Jon Featherstone of Minnesota recalls his rustic childhood, sailing on Lake Pepin.
This story was collected as part of a collaborative effort to record the state of American lakes, rivers, and waterways as well an attempt to uncover what water means to Americans. Listen to other stories recorded by the Minnesota Humanities Center for their We Are Water MN initiative, an outgrowth of our national traveling exhibition "Water/Ways."
"When I was a young boy you were lucky to have hot water in your home or even a flush toilet, you know? That sounds obscene now a days but that’s the way it was. As a little boy I can remember my mother heating water on the stove and we had a tub in the kitchen we would take our bath before church so it would be Saturday night that we would bathe before Sunday morning, so that we would go to church. Pepin has always been a passion of mine. We would take the sailboats, I mean; I was maybe 11 or 12 years old. They were small sailboats, one man type of thing and we would take off for sailing for like 3 or 4 days on the lake or camping on Dear Island and down to Maple Springs or whatever and my folks would just be, oh, they are gone for 3 or 4 days. It’s no big deal. Now a days would you let your children away from you for 35 minutes? So, water has always been a valuable commodity in my life."