Most of us, especially when we get a little older, love to recall events of our past, especially of our youth. But the phrase: “That's water under the bridge!” is a figure of speech meaning something brought up has already happened and is no longer important. That is well and good about somethings, but I recall when there was not a bridge over Red River between Clarksville, Texas and Idabel, Oklahoma. In fact there was not one between Idabel and DeKalb, Texas either. It wasn't until 1955 that a bridge was built over the river at its present location north of Clarksville.
While still in high school at Idabel around 1953 or 54 we had a football game scheduled with Clarksville. Us football players north of Red River were in a school bus headed down to Clarksville for the game. Woodrow “Woody” Holman, the principle of the high school, was driving the bus.
He drove the bus down on the ferry and we crossed Red River without any trouble. That is, until we got on the Texas side of the river. Mr. Holman started the engine of the bus and then we started up the embankment.
All at once the motor of the bus stalled and it started rolling back down to the ferry. There was a lot of hollering from some scared boys who thought we were going into the river. Woody manged to get the bus stopped and then started. We then went on our merry way to the football game. Don't recall who won the game, but we already had quite a bit of excitement.
Dub Mowery is a Gospel preacher in the Church of Christ. A native of Southeast Oklahoma, he is the author of Colloquial Sayings & Expressions (Morris Publishing, 2008)