Thinking of something good

Published 5:31 pm Tuesday, July 12, 2016

People are talking about the heat and it’s an appropriate subject. It’s hot! But what would one expect in South Georgia in July? Hot, July, South Georgia just go together. I forgot to add gnats, but I’m trying to stay positive today.

A few weeks ago, I was driving to my Daddy’s and Mother’s home when I passed a road by the name of Rupp. It’s not pronounced like the name of the late, great Kentucky basketball coach Adolph Rupp, as a rut in the road. Instead, it’s pronounced like the word root.

I bring it up because Rupp Road was the road on which a bridge was located. The bridge was known all over our community as Rupp Bridge, although most of us called it Root Bridge. I believe the creek that flowed under Rupp Bridge was Lost Creek. It was not a river, but a creek, which is not pronounced “crick!”

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Rupp Bridge was one of the most popular wash-holes around.

Don’t know what a wash-hole is? It’s where country folks would go swimming. City folks go swimming at a pool, or the cement pond, as Jethro Bodine of the Beverly Hillbillies called it. Country folks used to go to a wash-hole at the nearby creek.

At the end of the day, when we had worked in the fields and were hot and nasty, too nasty for the inside shower, we’d beg our Daddy to take us to Rupp Bridge or White’s wash-hole. If he had the time, we’d get in the back of the pick-up truck with a bar of Lava soap and go clean up at the wash-hole.

The creek water was pretty clear and very cold. The path through the woods was beaten and we wore cut-offs. Most of the time we were bare-footed and, as I think back, unafraid of the moccasins that were probably nearby. Why we never thought of snakes, I don’t know. I guess they were just as afraid of us as we would have been of them.

At Rupp Bridge, from one side of the creek to the other was not too far; less than 100 feet. Depending on when the last rain had occurred, the flow of the water was lazy or swift. I learned to swim at Rupp Bridge and it was a rite of passage to swim from one side to the other.

On the far side of the creek was a tall tree. A rope had been tied high in the tree and the greatest amount of fun was to grab the rope, run down the bank, and see how far one could swing out into the creek. It wasn’t exactly Wild Adventures, but to country boys who had worked hard all day, it was enough.

More adventurous and older boys would climb up in the tree and dive into Lost Creek. The water wasn’t all that deep and I was too “skeered” to do that. The legend was that somebody had done that long ago and had broken their neck. Nobody knew, exactly, who it was, but it didn’t matter, it was taken as truth. We weren’t all that sophisticated back then.

After a while of fun, we would take the bar of soap that we had brought and wash off all the grime we had collected during the day.

Then, it was back in the truck where we would sit on the tailgate and drag a tobacco stick on the dirt road all the way home.

When I consider the week we just went through, late afternoons at Rupp Bridge sound pretty good.