By Junior Johnson
My precious brother Terry and I were probably born 100 years too late; however, neither of us would want to change our lives as they have played out to this point.
Born while our parents lived in a sharecroppers house on CoCo Bed Road near the Village of Cloutierville, myself in the late 40s andTerry in the early 50s, we shared a wonderful childhood that children today would envy. Our parents were the most hard working and loving people that we have ever known, and to this day we are the men that we have become because of their love and guidance.
We lived on the banks of Cane River and would use that setting to provide our enjoyment when we had the opportunity after our chores were completed.
Since I was older my brother would always be there to assist me in projects that we would use to provide our entertainment. We never got into the Cowboys and Indians games that were popular during that time period. We were more inspired by what the two of us talked about, and our biggest project was building a raft.
Our dad had some timbers that he let us have for our project and we went to work on our vessel for Cane River navigation. We even had a tent in which we could sleep on our overnight trips on the Cane. Dad quickly overruled that genius plan because of our young age.
We did spend hours poling our raft up and down Cane River from our home and those memories are etched in our minds, and will be forever. Mom would make us a lunch of sandwiches and kool-aid, along with some of her delicious banana pudding.
Obviously we did not know of the exploits that Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer had back then, but years later we both agreed that we could have been those rascals looking for Becky Thatcher.
I would manage to get some of our dad’s Chesterfield cigarettes and we would get on our raft and, once settled in a spot away from where he could see the smoke, we would light up and puff on them like toads as we waited for the fish to bite on the lines of our cane poles. No license needed back then.
That was many years ago and in a much different time than the young people growing up today. Our parents did not have to worry about some pervert putting us in harm’s way. I will not presume that my brother and I had a better childhood than those growing up today; however, I believe without a doubt that the creativity that Terry and I had went a long way into developing us into the individuals that we are today. Cane River was, and still is, a place that my brother and I hold dear in our hearts.