Tom And Huck

By Mike Spilman

Sometimes it is nice to have a story about peoples' lives before they joined up. This is one of those stories - Jack

I was born in Ft. Knox, Kentucky in '37 and my brother was born there in '38... we were close. We went everywhere together and got into a lot of trouble because of the outbreak of WWII. Like many other kids in those years we were left to our own devices. The men were overseas fighting and the women were playing "Rosie the Riveter."  Needless to say that we got into a lot of "it."

I was a book reader and Bobby did not like to read at all, he was an action kind of guy. After I had read every book by Mark Twain that I could get my hands on, I talked Bobby into helping me build a raft and floating down the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers to New Orleans. Stop hereI was seven years old and he was six.

We spent three months building the raft. We loaded stores and headed out on the Ohio river to seek our fortune...  Believe it or not .............. The darned thing worked!

 We forgot to put on running lights.

The Coast Guard caught us somewhere between Evansville, Indiana and Cairo, Illinois.

They took us back up river in a  launch to the Coast Guard HQ Barge moored at the foot of the Louisville/Jeffersonville bridge where the two of us spent the night. My brother Bobby fell in love with the Coast Guard and said that he was going to join when he grew up, which he did.  Remember when we rafted down river he was only six years old. When I became of age I joined the Marines.

 To quote you "A Coastie only gets into this much trouble when helped by a Marine."

We learned to swim in the Ohio river when Mom wasn't looking, which was most of the time.

So much for Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn.  (The Spilman Boys.)

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