“Skinny Dippin’” by: Charlie Wardle
One day while we were at Granma Wardle’s in Rigby, Idaho, Dad decided that he would take us boys and some of our cousins to his old swimming hole for a swim. Since we didn’t have any swimming suits with us, Dad said it would be alright to go skinny dipping. When Uncle Olsen heard this, (he was very strict with his children) he told his two boys that if they even got a little wet, he’d beat them.
Dad assured Mother and Aunt Verna that his swimming hole was where no one could see us. It ended up being about twenty yards away from a busy highway.
Dad’s swimming hole was a great big canal with a small ditch that ran along the side of it. The place where we were swimming had about five great big trees and a rope hanging from one of the trees to swing across. Dad said there used to be a diving board when he used to swim, but it was gone.
The people that ended up going were Dad, Weldon, bill, Charlie, the two Olsen boys and Danny Green. The canal we were swimming in was fairly deep, at least over my head, and it was fairly swift.
We would walk up the ditch about thirty or forty yards, then hurry and jump into the canal and float on down the canal.
We had the Olsen boys at each end of the canal when we were swimming, to watch for cars when we switched from the canal to the ditch; or from the ditch to the canal.
One time when we were moving from the ditch to the canal, Weldon got up on the bridge that went over the canal, to dive in. While Weldon was standing on the bridge a car came by. Weldon didn’t have time to jump in so he just stood there and waved. The funny thing about it was that the people in the car were Sara and Clyde. When Sara noticed that the person standing on the side of the road nude was her brother Weldon, her bottom jaw dropped so far that I thought it was going to fall off.
After we got done swimming and put on our clothes, Weldon, Billy and Danny started swinging across the canal on the rope. The younger Olsen boy [Reed] wanted to try swinging across the canal, but his oldest brother [Ray] told him he better not in case he fell in. To show his oldest brother that he could do it, he grabbed the rope and started across. He just barely reached the bank on the other side with his “tippy-toes”. He was trying to pull himself up with the rope when his grip slipped and in he went. We all started laughing at him. When he pulled himself out, his brother was telling him how he had told him that he shouldn’t have swung across the canal on the rope. He got mad at his brother and pushed him in the canal so they both got wet.
When we got back to Grandma’s their dad was so mad with them they both had to go sit in their van until their family left Grandma’s.