Black River - March 2012
I don't have a picture of Black River from the summer of 1973. This picture is of the newer bridge. The older one, the one during the summer of 1973, was replaced a few years ago. But, the view of this bridge would have been much the same. The only differences are that the water level was much higher and of course, the trees would have been greener.
I'm not sure what made me remember the summer of 1973. It could have been that sitting here listening to the rain coming down had something to do with it and the fact that The Weather Channel has been posting flood watches for our area on and off the last few days. But for whatever reason, the Summer of 1973 came to mind.
I was a young teenager.....just 13 years old and was spending the summer in Spartanburg with my Granny. Mama would call every few days and on this one particular day had bad news.
It was mid June and it had been raining for days. Black River was at flood stage. The river was running fast and no doubt had debris from the banks floating down river, as well. Two local Andrews teenagers had the idea to jump from the Black River bridge. As they dove from the bridge, a man standing nearby saw the two and immediately knew they were in trouble. He was able to help one of the teens to safety and attempted to save the second teen. He said that the water was running too fast and he was not able to save the boy. It is believed that when the teenager jumped, he may have hit some debris floating in the swollen river. It was days before they found his body.
I had to do some research and asked the question on Facebook, if anyone remembered the accident. Right away, a couple of friends told me who he was. His name was Tommy Young. He was only 15 years old.
Tommy was not the only one who lost their life that summer. The local newspaper reported that five had drowned in our county within a few days of Tommy.
Again, I'm not sure why I remembered this. But I'll just take the opportunity to say, freak accidents happen. Be careful out there. Stay alert and don't put yourself in dangerous places.
Have a safe and really fun summer!