Marty, Ralph B is correct , Mr. Pratt's name was Harry, I guess I had a mental cramp, and he is right again about the Pratt family living above Murray Market. Mr Pratt was definitely a fun-loving person and was the perfect foil to the hard-driving Stan Hewitt , when we were in Cubs.
Here is an interesting story about Bill Pratt , the eldest son. A half -dozen of us youngsters were participating in the annual iceberg jumping exercise one spring on Charles Creek and Bill was one of the group. We had begun our journey at Parker and Regent and as we approached the bridge where the Creek passed under Murray Ave we knew we would have to exit the berg and pick it up on the other side of the bridge, an exercise we had done many times before.
We managed the exit part alright and were waiting on the other side for the berg to come through so that we could get on it again and continue our great voyage on down past Devonshire to Marcotte's farm.
This exercise always had an element of competition with all of us jostling to see who would be the first person to get back on the berg by hanging over the side of the bridge from the metal guardrail and letting go when the berg appeared.
This one particular time Bill won the race, or so we thought, as he lowered himself down to the target. Bill let go of the bridge guardrail and immediately went into the icy -cold water up over his head.He had badly miscalculated.
What he had thought was our original berg was really a floating pile of slushy snow which did not support Bill's weight.The rest of us immediately raced off the bridge and managed to help get Bill to shore. As he lay there soaking wet, he kicked off his Billy Boots, a prerequisite for Parkers in those days, and one of them landed in the Creek and began to float downstream.
One of the gang , obviously aware of the value of Billy Boots, went to retrieve the retreating floater,as the rest of us stood around trying to help, Bill obviously with no concern for the absent boot, reached into his shirt pocket, pulled out his "makings" ( a package of tobacco and papers for rolling it into cigarettes) and said "Oh Shit, they're all wet".
Life is all about priorities isn't it. JMcC
I remeber playing in all three creeks, Thanks for the memories