I watched Becker's Barn burn down one summer evening. When cleanup began, farmers nearby joined in to haul most debris down to the fence line adjoining Sugar Creek. We were 10 years old and that trash pile would beome our secret treasure for the remainder of the summer in 1949.
Dick was the first to concoct the plan to build a raft. Drawing his plan in the mud, we laid charred framing timbers on the ground. With baling twine we lashed together 2 frames that would hold 4 empty 55 gallon barrels. On top we lashed a deck of short planks to carry crew and cargo; namely Dick with his dog Penny, me with my dog Reno.
Ready for sea-trials we pushed the contraption into the swirling waters, then boarded her along with our dogs, and each of us armed with a fresh cut sapling to control direction.
It did float! Off we went - but mostly in circles because my sapling was longer than Dick's. We never decided who should be captain. While Dick and I argued who should push when and how, the dogs became agitated.
Reno became the first to abandon ship., not without consequences.