Cow Creek Runs Through It

  By Larry Troxel


A creek runs through Glendale,

The quaint little town of my boyhood,

Nestled in a verdant Fir-lined vale,

Where a few lumber mills stood.


Cow Creek it was but who knows why,

Maybe to commemorate a settler’s cow,

This ribbon of water to many supplied,

As it flowed along bends, limbs and boughs.


On hot summer days the kids were there,

To fish and swim in their favorite holes,

Nature’s amusement park without a fare,

And amorous evenings on its sandy shoals.


The swimming holes were clearly marked,

Between the bridges, at the trestle were two,

Big rock was a third, flowing deep and dark,

On the cottonwood’s rope swing we all flew.


Cutoff blue jeans was our swimming attire,

Like a scene from a Huck Finn’s page,

We changed behind bushes and briars,

And frolic and daring fun was the rage.


From the mill was selected a willowy plank,

With the right width and length and spring,

It was mounted high above on the creek bank,

A finer diving board money could not bring.


The opening of fishing season no one forgot,

Their license and tackle, poles and reels,

Rainbows and Cutthroats were mostly caught,

Prince Albert can worms were the baited meals.


In the flatlands farmers irrigated their hay,

With water borrowed from Cow Creek,

Others pumped to their gardens to spray,

Its moisture grazing livestock would seek.


Late summer blackberries ripened by its shores,

Cooked into Mason jars of jellies and jam,

Pails were filled and peddled door-to-door,

Some were even fermented into a awful dram.


Its autumn trickle and swollen wintry rage,

Were later tamed by a dam upstream,

But this artery of life in my youthful age,

Entreats memories and long ago dreams.