Gerry Godin remembers his harrowing adventures on the Flint River in the days when kids could have unscheduled, unsupervised fun and bike helmets were not required:
The area of Gray and Maxson was my old neighborhood. We were known as "river rats" by the city kids.
My friends' houses down there are gone now. One of my old friends was caught off guard when it flooded in the '70s, and I don't think he even had time to move his car.
I probably was gone by the time of the yellow cloud, but does anybody remember when the river became florescent green in the late '60s? It looked just like the fake water in a View-Master slide. We followed it back to "Chevy in the Hole" and it was still being discharged when we got there.
We used to walk down the middle of the river all the way to downtown at the Saginaw Street bridge when the buildings were still built on the bridge. The river was most shallow in the middle with the deep spots near the bank.
One time when we were bored we came up with a game where we all put "dares" in a hat and drew them out. One kid had to swim across the river in high flood with ice flows and he almost drowned. My way of saving him was a bit odd but it worked. I dove in and got him to the opposite shore and, not wanting to walk two miles back, we dove back in with him holding my neck. We made it but were carried by the strong current almost to the I-75 overpass. I knew better because my father always helped drag the river for bodies and even got on the front page of The Flint Journal once.
Another time some of us got stuck during flood time on one of the I-75 bridge foundations and we had to be rescued. I remember it was shown on channel 5 news.
Being a river rat I have many stories.