Mike Albright

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Written Memory

Text

I was a 10 year boy on June 9, growing up on farm off Nemo road, I remember playing in the rising waters coming down the canyon, in the late afternoon, my sisters and younger brother and I was having a good time, mom finally got us out of the water. A short time later, my brother Bill was in the barn milking, I remember my mom told me to go help Bill, the water was already about knee deep in the barn. Within a few minutes, the barn started to creak, Bill yelled to get the animals out off the barn, Bill was closest to the side door, which was also on the down stream side, he got the door open, and got the cows out, the water was about waist deep then, mom made it back to the house. I remember seeing the full milk bucket that Bill handed me sink in the water. Bill yelled to me that we had to get out of the barn, I couldn't believe how loud everything was, the barn was making alot of noise, and I could see it moving, Bill and I made it back to the front door, which faced the back of the house, the water was over my waist, very dark and cold. I remember seeing mom standing in the water, yelling for us to get out of the barn, and try to walk towards her. As soon as Bill and me started to walk out of the barn, the water was rushing way to fast and hard for Bill and me to make it to mom. The barn started to collapse, Bill yelled to me to go with the water, Bill went first, then I was right behind him, the river made a right turn about 100 yards below the house, that's the last time I saw my brother Bill. Bill was found a couple days later, a couple miles from the house. I ended up in a tree about a half mile from the house, I don't remember how or who got me to that tree, also I could not swim at the time. I was in the tree for most of the night, until a neighbor drove his truck down to the water, which was over the main road, I don't remember how he got me out of the tree, across the rushing water and back to the house. Dad was a trucker, and was away that night, I really think we probably would have lost dad too, because I know dad would have been out in the barn with us, maybe dad could have got us out off the barn, I don't know, but I couldn't even imagine losing my older brother and dad in the same night, dad could not swim either. At Bill's funeral, was the only time I saw my dad shed a tear. 37 years later, time still hasn't helped, I still think about Bill, what happened that night, what could have happened if dad was home. The only building left on the farm was the house, we lost everything else. June 9 has been a day I remember, I lost my brother on June 9, 1972, I joined the Army, June 9, 1980, and just last night about 10 P.M. my father in law passed away, about the same time 37 years earlier, we lost Bill. Miss you Bill, hope I made you proud, see you later.
Mike Albright, Ohio

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Citation

“Mike Albright,” Flood of 1972, accessed September 22, 2021, https://1972flood.omeka.net/items/show/578.