About This Author

I grew up on a stinking creek that trailed with beautiful green river weed like a woman’s hair and would flood often in the suburbs of Chicago. As kids, my friends and I would build these seemingly river-worthy vessels and try and float our way into the city.
We didn’t think about much, just dangled our legs, pushing ourselves off from bank to bank and looking at the sky through trees and lazy with sun. We would carry ourselves over logjams as we got further and further downstream.
We may have been deep down in the hull of our boat asleep, or gazing up at the endless blue broken by the cookie cut oak leaves heavy with green and light.
Everything was endless, as you recall: the summers, our houses, our dogs, our moms and dads, our favorite willow tree, even us.
Then, crawling along the side of the river and up and out, where one of us would make a call to one of our moms to come get us as some trusting person would have let us into their house or apartment to use their phone. We’d return home with our vessel balanced precariously out of the back of a family station wagon.
Eventually our river journeys took us all the way south and we disembarked somewhere near the Marina Towers (the two tall corn cob buildings up along the Chicago River).
There we were downtown and the first thing we bought was a comb from a vending machine so that we could look presentable.
Looking presentable wasn’t always a priority, and many can testify to that, but this kind of sums up my childhood: adventures and mishaps followed by unimaginable stupidity, but I am grateful somehow that we always landed on our feet.

Travelling with Willy!