Swimming at the Lower Falls

When I went to Shady Grove I went to school with Herb BYNUM and his brother [probably Leonard who later married his sister Eva] also Bill and John TIGUE and their sisters.

There was a big hole of water down on 14 mile creek. It is what they call the lower falls. It has a rock fall of about 8 feet. [Water drops off of rocks?] It forms a big round hole of water below and is very deep. People used it for a swimming hole. They swam in it and swam horses in it too. One day all of my brothers were at home and after lunch they all decided to go to the swimming hole. They took some horses along to swim. I couldn’t swim but I went along . They swam the horses first and they tied them up to dry. Then the men all went swimming. I got a log and was playing around the edges of the swimming hole on the log. One of my brothers came along and gave the log a push and it landed out in the deep part of the hole. The water scared me and I climbed out on one end of the log and it kicked out from under me.  I went down twice and started to go down the third time but by that time dad had hold of me. I climbed onto his shoulders and was ducking him. The two of us were about to drown. One of my brothers swam in behind dad and put his feet to dads back and gave him a shove and pushed him to where he could touch bottom of the creek bed. I was always a poor swimmer. I have always been afraid of the water.

The Indians used to use that hole of water to hold their stomp dances. One dry year there were dancing and swimming trying to make it rain. One old man tied his old lady in the creek for three days. He had to take her out for she was about to drown. It still did not rain. [appears that the old man thought that tying his wife in the creek would make it rain.]  After my first horse died it wasn’t long until I got another one. I had a little blue roan horse. If you touched him to hard with the spurs he would buck. I was coming from TAHLEQUAH one day and I stopped at the Ed PARIS place.  They lived where the air port is now. Floss PARIS, Ed Paris’s girl was out at the gate talking to me. I touched my horse with the spurs and she started to buck and then he threw me over the fence and broke my tail bone. I had a little black horse if you would put your foot in the stirrup and didn’t get right on he would kick you in the seat of your pants. I had a little white mare that would buck ever time I would get on her. When she found out she could not throw me she would try to eat my knees off. I had a little black 3 year old horse and he would take spells of bucking. You never knew when he was going to buck. I was coming along by Bethel school one day going toward home and all of a sudden he started bucking. My saddle turned and went under his belly. I managed to get out of the saddle He run the mile and a half home with my saddle under his belly. It was a new saddle and he nearly ruined it but I was happy that I had managed to get out of the saddle and not get hurt or killed.

One time when we lived up close to Liberty school  I had a little brown horse that was rather bronkey. I had a neighbor boy, Joe SCRAGINS, we ran around together. We started to Gideon one day and when we got about a mile from home we started to run our horses. There was a sharp curve in the road and just as we went around the curve there lay a cow in the middle of the road. I was right on her if she would have laid still my horse would have jumped her. But she started to get up. She got about half way up and my horse hit her and kicked her back down. My horse fell and my saddle turned and both of my feet went through the stirrups. But when my horse jumped to his feet he busted the saddle loose. He took off running and ran all the way home. If he had not busted the saddle loose he would have killed me.

We had a neighbor, Tom WALKINS, Henry and Butch Watkin’s dad. Me and Joe was down there one day a visiting the boys. Mr. Watkins had a span of old mules. The boys told us they had never been rode. I told Joe I would ride one if he would ride the other. He said he would do that. One of them was wild and the other one was gentle. He gave me the choice of the two. I took the gentle mule. He rode his mule first and it never bucked any just run a little. I saddled my gentle mule up it stood still until I got on and then he done everything but stand still. In about 3 jumps and I hit the ground. That was the buckiness thing I had ever tried to ride. One time when I lived at Peggs I had a little spotted horse that would take spells a bucking, you  never knew when he was a going to buck. I had a little grandson that was staying with me one week, his parents lived at west Tulsa, Carl Allen JOHNSON, he was about 5 years old. I had a horse lot and barn but I had to take him outside to a pond to water him. I would go about noon and water him.

One day me and Carl Allen went to water him. I caught him and put the bridle on him and got on him. My little grandson wanted to ride with me. I told him maybe he better not that the horse might buck. I rode him into the pond and when he put his head down to drink he to bucking. The second jump he made the bridle come off for it didn’t have any throat latch. He had a roached mane and I didn’t have any thing to hold on to and he threw off. I went under in that old dirty pond water. Someone had rolled a truck tire into the pond and I hit it with the small of my back. This almost knocked me out. I guess if it had I would have drown. It took me half the evening to get cleaned up. I traded him off the next day. I let Leslie BLEVENS have him. I traded him for a yellow mare. I had a yellow nanny goat that took up with the yellow mare and would follow the mare every place the mare went. When I sold the mare I let the goat go with her. In a day or two Leslie rode the little spotted horse up to my house. We roached him.  I asked him if the horse had quick bucking.  He said yes you couldn’t make him buck if you wanted to. He got on him and started off in a lope and the horse went to bucking and nearly threw him off. The last horse I owned was a little sorrel. A little 2 year old horse. He was gentle. I never had the saddle for him but I rode him bareback in the lot. I would take him feed in the barn and he would follow me into the barn.  I would go out behind  and he never had offered to kick me. One day I took his feed in the barn and he followed me as usual into the barn and then turned both heels to me and kicked. He barely missed my head if he had hit me he would have killed me dead. The next day I called him to the gate and put the bridle on him and started leading him to the barn. He jumped in front of me and kicked with both hind feet and again just barely missed my head . I sold him the next day for just what I gave for him.

I never left home but one time only when I went to the army. I had a little yellow mare that I had been riding for a long time. I had a double cousin, George [Washington] NEEL and he used to stay with us a lot. One time me and him decided to leave.  George didn’t have any horse to ride. We started east. We would take turns riding the horse.



MLA Source Citation:

Neel, Walter Alexander. Recollections of My Life. AccessGenealogy.com. Web. 30 September 2014. http://www.accessgenealogy.com/genealogy/swimming-at-the-lower-falls.htm - Last updated on May 8th, 2013


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