It was mid-July and almost 85 degrees in the small town of Bastin, located in the mountains of West Virginia. My parents and grandparents were going into the big city of Bluefield, population 3000. It was only 30 miles away, but the trip would take them over three hours, round trip, due to all the winding and treacherous roads. My parents told my brother Eugene, my Uncle Mike, and me not to go down to Wolf River while they were gone. They told us that they would take us down to the river to go swimming when they got back. As the elders in our clan drove away, leaving three mischief-seeking teenagers home alone on the farm, it did not take long for us to get bored. .
Our parents left our Uncle in charge, and since he was two years older than my brother, it seemed to make logical sense. When he suggested we go to the river to go fishing and explained to us that they said we could not go swimming, it made perfect sense to us. So, like the Pied Piper's followers we followed our uncle, grabbing our bamboo fishing poles to the river. Wolf River was known for its ferocity and turbulent current. Only weeks before, two boys were drowned while swimming in the river because the current was too strong. Their bodies were found thirty miles down river the next day. The river was unusually high for that time of year and had overflowed the banks and made several tiny ponds, which would be perfect for fishing. .
As my Uncle and I prepared the fishing poles, my brother was busy looking for the perfect spot. He returned shortly, exclaiming he found a shady spot around the bend. The three of us walked along the rocky bank until we came upon the fishing hole. We all cast our lines in the water, and within a minute or two we had a bite, but could not pull in the fish. We could not believe our luck. After fifteen minutes of feeding the fish, Eugene decided that he was going to take a walk along the river and skip stones.