We were living in town by the time I reached the ripe old age of 13. Dad built a house on a block long dirt trail in the south end of town. On the opposite side of this "street" was a slough, the end of which was in front of our house. This slough wound through the countryside for many miles, until it reached the Mississippi river. However, about a half mile from our house was a dirt dam with a pumping station. It's purpose was to keep the town side from rising too high, due to rain water from storm drains that emptied into it. This slough was full of carp, bullheads and some gars. Mostly trash fish, but fun to catch. One spring day, a truck load of lumber arrived in the alley behind our house. Dad asked me to help unload it. When I asked what it was, dad answered, "It's a boat. What the 'ells it look like"? Thus began a really great summer. First, dad built a couple sturdy saw horses. Then, two cypress planks were clamped together, measured and marked on. Here dad and I had our first argument. Dad planned on building a 12 foot long Jon boat. I was leaning toward a 14 footer. So, we compromised on a 13 footer. I don't know if cypress planks are available anymore. The side planks were cut with the sloping front that characterizes most flat bottom Jon boats. The rib pieces were measured out, cut, drilled, bolted together with galvanized nuts and bolts, painted with a couple coats of dark green porch and deck paint, then fastened to the sides with brass screws. Then, the boat was turned over and the bottom planks screwed to the ribs. The seams were caulked and everything was painted. Did I mention, dad tended to over build everything. When that dried, the boat was turned over again and the insides painted, then seats were added. A front deck, that could be raised and locked closed, was a storage place for life jackets etc. There was a seat in the middle, to row from, and a seat in back. Many a happy hour was spent rowing that boat about the slough, then dad sold it late that fall, to a duck hunter. But, that next spring, a bigger and even better Jon boat was built in our back yard. This one, we launched in a shoot off the Mississippi river, about 12 miles south of town. It was in a well known area for bass and crappie fishing, and duck hunting. That boat lasted a number of years. What I wouldn't give for one more day fishing with my dad out of that old green home built boat. Similar to ours.