grew up on several acres of Illinois woodland atop the bluffs across the Mississippi from St. Louis. These woods were her playground where she and her siblings camped out, played detective, scouted animals, hunted morels, learned to shoot, gardened and enjoyed the beauty of the outdoors in every season.
The Gibson’s, a transplanted family following WWII, always felt they had a foot in two different states. With grandparents and extended family still living in Ripley County, Missouri, Bonnie and her family visited the Doniphan area several times a year, spending holidays or school vacations and enjoying tubing, fishing, gigging, johnboat picnics, and family fish fries. Long before modern highways, these southbound journeys seemed much longer and each produced unique adventures involving detours, ice storms, carsickness, exasperated parents, and near-death car dilemmas.
After the birth of a new generation, pilgrimages to Ripley County continued, although a bit modernized. Sons, daughters, nieces and nephews of the original transplants continued to wander back to Current River to visit family including many returning from afar after retirement.
Now third and fourth generations make an annual migration to their ancestral base to tend graves, visit relatives, and frolic along the Current’s crystal shoals, creating new memories (despite sunburn and chigger bites) and communing with the past and with nature.