The location of the Spring Creek School was on a flat, nestled
between the cliff on the north and the Little White River on the south. The river
flowed in from the northwest, circled to the south of the school about a quarter
mile and wended it's way east departing to the northeast. Though I never saw it
in my day I imagine this was once a flood plain. Yes, at one time this could
easily have been the scene of flash floods. The waters tumbling and sloshing
their way across this insignificant piece of ground in a hurry to reach the exit.
Time had slowed the waters and erosion had taken it's tole, leaving the west and
south in twenty to thirty foot sharp sandy cliffs. The ground sloped to the east
leaving a two foot drop off. A sandy graded road approached the large heavy duty
bridge, crossed and continued on as a trail road.
It's summer and the Little White River gently rolls from bend to bend.
We are running back and forth across the bridge stopping now and then to lean
over the rail and watch the Indian children splashing in the only deep spot. It was
first comers got the choice spot. Big deal! Chest deep to a ten year old.
We run off the bridge south. The graded road crosses a big culvert
allowing a small spring access to the river where it fans out at the point of entry.
We run through the crystal liquid turning it into chocolate and leaving dents in the
once smooth sand. This is a child's paradise. Sand so pure, soft and powdery
warmed by the sun. The deeper we dig the cooler the sand becomes as it is
joined by the moisture below.
Our mothers put limits on our water sports. First: we had to wait an
hour after the meal to get in the water. Second: polio was a concern in our day
and we didn't get to play as often as we thought we should. Third: we were not
allowed to swim unless our mothers were with us. With the gardening, house
keeping and canning, we were lucky if we got to swim two or three times a week.
I guess that is why we spent most of our time on horseback.
On the ridge north of the school stood a lookout tower. In the long
evenings we would be found always outside, either sitting on the steps, running
up and down the fire escapes or in the front yard. This was the only real green
grass in the area. It was fenced to keep cattle or horses from trampling it into the
mirrored image of its surroundings. This enclosure measured fifty by a hundred
feet and was kept watered. A large tree provided the only shade