out there alone.”
Well, Gaylord did help me with the skates, but when we started skating, I had difficulty keeping up. When his patience was fully tried, and we weren’t far from town, he said, “Just skate in the middle of the river, don’t go close to any islands or the edge of the river,” and he took off.
This was a bitter cold day, and the ice would crack and make all kinds of weird noises. I was absolutely petrified with fear, but all went well, and we had loads of fun skating with the other kids.
Gaylord had a friend that I had a little crush on. He was in high school, and I’m sure, had no idea that I really like him. The reason I liked him was the fact that he was about the only high school boy that would take a second look at any of the grade school kids. All of the kids liked him.
I was so thrilled when he asked me to skate with him. He could skate backwards, and I did well to skate frontwards. Well, his skate hit a crack in the ice, and he almost threw me over his head, as he crashed down on the ice. (Now I think that is what happened. It could well have been that I may have tripped him accidentally.)
The name of this person has been withheld to protect the innocent.
We skated to town more than once, but I’m not sure which time the following incident took place.
There was a very few high school scholars that were allowed to drive their parents car. One day, a carload of teenagers drove out onto the ice where we were skating. 3 or4 of the boys skated out to the car, grabbed the back bumper, and gave the car a whirl. Well, it whirled easier than they had anticipated, and headed right for the city dam.
Not only the 4 boys who whirled the car, but a large group of young people learned a great lesson that day. Yes, my brother was among those who thought they’d have a little fun with the kids in that car.
Miraculously, the car stopped short of going over the dam. I am sure that was in answer to many prayers spoken during those horrible moments.
That evening when we skated home to do our chores, Gaylord skated closer to me than he had on the way in.
I do not remember if either of us told our parents or not, but I think not. We both had learned a good lesson that day.