June 27 • 05:28 AM

'Digger Dan' dug our family's pond

October 22, 2008
Our family pond was once a cow pasture and in it were two or three bubbling springs. In the late sixties Red got the bright idea that it would be an ideal place for a pond. In the fall of 1969 "Digger Dan" came in and made it a reality. When I baby-sat for two-and-a-half year old Grandson Curt, we would go down and watch Digger Dan do his stuff.

In the spring of 1970 the bank was leveled and seeded. During the summer we swam, had picnics and one night we took our tent-on-wheels down and stayed all night.

Do you remember the Mexican labor camp near Capac? They would come from Mexico in the summer to work the sugar beet fields and stayed in little shacks in the camp. Red's brother, Neal, worked for the sugar beet company and was in charge of the labor. He went to visit some of them in Mexico one winter and couldn't believe the beautiful homes they had. The little shacks were soon outlawed and we obtained one for our pond. It was just right for our little vacations at the pond. It holds a bed, easy chair, table and four chairs and the bottom half of a kitchen cabinet with a two-burner gas plate on top. A picture window overlooks the pond. We enjoyed spending the night down there and cooking breakfast. Daisy and I have stayed overnight there when the family gathered with their trailers and tents for a weekend. Evenings were spent around the campfire toasting marshmallows for s'mores and jovial conversation. I left the door open and at dawn's early light a mother raccoon and her two babies paid us a visit. They came up on the little porch and one of the babies tried climbing the screen door. Daisy didn't get excited, just looked on in awe.

In 1972 we started planting trees. Three spruce trees south of the pond came from Neal's place near Fairview. By 1975 I could hear the wind whistle through them. Three huge willows were little branches from Earl Kalbfleish's farm, which is now Kevin Miller's farm. The cedars which I call the cedar swamp came from Ron Godo's farm. Tucked in them is a privy, no longer used except by mother robin who sometimes builds a nest on the window ledge. The trailers all have their own facilities. Three maples were dug from the ditch on General Squier Road, others came from Doug Sexton. A black willow came from Hough's bridge on Hough Road. Carol and Chuck planted a spruce near the shack. He didn't seem to want to grow too fast but sported a cone at his very tip-top. After he let the cone go, he took off and is now a very tall tree with many cones.

Alan is now caretaker with Bob and Scott helping to mow the lawn. Pauline and Carol help too.

Daisy and I often take our supper down there. Sometimes Carol and Bob will come down for a visit and Alan and Pauline will sometimes buzz down on their four-wheeler. Last evening we went down and didn't stay long. It was a bit cool. I guess evenings at the pond are about at the end for 2008.

I have enclosed a family picture taken beneath a huge willow at my birthday celebration.

— Country Cousin

Castle Creek
Napco Pipe
06 - 27 - 19
Site Search

Thanks for visiting Tri City Times