It was a fine and sunny day in November 1979. When the fellows and I decided to head down to millers pond, which was always one of our favourite pastimes. Tom decided we should head down around lunch time, yet peter thought it would be better leaving early so we wouldn’t get burnt by the noonday sun. Which to me sound like a good idea, however tom stood steadfast about his thoughts for the day’s plans and there was no way of convincing him otherwise, when he was in that frame of mind. So we left at 11am that morning and made our way through skipper’s canyon. Along the way it was as if time had stood still, as we laughed and nudged each other’s shoulders. Sitting there on a rocky out crop in skipper’s canyon, I asked tom and peter if they had ever noticed how the clouds just shift by like on parade. Tom laughed, you and your ideas Alice!
We all smiled at each other and proceeded on our way. A short time later the three of us arrived it was around noon and the sun was high so we headed towards the shelter of the trees that were nestled at the edge of the riverside. To our surprise there was a new action at the riverside. Peter stood there in awe and simply said, “ Whoa who in the heck did that!” Tom simply replies “yeah way cool”. I laughed at the two of them do you know how silly you two look, with the months wide open like that. Any one would think you’re trying to catch flies. The pair of them laughed you can’t talk “Alice you’re doing it too”. “No I’m not!” shrugging my shoulders at them. Then peter asked, “So who’s first?” I wasn’t that keen to be honest with you, as I wasn’t fearless like my brother and peter. But like mum had always stated boys will be boys, and one thing was certain, wherever there was excitement peter and tom were never that far away.
So peter climbed to the top of the river embankment, and grabbed the glide rope, very slowly as the old v dub tyre approached. Tom grabbed the tyre, while peter attached the glide rope to the tree in a half loop. So when it was pulled it would be released. Sending the tyre and either peter or tom out over the river. At first I just thought it was a swing, so I wasn’t expecting them to actually jump from it into the river
So peter positions himself one leg at a time and ended up sitting inside the tire rim, while tom stood steadfast. Ok peter he yelled “well let me know when to release the thatch”.
“Yeah for sure” I thought the two of the were mad, then peter yelled “ok tom let it rip” and away he went into the air while steadily holding the rope as he swang out over the river, then he leaned back and said “this is so cool”, then suddenly he simply just let go and fell into the river. As he entered the river the was an god all mighty splash and peter disappeared beneath the surface at first I was wondering if he was ok as all I could see was the bubble rippling upon the surface of millers pond. Then suddenly he appeared simply stating, “you’ve got to try this that was the coolest ride ever”.
Which I thought was funny since a week earlier the country fair was in town and we have rides such as a merry go round, and it was a great fair. And I remember how hilarious it was while peter and tom were stuffing their faces with fairy floss and mum and dad called us over and the two of them where such a mess. My father stated, “You two look like you need a shave” mum just look at the boys and said “no just a damn good wash” smiling away. Then tom called “come here Alice it’s your turn. While attaching the guide rope around the tree once more. Slowly I slipped one leg at a time between the tyre and rested my weight on the base of the tyre rim. Now I wasn’t really sure this was a good idea but I couldn’t have peter and tom calling me chicken all the way home. So tom said “let me know when you’re ready.” and as you can imagine that was the last thing on my mind, when suddenly tom un-thatched the rope and I went shooting forward like a dart thought air and passed over the ledge and over the river while screaming hysterically, while peter who was beneath me in the river was calling “jump Alice! Jump” so with that I learnt back and let go as well, free falling into the river much the same as peter had done, I noticed as I went under the bubble flew up my nose and the was an air bubbles in my shorts as if I had a life preserver on which explain why peter seem so buoyant in the water. Then we both watched as tom pulled the tyre back towards the riverside and attaching the glide rope round the tree and drawing the line towards him while placing his legs between the tyre rim and pulling the glide rope to set himself free, “yelling here I come”.
Peter and I watched as tom lent back and released the rope and slipping through the rim of the tyre while preforming a half twist “I might add” my brother was always looking for his knish in the world, and by golly he might of just found it, as it was a beautiful dive, unlike peter and I, who fell through the air like two bricks freefalling over a body of water.
As tom reappeared from beneath the surface he decided to flick a hand of water in my face, I responded by doing the same and then it was on for young and old as we must have had one of the largest water fights in the history of miller’s pond. Time seen the past so quickie that afternoon before we knew it was around 4pm in the afternoon. And you could always tell when it was time to leave by the way the shadows were cast on hillside of skipper’s canyon. So with that we made our way home knocking about and laughing along the way.
I remember that day at millers pond as if it was just yesterday, its hard to believe that I’m now thirty and we were there twenty years, and peter and I are married now, and
Now its our kids, that return to miller’s pond looking for adventure and excitement at my most favourite of swimming holes of all time, also known as miller’s pond.