May 22, 2013
My grandfather use to swim this place, this stretch of river in a town whose name got change because some man hated black people living in town with a similar name nearby.
My grandfather, a kid then, even ate the fish he caught, and didn’t get sick if he happened to sip the water when he swam.
Nobody had turned good water bad yet to warn them when they got wet, good water being good, everybody understood. Bad water was sad, but not so bad that they had to watch their backs or throw back the fat fish they happened to catch.
The factories spewed little green slime then, but it was not if, but rather when, the green slime spread to every glen.
“This is not right,” my uncle said, and could not get it into his practical head how anyone would want to make this river dead. How to make this wrong into right, puzzled him mightily every night, not water to wine was his mind set, but bad to good if he only could as he watched the green slime ooze out to the sea.
Grandpa would not have said it like way, back in the day when he had his say, never mistaking bad water for wrong or good water for right, simply looking for a way he might just get along, knowing how easy it was to turn good water bad, and hard as hell to turn it back, but unlike my uncle who would mutter and cry, my grandfather would forever give it a try, good water is good water when you get down into the deep, and it might take a life time if that’s what you seek.