When our son Bradford was about 2½ half years old we lived on Mount Olive Drive. We had a nice shady backyard with a little branch (that’s what we called a small creek back in the mountains of Western North Carolina) running through the back side of the lot. When it rained, a lot of water rushed down this little stream.

The yard on the other side of the creek had never been developed, since to gain access to this area you’d have to go down a steep bank and then climb the bank on the other side. I wanted to plant some azaleas across the creek, so I realized we needed a bridge.

Two small trees had fallen nearby, and I trimmed them and placed them about 4 feet apart to span the stream. I nailed down the floor and constructed a rustic railing on each side of the footbridge. Bonanza! We had a bridge to nowhere, just to plant azaleas.

We had also created another place where a little boy could explore and play.

Not long after this, Joyce, Bradford and I took a vacation at a beach in Florida. We arrived a little after nightfall and our young man was sound asleep. We put him in bed without waking him.

The first thing in the morning, we walked hand in hand out onto the beach with the beautiful Gulf of Mexico spread before us.


Bradford stopped, analyzed the massive body of water before him, gasped in amazement, and declared loudly, “Big Creek!”

Bradford must have fallen in love with the Big Creek at that moment. Years later, he bought a 37-foot sailboat which is docked at nearby St. Pete. He sails the oversized creek whenever he can in his vessel Jacie Sails.

Jacie Sails is named in honor of a little dog cared for by Bradford and Tanya, his love and sailing companion, who he calls “the Admiral.” Tanya and Bradford sailed on the Big Creek all the way to Cuba last year. (2017)

His love for sailing has led him to a brand-new venture: Radio. Bradford is now known as “Capt. Billy” on his own radio show, which airs every Saturday on Pyrate Radio from 1 to 6 PM (EST). Although the station (everything nautical) is located in Miami, Florida, you can tune in on your computer from anywhere in the USA and hear from the man who had an early age discovered the “Big Creek.”

[Ed. Note: Pyrate Radio is actually a cloud-based radio network. Although it is headquartered in Dania Beach near Miami, it has no central station or studio. More info at www.PyrateRadio.com…]

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