How the River Ruined Me: The Ending of an Ozarks Childhood

How the River Ruined Me: The Ending of an Ozarks Childhood

by K. Lawson


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Water ruined me. Water bubbling over rocks, carving caves into the rock bones of Missouri. Water frozen in icicles a hundred feet long. Floating on quiet water with a spinning leaf beside me. Jumping into cold water on July days. Drinking pure, sweet glacier-cold spring water. The river was freedom and at the same time stability. I spent hours alone but never lonely with water whispering to me, holding me, playing with me, teaching me. I was ruined for the real world from an early age.

Southern Missouri is one of those regions that determinedly resists civilization. While we have our cell phones, our satellite TVs and our computers, daily life is still slow and patient and quiet. Like the river, we can't be pushed. During the sixties, I was a barefoot urchin playing in the woods of Shannon County along the tiny Jack's Fork River in southern Missouri. My parents and the bank owned the patch of woods where we lived and worked. We expected to continue to live and work there for a very long time. As people do when they find a place that suits them, we attached ourselves to the place as tightly as lichen to trees. We planted flowers and bushes. We made plans. The Rock House was home base. No less a force than the American government interrupted our plans by declaring eminent domain, and making a park out of our home. This application of eminent domain was one of the first used to acquire recreational property. Today, as we watch the expanding applications of eminent domain, my tale can be considered a cautionary one. Some can point to the park that resulted and see what was gained. My purpose is to show a bit of what was lost.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781425991593
Publisher: AuthorHouse
Publication date: 05/03/2008
Pages: 152
Product dimensions: 5.00(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.35(d)

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