<< ibnelson.com




001 First Memories
002 Hampton Road
003 Cedar Wood
004 A Room Of My Own
005 School Days
006 My Friend Wayne
007 A Great Flood
008 My Mother Makes Biscuits
009 To Disneyland
010 We Go To Mexico
011 The Cabin In The Woods
012 We Go To Yosemite
013 Grandma Nelson
014 Nelson Nursery Early Years

I.B. Nelson according to himself

A Great Flood

I.B. Nelson Cartoon Strip Loganberry High - school paper editor gets drenched in the rain
©I.B. Nelson

The Rains Came

In the winter of 1955, it began to rain. And it rained and it rained and it rained, until creeks began to overflow and business came to a standstill and underpasses began to fill with water when the drains could no longer handle the runoff. My father drove the family over to Jackson Street in Hayward to look at the railroad underpass which was filled to the top with some 20 feet of water; Jackson street was the main road from the San Mateo bridge up through Hayward. The San Lorenzo Creek reached flood stage and then spilled over its banks in great muddy torrents. We watched as it roared under the railroad bridge located half way down Hampton Road toward the school; later that night the water began to flow down Hampton road itself. The waters flooded a number of homes along the street and took away half of the Cathey's back yard. The flattop house directly across Hampton from the railroad bridge was five foot deep in water and was heavily damaged. After the flood, I had a dream in which we were in a row boat paddling about next to the front steps of our home while the muddy water swirled all around us.

No More Creek

The County began planning to control the flooding and we heard rumors that the creek was to be lined in cement and that certain portions were to be 'straightened out', leaving islands which small children could play even better games of pirate on. The cement lining of the creek did eventually occur, but no islands were created to play on and I had long since moved away and grown up. Instead of pirate islands, portions of the creek were left as deep gouges in the earth firmly surrounded by chain link fences, bypassed by the new cement lined flood control channel. No other generations of children would ever play in the creek again; they could only gaze at it as it meandered its completely controlled way to the sea behind tall fences and within its vertical concrete walls. Some four decades later, when I was about 50 years old, I walked the length of Hampton Road one night and looked down through the chain link of the now old fence into the last 100 foot long piece of the creek which remained; a dry hole in the earth through which water would flow no more nor would there ever be tadpoles or tiny fish for small boys and girls to look at or catch.