University of Nevada, Reno




Growing up on Grosse Ile

By Richard


RichardGrosse Ile was a great place to raise children. On many days I would explore the woods which joined our property, swimming in the creek and pond. The pond was in the woods about a quarter mile from the house.

On many a summer day the bunch of us could be found running through the woods dropping our clothing (all of them) along the path and diving in as soon as we arrived at the pond. We would spend the day swimming in its cool waters. After the war, in the summer, we kids would sneak on to the Naval Air Station and spend the day swimming in the base pool.

Mom never worried about where we were or what we were doing. Or at least that is the way it seemed.

Our dog Judy, a cocker spaniel, would chase the planes as they flew over the house to land at the Naval Air Station. She also loved to hunt. In the winter I would hunt rabbits and pheasant with friends Jack and Lee and of course Judy. It made no difference to us that the Island was a game preserve. Mr. Peabody was the game warden and his son Bill was in my class.

The creek passed a mere seventy-five yards from our house and in the spring the water would run over the road and the Northern Pike would swim upstream to spawn. At times they were so thick that they were easy to pick out with a spear or even a garden rake. In those woods I learned to hunt and camp, and I learned to take care of and entertain myself. I learned to be self sufficient.

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