“The under ground fort”, which was built on my paper route and I would go there when I had a moment to spare. Because of my wondering nature I would get distracted from delivering news papers and would end up at the fort. The fort was located down by the river on the South end of Swan Street Just across the road from Freeman’s Market store, near a creek that ran off from Lake Clair.
I dug a deep and wide hole and carefully laid logs and branches over the top, and then I covered it with sod and dirt.
To get into the fort, there was a small trench like cutout which became the tunnel into the main area which became totally dark and full of spiders and webs.
Soon my neighborhood friends (Robert, Billy, and Ronnie and some kids I didn’t know) found my hiding spot and we all would meet there and discussed our intentions of making a raft to float down the river.
One time Robert and I got upset with each other down at the underground fort when he said that he was the one who build the fort with his friends and not me. He and I got into a small “turf fight” which consisted of shoving and exchanging a few half hearted punches. He fell down and landed on his back on a stick that was pointing up out of the dirt. He went home crying claiming that I stabbed him with a knife. The word spread throughout the neighborhood that we had a knife fight and that I stabbed him.
As time marched on the rains came and the muddy river began to rise until the fort filled in. The logs slowly lifted and floated on down stream as the mud and sod filled up the spot that I spent so much time and energy that past summer. This became memory that the flooded Wabash River took away from a young boy who had adventure tucked in his veins.