Bill Murphy, October 2020
Have you ever been trapped? I don’t mean trapped for two hours at a piano recital for your neighbor’s six year old wannabe Beethoven. I’m mean trapped in what could have been a life or death situation, or at least it seemed that way at the time?
I was once trapped in the McCarty-Holman Warehouse elevator with Henry Holman for a few minutes. But curious as I am, I’d previously done my homework and discovered the release mechanism that allowed us to escape.
But many years before that great elevator entrapment, my childhood pal, John Gorday and I were trapped in quicksand-like mudd in town creek.
This was in the early to mid 50s. We were both raised on Evergreen, two blocks north of Battlefield Park. In the late 40s, the land south of Hwy 80 was mostly undeveloped and wild. That area might as well have been on another continent! It became our ‘Amazon Forest’ within walking distance of home. We’d cut through Battlefield Park between Terry Road and Gallatin… and quickly be in an explorers paradise. Town Creek was our ‘Amazon.’
It had rained previously, and obviously for many days. The lazy creek had been out of it’s banks, but had now receeded to normal level. We spied something sticking up from the water, something interesting.
The creek itself was not wide at all in this area, hardly more than four or five feet at most… and shallow. Wading out to inspect this curious object would be simple, or so we thought!
I can’t remember which brave soul ventured out first, but a few steps beyond dry ground, and still several feet from the water’s edge, we discovered that we were in serious trouble! The banks were muddy, very muddy, with very deep and sticky mud! The mud was like quicksand with a mega-grip. The photo above does NOT do it justice! We were stuck almost up to our knees!
The one on the bank ventured out as far as they could reach and grabbed a hand of the trapped one and pulled. Although the one stuck was pulled close enough to the bank to gain enough traction to struggle out of the mud, the ‘rescuer’ was pulled out into the stickly mud! We’d only switched places!
This see-saw, back and forth, the rescuer becoming the one needing rescue, went on and on for what seemed like hours! Back and forth we went until we were exhausted. But we carried on, inching ever closer and closer to dry ground.
Finally, two very muddy and very tired Amazon explorers lay spent on the backs of the Mighty Muddy Town Creek. It was time to break camp and head back to Doodleville.