Ken's View: A boy's life
By Ken Robinson
The woods on the hillside below our home in the late 1950's stretched for what seemed like a mile toward Puget Sound and Vashon Island across the channel. It was the private playground for the five Robinson brothers. It was vast enough to be the imagined lair of pirates, gypsies, hoboes and boys who had run away from home. In reality, none of those things dwelled under the canopy of evergreens that shrouded the trails from the top of the hill to beach at Puget Sound.
We ran the trails, eluding fantasy enemies, playing cowboys and Indians, cops and robbers and explorer. But our favorite pastime was fishing. Silvery Salmon Creek threaded a rocky path downhill from a drainage about halfway through those woods between Burien and White Center. At its widest it was not more than a strong boy could leap across. But in its meager waters there were hidden treasures. Rainbow trout!
The wild prize of fishermen of every age. By the time we were six-years-old, our father had already made us believers in the Church of The Righteous Angler, dragging us along with him on weekends in our oversized ponchos to ply the visible waters of many creeks and streams. He even took note of ditches swollen with rain. He told us he could catch fish in a wet washrag and we believed him.
We were skilled in skewering a nightcrawler with a single hook and knew how to keep a salmon egg from slipping easily off.
Near the bottom of the hill where Salmon Creek flattened out, we would cast our hand lines with hook and single egg into the bright waters and pretty soon would have a slithering six-inch beauty in our grip.
We knew they were too small to keep and let them go for another day.
But the memory of catching even these small wild creatures in this pristine water was magic. We have carried this experience all our lives and it has guided us in our appreciation for the natural world, for the joy of a woods to play in and for the lessons from our father about appreciating the simple wonders of life.