Copyright 1991 by André G. Germain


This book ("partly truth and partly fiction") is a narrative of events of a very important time of my life, the years 1956 through 1958. It all started when my father moved us from the East side of Welland to a house on Oakland Avenue, not far from the Welland River. I was "going on" 14 at the time, and got to meet a bunch of kids my age who lived in that neighbourhood. Having a river and a "bush" nearby, and all these guys to hang around with proved to be a magical mix. And once we found "the boat", well, that is the stuff that high adventure is made of.

"The River Rats" have long since dissolved as a group but the principals, Al, Roy, Charlie, Larry, Ron, and my sister, Louise, are still alive and well, and we all still harbour fond memories of those by-gone days.

I had to take a lot of liberties with the dialogue because, try as I might, I just couldn't remember exactly who said what. But I did strive to retain the essentials of how we each talked and behaved. And although events tend to take on a rosy hue through the time-worn glasses of retrospection, I tried very hard to keep the narrative as historically accurate as my failing memory allows.

So, guys, please forgive me if I've cast any of you in a bad light in the course of this writing. Know that I've always considered each and every one of you a very special friend.

And although we did call Margaret-Anne "Liver Lips" and Heather "Fatso", that was many many years ago, a lifetime ago, and I hope the statute of limitations for such libelous statements has long since expired. By way of expiation, let me just say that you all played a very important part in the making of some very fond memories. Enough said. Read on...

André G. Germain

Ch.1:   The Move
Ch.2:   Custer's Last Stand
Ch.3:   The "Ponds"
Ch.4:   Torturing Fish
Ch.5:   Baseball and Mrs. Myhill's Greenhouse
Ch.6:    Duke
Ch.7:   N.A.W.A. (Our Nature Club)
Ch.8:   Planning for a Hike
Ch.9:   Taking a Hike
Ch.10:  The Making of a Movie
Ch.11:  Cowboys and Indians
Ch.12:  Al Gets Amnesia
Ch.13:  The "Scow"
Ch.14:  Maiden Voyage
Ch.15:  The Jolly Roger
Ch.16:  Long May It Wave
Ch.17:  Turtle Creek by Water
Ch.18:  Peeping Toms
Ch.19:  Caught in the Act
Ch.20:  The Fort
Ch.21:  Summer Plans
Ch.22:  Camp Tomahawk
Ch.23:  Drawing First Blood
Ch.24:  Brownie Points
Ch.25:  The Broom
Ch.26:  Getting Even
Ch.27:  Charlie and his Tomahawk
Ch.28:  Sneakers for Breakfast
Ch.29:  Turtle Races
Ch.30:  "Three-Paw" (Winning IS Everything)
Ch.31:  Roughing It
Ch.32:  Larry's "Depth Charges"
Ch.33:  Chokin' Chicken
Ch.34:  The Lean of the Land and A Good Smoke
Ch.35:  Ramming Speed!
Ch.36:  The Wild One
Ch.37:  Halloween Approaches
Ch.38:  The Hanged Man
Ch.39:  Stuffing a Bird
Ch.40:  Dreamboat
Ch.41:  Nightmares
Ch.43:  Territorial Challenge
Ch.43:  Burning Our Bridges
Ch.44:  Dobney's Pool (Sherry Baby)
Ch.45:   Fire Ants and Frogs' Legs
Ch.46:  Sleeping Dogs
Ch.47:  Childhood's End


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All material contained on these pages is copyright 1998 by André G. Germain and cannot be used in whole or in part by anyone for any purpose whatsoever without the express written consent of the copyright holder.