I had a teacher in college who dearly loved to quote verses from memory by Hoosier poet James Whitcomb Riley, and Woody Mason passed that appreciation of the American humorist and poet on to me.
James Whitcomb Riley practiced his writing craft in post-Civil War America where created a unique panorama of America in his poems, a nostalgic look at a time that was quickly passing. He captured America in verse in much the same way that artist Norman Rockwell would later define it with his unique paintings and magazine covers. Both struggled to forge a lasting link to an ideal past, a time they remembered as being harmonious and innocent.
As summer drags on, I was drawn to this piece by Riley in which he looks back at the "old swimmin' hole" of his youth. I, too, had a special place on the river where care and troubles were happily splashed away.
This would be a good day to go to the creek!
The Old Swimmin' Hole
by James Whitcomb Riley