Posted by: Jim E | November 2, 2011

A Bridge…Swimming In The Crow Wing River…’67 Pontiac Station Wagon…Summer…

I was going over some thoughts in my mind about our 1967 Pontiac Catalina station wagon and all the great times we as a family had in that car…we lived in Croswell, Michigan until the summer of 1968, when we moved back to the Minneapolis area…we bought the Pontiac in Port Huron, Michigan, thinking we needed a bigger car to transport our family of five…Mom, Dad and three boys (here is the only picture I can find, the five of us and “part” of the Pontiac, probably 1968 or 69)…in the years that we had that car, we “used it”…I mean, we used it…and had it until maybe 1975 or so…we had lots of miles on it…and finally sold it or had it hauled away, I can’t remember exactly…we traveled all over with that car…and when we got our Starcraft tent trailer in 1973, we used it to pull the Starcraft around the state, until it just couldn’t do it any more…

I remember so well, one of the last trips we took with the Pontiac…we visited some friends near Staples, Minnesota…they lived on a farm outside of town and it was decided to go swimming…it was “high summer”…which means in Minnesota, hot and humid…at least for Minnesota…(since we now live in Arkansas, the humidity in Minnesota is all in the mind…in Arkansas that kind of weather would be considered, “comfortable”…but I digress)…that day in central Minnesota, it was hot and humid…so swimming in the Crow Wing River was the way to cool down…we drove a few miles on a country road to a bridge that crossed the river…we parked the green (or blue…it has always been a controversy) Pontiac wagon on the side of the road and piled out…we had Jeremy by this time…so there were six in our family, plus our friends…quite a group…

We parked near the bridge and all thought going into the water was a good idea…the river was low, so the sandbars were showing and there were pools of cool water to swim in…it was and still is an idyllic picture in my mind…it wasn’t Disney World but represents one of the many great memories our family has to remember…the bridge we went swimming under might as well have been in the middle of nowhere…and in many ways, it was…all along the riverbank were many trees…knee-deep or higher, prairie grass was all along the road and down to the river bank…it was late July or early August and the seed on the top of the grass was already turning a shade of gold, ripening in the sun and heat…there was plenty of shade and the wind was moving through the trees, making for dappled colors of green all around us…and the golden heads on the grass were waving like fields of wheat…it was beautiful…

We had a great time in the water…even Jeremy, who was still struggling through various cancer treatments, was able to go into the shallow pools of water…while the older ones ventured out into the deeper water…(that is one thing about Minnesota, everyone knows how to swim…you learn it early…there is so much water all around, i.e. land of 10,000 lakes, that it is a must to not be afraid of the water)…splashing, throwing stones and the like…Jared, as I remember got the only leach from the experience, though we checked all of the kids…and we had to do a little first aid…but on the whole it was a wonderful time…it was, a memory and a bridge to our past…and I love the memories so…



  1. Great story hope all is well. Wishing you and yours a Happy Thanksgiving. I hope Julie is wrong about that S word I am not looking forward to the dreaded S word (snow)……. Take care Saun

    • Saun…we are looking forward to Thanksgiving…I imagine you and yours will be together for that wonderful day…down here in Little Rock, no fear of snow yet…still having 70+ degree days…today a little cooler but still nice…but we do get a bit of snow over the winter…but some years not at all…it is gone in hours or a day or so…that’s the way I like it…here and enjoy the beauty…and then gone…I still enjoy your site..I can’t seem to get signed up to leave a comment…but that’s me I guess…still enjoy it…enjoy your Thanksgiving with your family, I know you will…Jim E

      • I’m not sure why you can’t leave a comment. I had a couple other people tell me that too. I had to switch to a pop up comment box that seemed to work for the others .They were able to leave a comment then. Have a great weekend!


      • I will try that, if I understand what you are saying…thanks…Jim E

  2. Hay Jim, I stop by from time to time..but don’t leave a trail..but today I wanted to say HI and that I miss the days of summer last…but remember everyone whom made it “hole”. Your a good writer. Keep it up. God’s Peace brother!….Jeff in Joisy.

    • Jeff…great to hear “your voice”…there will be others along this route that will really be excited to hear from you, here or anywhere…and they, and I, will agree last summer will probably never happen again…but it was a memory that none of us will ever forget…and you where a big part of that…thanks for that…hope to hear from you again…I’ve been to the imjustwalkin site many times…see you have too…more people come to it than leave comments…thanks again…Jim E

  3. A great summer memory! Winter is not far off now, and it is good to have warm memories to think back upon. Reminds me a bit of the creek I grew up near, all those years ago.

    • Thanks W.S….memories are wonderful…Jim E

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