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Larry Rizzo

"Face in the tree" photo by Neil Becker

I spent time growing up exploring the Blue River. I was always outdoors. We fished in the river and me and my friends hung out on some spots along the river. We didn’t swim, but we would wade up to our waist and I took my dog there to swim. I found things for my aquariums; I was always adding to my collection. We used to gig frogs and would be out there late at night.

One memory that stands out to me is one time me and my buddies camped out at in the forest just north of the old polo fields. I don’t know if they are still there. I had not camped before - had spent lots of time outdoors, but not camping. I even remember a park ranger opening the gate for us and then locking it behind us and telling us to be safe. Sometime in the middle of the night, the Barred Owls started calling to each other. I had never heard that and about jumped out of my skin. You know what a racket they can make? It sounds like monkeys. I will never forget that night and camping there along the river. And the owls - that It is still one of my favorite sounds in nature.

There are lots of places I remember and haven’t been back to visit. There is a little tributary along 71 that was a great place to fish. I am afraid to go back there to see what shape it is today.

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